Though two candidates for the Republican nomination for Del. Sam Nixon’s seat have emerged in recent days, a Democratic contender has yet to be found.
But, Chesterfield County Democratic Committee Chairman Bill Brown said he had no doubt the party would have a candidate well before the May 14 filing deadline for the special election.
“We’ve got some interest, but nobody has formally announced that they’re running for the seat yet,” Brown said Monday.
On Wednesday, April 21, former Chesterfield County Planning Commissioner Sherman Litton announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the seat. Optometrist Roxann Robinson is also seeking the Republican nomination.
Nixon represented the 27th House of Delegates District, which is entirely in Chesterfield County, for 16 years before being appointed to serve as chief information officer of the Virginia Information Technology Agency in March. Nixon left his house seat on April 5.
Last week, Gov. Bob McDonnell set Tuesday, June 15, as the date of a special election to fill vacancies in the 26th and 27th Districts. Del. Matt Lorh of the 26th District, which includes the City of Harrisonburg and northern portions of Rockingham County, was appointed to serve as commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Litton, who worked for theVirginia Department of Transportation for 30 years, served two terms on the county’s Planning Commission and served on the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission and board of the Richmond Metropolitan Planning Organization, according to a press release.
One potential Democratic candidate, Board of SupervisorsVice Chairman Jim Holland, who represents the Dale District, has decided not to run, Brown said Monday. Holland told Brown he felt his goals and objectives as a county supervisor had not all been accomplished yet, Brown said.
As a supervisor, Holland is also able to have more contact with his constituents than a delegate would, Brown said.
“I think he enjoys that, the give and take of listening to various viewpoints,” Brown said. “He’s not ready to make the move yet. … Frankly, I think he would have made a good candidate.”
Holland did not immediately return a call seeking comment Monday.
On Monday, former Deputy County Administrator Millard “Pete” Stith, Jr. said he’s still thinking through whether to seek Nixon’s seat.
“There are a lot of considerations,” said Stith, who retired from Chesterfield County on April 1. He said he’d probably be making a decision later this week.
The incumbent from either party enjoys an advantage in an election, so contests without incumbents are very important for both parties, Brown said. In the 27th District, the precincts closer to Richmond are predominately Democratic, while those heading out Hull Street Road become more Republican, he said. Often, special elections come down to which party is able to motivate its base more effectively, he said.
The deadline for candidates to file to run for the seats is Friday, May 14, at 5 p.m.