Executive Official Elections in Virginia, 2021

By Maria-Paula

The 2021 voting in Virginia for the three state executive offices primary is currently on going both online and, by mail.

Democratic Party primary elections for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general will occur on June 8, 2021, while the Republican convention is scheduled for May 8, 2021 in Virginia to determine which candidates will run as the various parties’ nominees in the state’s general election on November 2, 2021.

Gubernatorial Elections

Terry McAuliffe, Jeniffer Carrol Foy, Jeniffer McClellan and Justin Fairfax are among the top contenders for the
Democratic seat in Virginia. The constitution of Virginia disqualifies incumbent Governor Ralph Northam (D) from vying and serving consecutive terms in office. Governors are limited to a single term of four years.

McAuliffe (D) is a former governor of Virginia elected in 2014 until 2018, when his term expired. He is a career banker and investor also involved in real estate development. McAuliffe chaired the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005 and was the national chair of Hillary Clinton’s (D) 2008 presidential campaign. McAuliffe received endorsements from incumbent Gov. Ralph Northam (D), U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), and 34 members of the General Assembly.

Foy (D) served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2018 to 2020. She previously worked as a magistrate judge and public defender. She also taught criminal law as an adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College. Foy received endorsements from Clean Virginia, the Working Families Party, and three members of the General Assembly.

McClellan (D) is a member of the Virginia State Senate, where she serves as the vice chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. Before joining the state Senate in 2017, McClellan served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2006. Professionally, from 2002, she was an assistant general counsel at Verizon. McClellan received endorsements from New Virginia Majority, Care in Action, and twelve members of the General Assembly.

Justin Fairfax (D) is the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He was elected to office in 2018 with his term ending on January 12, 2022. Fairfax who previously served as Assistant U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2013 as he vied for Virginia Attorney General.

Republican convention on the other hand has its focus on four candidates: Amanda Chase, Kirk Cox, Pete Snyder, and Glenn Youngkin.

Chase(R) as a member of the Virginia State Senate was first elected in 2015. Before her election, she worked in finance alongside owning a political consulting firm. The firm worked with Republicans including Eric Cantor in 2010 and Randy Forbes’ in 2012 during congressional campaigns and Susan Stimpson’s in 2013 lieutenant gubernatorial campaign. Chase got endorsement from former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Cox(R) is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, first elected in 1989. During his term, Cox has served in political positions including Majority Whip, Majority Leader, and, Speaker of the House. He received endorsements from former Governors Bob McDonnell (R), George Allen (R) and 26 Republican General Assembly members.

Snyder(R) founded, a social media marketing company, New Media Strategies, in 1999. He chaired Mitt Romney’s (R) 2012 Virginia presidential campaign and ran in the 2013 Republican lieutenant gubernatorial convention. He enjoys endorsements from former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R), former Heritage Foundation President Kay Cole James (R), and seven Republican General Assembly members.

was a former president and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm, from 1995 to 2020. He received endorsements from commentator and talk show host Hugh Hewitt (R) including two Republican General Assembly members.

Since 1977, 2021 is the fourth most contested Democratic gubernatorial primary in Virginia. It has attracted the largest number of Democratic candidates to ever run in the state’s history. Of the five most recent gubernatorial elections, democrats have won four and all thirteen nationwide elections in Virginia since 2012. The state became a split government after the 2013 elections with Democrats winning control of the gubernatorial and state Senate. Republicans hold a majority in the state House. In 2019, Democrats won majorities in both the state House and Senate, boasting a political giant in the state for the first time in 27 years.

Lieutenant Gubernatorial Elections
The lieutenant governor is the Virginia State Senate president and he/she may cast tie-breaking polls. In the event the governor’s absence from office through death, resignation, or otherwise, the office bearer is first in the line of succession to the governor. Of the four lieutenant governors ever elected since 2002, three were Democrats and one was a Republican. The incumbent lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax (D), is in the gubernatorial race, therefore leaving the contest open.

This race has attracted seven
Democratic candidates: Hala Ayala, Mark Levine, Andria McClellan, Sean Perryman, S. Rasoul, amongst others.

Ayala (D) worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a cyber-security analyst. In 2018, she was elected to represent District 51 in the Virginia House of Delegates. She was also a member of former Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D) Council of Women.

