Kaine has focused much of his campaign message on cultivating Virginia’s “talent economy” by improving the state’s educational system and job-training programs. Allen has emphasized the need for lower taxes, less regulation of business, and increased domestic production of coal, oil and natural gas.
At Lake Anne Elementary in Reston on Tuesday, Frank Carlson said he supported Allen because he was impressed with Allen’s history as governor.
“He’s a moderate, and he’s a good man,” Carlson said. “It wasn’t a hard decision.”
Carlson added that he doesn’t like the tea party and has been alarmed by its rising role in national politics.
At Rivers Edge Elementary School in Glen Allen, north of Richmond, Jeanne Nugent, a 42-year-old costume designer, said she voted for Radtke. “I think she stands for what real family values are all about,” Nugent said, referring to the former tea party leader’s focus on getting federal spending under control.
On the House front, Perkins will face a difficult campaign against Connolly, whose fortunes have improved since he defeated businessman Keith Fimian (R) by less than 1,000 votes in 2010.
The new congressional district map made all of Northern Virginia’s incumbents safer, including Connolly, whose seat lost some Republican-leaning portions of Prince William County and picked up more hospitable territory along the Dulles Toll Road.
Unlike in 2010, Connolly will probably benefit from having Obama atop the ticket to boost Democratic turnout. And the incumbent had a campaign war chest of $1 million as of May 23, while Perkins had $60,000.
At Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County, Walter Bajkowski, a government IT contractor, said he voted for Allen and Perkins.
“I like George Allen from before — his philosophies and what he works toward,” Bajkowski said. “I was satisfied with what he did.”
And Bajkowski opted for Perkins over Vaughn because of his personal story.
“He’s retired military, family guy,” Bajkowski said.
Elsewhere in the state, Republican Reps. Eric Cantor, Randy Forbes and Robert Goodlatte all defeated primary challenges with ease.
Tuesday’s turnout appeared to be dampened by morning rain in much of the state, and by confusion over the fact that Virginia held its presidential primary in March. In the days leading up to the vote, many residents told candidates they thought the congressional primary had already happened.
“People don’t even know there’s an election today,” said Robert Strange, precinct chief at Alvey Elementary School in Haymarket.
By 4 p.m. at Robinson, only 178 voters had cast ballots, or about 4 percent of the precinct’s approximately 4,600 registered voters. James D. Emery Jr., the precinct’s chief election officer, said it was lighter than the March presidential primary.
“It’s surprising,” Emery said. “I don’t know that we’re going to make 5 percent.”
At Loudoun County High School, precinct officials were eagerly awaiting their 10th voter of the day, who had not yet arrived by 1 p.m. Election volunteer Donna Darnes said she blamed a combination of bad weather and minimal outreach.
“Usually the streets are lined with signs,” she said. “There’s practically nothing around here.”
At Albert Hill Middle School in Richmond, voting was so light that one poll worker appeared to be snoozing late Tuesday morning while another had her nose in a book plucked from the school library shelves. Only 18 voters had been in by 11 a.m.
Election officer Joyce Trickett, 68, had the foresight to bring a leather-bound book, “English History” by D.H. Montgomery, from home.
“I’m up to the Norman Conquest,” she said.
Staff writers Jeremy Borden, Caitlin Gibson, Anita Kumar, Fredrick Kunkle and Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.