Wednesday, June 10, 2009

8,000 Vote in Primary; Hope and Deeds Win

Despite thundering skies, 374 people cast votes at the K.W. Barrett Elementary School yesterday. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Despite a thunderstorm in the morning and another in the afternoon, Arlingtonian Kasara Williams turned out to vote in yesterday’s Democratic primary. Why?

“Guilt,” she said, laughing. She said she works in politics.

“If I don’t vote, then everything I’ve worked for is useless,” she said on the front porch of the K.W. Barrett Elementary School, the Buckingham precinct polling location. Her picks did not win the day, however.

A campaign worker in Wisconsin during John Kerry’s 2004 bid for the presidency, she had met Terry McAuliffe when he was chair of the Democratic National Committee.

“I enjoyed talking with him,” and she liked his message, she said, so she voted for him. She also said she voted for Adam Parkhomenko in the House of Delegates race because one of his staffers handed her a flyer at the last minute.

Neither Mr. McAuliffe nor Parkhomenko won their races last night, as Creigh Deeds took the gubernatorial nomination from (some would say out from under) Brian Moran and Mr. McAuliffe. Patrick Hope won a shot at the House of Delegates seat in the 47th District. Mr. Hope will face Green Party candidate Josh Reubner in the fall. Arlington Republicans released the name of Eric Brescia as their candidate, but that has not yet been confirmed with the Arlington electoral board.

Slightly more than 8,000 votes were cast in yesterday’s election.

Kate Hughes ducked the rain and voted for Creigh Deeds for governor and Patrick Hope for the House of Delegates. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Mr. Hope took 36 percent of the 8047 votes cast; Alan Howze won 19, Adam Parkhomenko won 17, Miles Grant won 14, and Andres Tobar won 12.

In Mr. Hope’s home precinct of Buckingham, he took 220 of the 374 votes cast. Mr. Grant took second place there with 47 votes. In Arlington Forest Mr. Hope took 201 of 449 votes cast, while Alan Howze, 76 votes, edged Adam Parkhomenko, 74 votes, for second place. In Ashton Heights, Mr. Hope won 236 of the 609 total votes, with Mr. Howze receiving 126 votes.

Echoing what others interviewed said throughout the day, Kate Hughes said, “They’re all good candidates,” in the House of Delegates race. For governor, she voted for Mr. Deeds who will face Republican Bob McConnell in November.

“It’s a tight race,” she said of the gubernatorial run, adding later, “I think we’re going to have a tough fight.”

The sense of civic duty drew Keith Eishcheid to his Ashton Heights polling station at the Clarendon United Methodist Church where he met with Mr. Hope, Mr. Tobar and Mike Signer, who lost to Judy Wagner in the primary race for Lt. Governor.

The three candidates stood ready to speak with last-minute voters at a poll that hit over 20 percent voting, high for a rainy primary.

In the 2007 Democratic primary about 6,600 votes were cast in the race for Arlington County treasurer, the only race on the docket. In 2006, when now Sen. Jim Webb ran in the primary against Harris Miller, about 11,000 votes were cast. Even that number is less than 10 percent of the registered voters.

The granddaddy of them all, of course, was last year’s race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the Democratic side, and Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Ron Paul on the Republican side. A total of about 54,000 people voted, about 45 percent of the total registered, according to Arlignton County records.

“I like to vote,” Mr. Eishcheid said, umbrella in hand. He made a point of thanking each candidate for coming.

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