McClellan (D) has worked in sales and marketing and Governor Mark Warner (R) appointed her the chairwoman of the Virginia Small Business Advisory Board. She was also elected to the Norfolk City Council in 2016.

Perryman (D) was born in Brooklyn, New York. He has a bachelor’s degree from Baruch College and a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School. His career experience includes working as the director of social impact at the Internet Association. He also has affiliation with the Fairfax County NAACP.

Republican candidates are running for nomination in this election: Puneet Ahluwalia, Lance Allen, Glenn Davis, Tim Hugo, Maeve Rigler, and Winsome Sears. Of them all, Davis and Hugo lead in endorsements and fundraising.

Davis(R) was elected as a state delegate in 2014 for the Virginia General Assembly representing District 84. He worked for the Virginia Beach City Council prior to becoming a delegate. Davis is an industrialist and created his own telecommunications management firm.

Hugo(R) served in the army. He also worked at the Pentagon as well as a Congressional staffer. Between 2003 and 2020, he was a state delegate representing District 40 in the Virginia General Assembly.

Attorney General Elections
The Attorney General of Virginia is an elected official in the Virginia state government. He/ She represent all state agencies by giving legal guidance and representation. Additionally, this state official provides written legal advice – official opinions – to Virginia General Assembly members and government officials.

Attorney General Elections

Mark Herring (D) and Jerrauld Jones (D) are the two candidates in Democratic primary for Attorney General of Virginia on June 8, 2021.Mark Herring [D] who was first elected in 2013 and was sworn in on January 11, 2014 is the incumbent office holder. He is running for re-election for Attorney General of Virginia. Prior to his election as attorney general, Herring represented District 33 from 2006 to 2014 as Democratic member of the Virginia State Senate.

Leslie Haley (R), Jason Miyares (R), Chuck Smith (R), and Jack White (R) are running for Virginia attorney general on May 8, 2021 at the
Republican Party state convention. Whoever wins amongst the four will advance to the general election on November 2, 2021.

Poll voting times
In Virginia, all polling stations are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Virginia law also dictates that at the closing time of a polling station, any individual in line must be allowed to vote.

Primary Elections in Virginia
In a primary election, registered voters select a contender they believe should be a political party’s candidate for the contested elected office to run in the general election. These elections are also used to choose party leaders and convention delegates. Primaries are both local-level and state-level selections that take place before the general election. Virginia uses an
open primary process whereby registered voters are allowed to vote in primaries even if they are not that party’s registered members.

Eligible voters
Any American citizen aged 18 years or over and resides in Virginia is eligible to vote. There are no specifications to the length of time in residency for a person to vote.

Where to Vote
Registration can be completed online, by mail or in person at a designated voter registration office in the following location:
1. State or local government offices when applying or re-certifying for Aid to Dependent Children, Food 2. Stamps, WIC, Medicaid, or Rehabilitation Services
3. Government offices in the state that provide state-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities
4. Armed forces recruitment office
5. Public libraries
6. Virginia Department of Elections office
7. Department of Motor Vehicles office


Registration Deadline
The registration deadline in Virginia is normally 22 days before any primary or general elections although the deadline before special elections is 14 days.

Early Voting
To cast an early vote, one can visit the local registrar’s office 45 days prior to Election Day. This ends the Saturday before Election Day.

Absentee Voting
All absentee ballots postmarked either on or before the date of an election is counted only if received by noon on the third day after the election. Some states agree to no-excuse absentee voting, while others require an excuse. States that allow in-person absentee voting short of an excuse are counted among early voting states votes

Barack Obama’s icebreaking win in the 2008 elections indicated that America was prepared for a Black presidency. After that, Democrats have won Virginia in all subsequent elections and now control the governorship and state legislature. Government workers, medics, scientific specialists, and well-educated professionals prompted this move by the fast-developing suburbs around Washington, DC. This group proved to be not only liberal but diverse ethnically than rural Virginians who for a long time gave direction to the state’s politics.

The primary show-down is seen as a national clash between for and against Trump supporters. It will test what Republicans have to offer the suburban voters. Democrats have a chance to present their track record and prove it worked for the residents. With a thin legislative majority, the state acts as a testing ground for enacting liberal policies on race, gun control, and climate.


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