In western Loudoun County, voters in bucolic Purcellville took to the polls to decide the heavily contested 33rd district delegate race. Polling officials said about half of the registered voters were projected to take part in the election between David LaRock, a Republican who defeated the moderate incumbent Joe T. May in the June primary, and Democrat Mary Costello Daniel.
By noon, about 600 of 2,945 registered voters had taken to the polls at Mountain View Elementary outside Purcellville, said precinct chief Gary Kavanagh, 70.
Uta Brown, who owns Crooked Run Orchard, a 250-year-old family farm originally deeded in 1741 by Lord Fairfax, said that she was disappointed in candidates for both major parties and decided to vote Libertarian. Brown said that both candidates in the governor’s race were too greatly influenced by money.
“The two have become corporate parties and have squeezed out grass-roots capabilities,” said Brown, 68. “People today are not voting for something, they are voting against it. I remember when people were more reasonable. Now it’s too personal and too partisan.”
Chris Bledsoe, 55, said that in the past, he had voted for Republicans like May, who had served as a delegate since 1994. But Bledsoe said this time he voted for Daniels on the Democratic ticket.
“May’s done a great job and he represented the district well. … But there’s too much ideology in the Republican party right now,” Bledsoe said, noting that he voted for Daniels because she has a “level head” and does not support what he called the extreme ideals promoted by LaRock.
Bledsoe said that he liked that Daniels showed up for a series of open forums with potential voters. Bledsoe said that by not appearing at the forum events, LaRock seemed overly confident.
“It showed he didn’t respect voters and that he didn’t feel like he had to work for it,” Bledsoe said.
At Emerick Elementary, polling officials said that about 800 people had voted by 2 p.m., or about 26 percent of the 3,009 registered voters.
George Kinser, 67, said that he’d voted in every election since he turned 18, and added that in light of the current political climate, he felt compelled to cast his ballot for the Republican ticket.
“I’m not a wild-eyed fanatic,” Kinser said. “But I’m concerned about the principles and direction of this country, and it’s accelerating at a rate that scares me.”
Kinser said that he traditionally votes for GOP candidates and was particularly impressed with the charisma exuded by lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson.
“I watched him bring an entire crowd to its feet like I’ve never seen before” Kinser said.
He said that gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s faith-based conservative platform appealed to him.
“He’s trying to turn this thing around,” he said.