Ballots for the general election are now taking shape, with several contested races planned

With the June 11 primary results now in the books, political focus turns now to the November elections where Democrats are expected to do an all-out push to regain control of the Virginia General Assembly.

Fresh off his resounding victory in the 16th Senate District primary, Democratic nominee Joseph D. Morrissey said he plans to take some time off to be with his family before getting back on the campaign trail. Morrissey said he was “humbled” by the victory over incumbent Rosalyn R. Dance, and called it an example of not letting past adversity keep someone down.

“Particularly because everybody said you can’t do it,” Morrissey said. “I grew up in a household where you don’t quit. You don’t give up. You just don’t give up.”

Morrissey potentially faces an independent challenge from Waylin K. Ross, a Petersburg business owner and non-profit founder. Ross was out Tuesday gathering last-minute signatures for petitions, and he was able to get his paperwork in before the 7 p.m. deadline for November candidacy. If election officials can verify the signatures on his petitions, then Ross will be on the November ballot.

“I will take his candidacy seriously,” Morrissey said of Ross. “I will campaign zealously, and I will debate him wherever and whenever.”

There will be a guaranteed second new face representing part of the Tri-City area in Richmond next November.

Voters in the 62nd House District, which covers all of Hopewell and portions of Prince George and Chesterfield, will choose between newly minted Democratic nominee Lindsey Dougherty and GOP candidate Carrie E. Coyner. The winner will replace Republican Del. Riley E. Ingram, who is retiring this year after 27 years in the seat.

Dougherty rode overwhelming margins in Chesterfield and Prince George, and withstood Tavorise K. Marks’ strong showing in Hopewell to squeak out a 51% to 49% victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. In ballot count, she won by less than 100 votes.

In claiming the narrow victory, Dougherty said she knows there is still hard work ahead. The 62nd has been in the Republican column for the past 27 years, but with the GOP holding a slim 51-49 majority in the House, political watchers will be looking at this race as a possible linchpin for Democrats to take back political control of that chamber.

“We won a hard fought primary, and I share this victory with every single voter and volunteer who came out to make this happen,” Dougherty said.

Even though he came out on the short end Tuesday night, Marks was still pleased with his showing, especially in Hopewell. He thanked the city for supporting him and vowed he would be back.

“Hopewell deserves higher paying jobs, clean air and water, access to affordable housing, affordable healthcare and mental health care among many other issues,” Marks said. “Hopewell also deserves representation that can relate to the issues in which our citizens face everyday and who have lived through those issues personally. I can confidently say that I can.”

Coyner was unopposed for the GOP nomination. Ingram has endorsed her.

Other races

Democratic nominee Amanda Pohl will face GOP incumbent Amanda F. Chase in the 11th Senate District that encompasses Colonial Heights, portions of Chesterfield and all of Amelia County. Pohl defeated Wayne Powell in the Democratic primary.

“Our schools lack adequate funding, our residents are paying too much for healthcare and our infrastructure is crumbling, which harms both individuals and businesses in the local economy,” Pohl said. “The people of the 11th District are ready for real solutions and a senator who understands the needs of our community.”

In a social media post, Chase called the statewide legislative elections “a race of ‘Good vs. Evil.’”

“Liberal extremists and the growing Socialist movement are amped and determined to fundamentally turn Virginia into liberal New York or California,” Chase wrote. “The silent majority can no longer remain silent. They must rise up, work together and vote this November.”

Her post did not mention Pohl by name.

In the 15th Senate District, which includes portions of Dinwiddie and Prince George, GOP incumbent Frank M. Ruff easily won his nomination battle with Dale L. Sturdifen. Districtwide, Ruff carried almost 80% of the vote. In Dinwiddie and Prince George, he won with 83% and 85% respectively.

He will face Democrat Virginia Smith in November.

Republicans hold a two-seat majority in the state Senate.

In the area’s only local-office primary, Kevin Carroll won a three-way race for the Republican nomination for the Matoaca District seat on the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors. He will face Democrat Shajuan N. Mason in November for the seat being vacated by the retiring Steve Elswick.

By Bill Atkinson 
Assistant Editor
Bill Atkinson may be reached at 804-722-5167 or On Twitter: @BAtkinsonpi

Digital Editor Leilia Magee contributed to this report.