Dems to hold ‘firehouse primary’ to select Mason’s successor

WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

On Aug. 2, Del. Monty Mason (D-Dist. 93) resigned from his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates to run for the 1st District Senate seat of the late Virginia Sen. John Miller. (Courtesy Monty Mason)
On Aug. 2, Del. Monty Mason (D-Dist. 93) resigned from his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates to run for the 1st District Senate seat of the late Virginia Sen. John Miller. (Courtesy Monty Mason)

The race has begun to represent the 93rd District, which includes the City of Williamsburg, parts of James City and York counties and part of Newport News.

On Aug. 2, Del. Monty Mason (D-Dist. 93) resigned from his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates to run for the 1st District Senate seat of the late Virginia Sen. John Miller. The resignation is effective Nov. 21.

Following Mason’s resignation, Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued a writ of election announcing that a special election will be held Nov. 8, the same day as the presidential election. On Monday, the Virginia 93rd District Nominating Committee will hold an unassembled caucus, or “firehouse primary,” to select a Democratic candidate to run in the election.

According to Mason, his resignation and the subsequent special election will “ensure consistency and continuous representation for the people in the 93rd District,” he told WYDaily the day he resigned.

“It’s a good opportunity to make sure there’s the maximum participation of the electorate to vote for my successor,” he said. “We really have everyone’s attention.”

The 93rd tends to lean Democrat, despite the district gaining more Republican voters as a result of 2011 redistricting. The last Republican to win in the district was Mike Watson in the 2011 race for the House of Delegates. Two years later, Mason defeated Watson to win his current seat in the House of Delegates.

On the Republican side, the candidates for the 93rd have until Aug.19 to file, according to the James City County General Registrar’s office, and information regarding any potential Republican challengers is not yet available.

For the Democrats, there are enough candidates in the race to hold the caucus and few more waiting in the wings.

“I have been in contact with four people who have inquired so far,” said Jen Tierney, Chair of the Nominating Committee. She said of those four, two candidates have officially filed with the committee, which is enough to move forward with the nomination process.

“We’re prepared to hold the caucus,” she said. “We have the candidates.”

Currently, the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit that tracks campaign funding, has started tracking one candidate in the race: Democrat Mike Mullin, an assistant commonwealth attorney in Suffolk who lost a race for Newport News City Council earlier this year. Mullin was first out of the gate when Mason resigned, taking to Facebook to announce he was running for the Democratic nomination.

“Due to the death of our dear friend, the late Senator John Miller, Delegate Monty Mason has decided to run for the 1st District Senate seat and I, following careful consideration, will seek the Democratic nomination for the 93rd District House of Delegates seat,” he wrote. “I am humbled by the trust placed in me by the many friends who have encouraged my run and will do my very best to mount an honorable campaign worthy of a committed public servant.”

The deadline for Democratic candidates to qualify for nomination is Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. According to the Nominating Committee, those seeking to become the Democratic nominee for the 93rd House of Delegates District must complete a Declaration of Candidacy form and pay a filing fee of $1,000. Only candidates who have filed their Declaration of Candidacy form and paid the filing fee will have their names placed in nomination.

Any registered voter in the 93rd House of Delegates District may vote in the caucus, which will be held Aug. 15 between 5 and 8 p.m. in the following locations:

  • Democratic Coordinated Campaign Office Newport News: 562 Denbigh Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23608
  • Democratic Coordinated Campaign Office Williamsburg: 110 Westover Avenue, Williamsburg, VA 23185