BY JOSH WHITENER
Republican State Del. Barry Knight won his fourth term in the 81st House District with an overwhelming majority in many areas of the district against challenger Jeff Staples, a mechanic, of the Green Party.
“I made sure I ran a very positive campaign,” Knight said during an interview. “I just let my actions speak for themselves. I’ve been in for a few years. I guess the voters were comfortable with having more of what they’ve had in the past several years.”
Knight, a farmer, dominated in most precincts throughout the district, taking nearly 70 percent of the vote overall, according to unofficial returns. Staples, of Chesapeake, conceded on social media.
Staples handed out flyers outside of a polling location in Oceana, where he discussed running a political campaign while working as a full time mechanic.
“I feel really good about it,” the challenger said. “I think we did a real good, people powered, grassroots campaign. I’m really proud of it whatever the results are tonight. If nothing else we promoted democracy. No one was running against him.”
Knight stopped in during the Republican victory party at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel tonight. During an interview, he discussed his appreciation for district residents and vowed to keep listening to them.
“I’m just their representative,” he said. “I just do what they want me to do.”
In a note on Facebook, Staples told supporters he was proud of what the campaign achieved.
“We were outraised 100 to 1 in funds [and] had just a handful of volunteers, but we had a lot of drive and determination,” We received over 2300 votes and a little over 30 percent of the total.”
Knight raised more that $450,000 during the election cycle, according to his most recent campaign financial disclosure report. Staples, who said he refused cprporate donations, raised just over $2,500.