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Political Notebook: Dem prez primary absentee voting; fines for late reports by VB pols; School Board candidate bows out

THE INDEPENDENT NEWS

Absentee voting for Virginia’s Tuesday, March 3, Democratic Party presidential primary is underway in Virginia Beach — and voting opportunities will expand in the coming month.

More on that in a moment.

First, a word about a few of the names that appear on the ballot and undoubtedly will get a share of votes even though those folks ain’t running anymore.

Fourteen names appear on the ballot. Three have suspended their campaigns. Here’s a brief rundown of those who are out of the running but haven’t apparently done the paperwork to properly withdraw.

  • U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has suspended his campaign. “I will carry this fight forward,” he wrote in a statement posted to his website in January. “I just won’t be doing it as a candidate for president this year.”
  • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro ended his campaign in early January. “I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts,” he wrote on Twitter. “I hope you’ll join me in that fight.”
  • Marianne Williamson, an author and spiritual leader, ended her campaign but still appears on Virginia’s primary ballot. “I’m not ‘Marianne for President’ anymore,” she added, “but I’m still Marianne and it’s still 2020!” These simple facts do not seem to require an exclamation point, but the very last bit cannot be disputed.

The other choices — who are still running, as of this writing — are, in ballot order: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont; U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., former Vice President Joe Biden; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii; former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; businessperson Andrew Yang; businessperson Tom Steyer and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.


For those interested in the primary, absentee in-person voting is underway at the Virginia Beach Voter Registration & Elections office, 2449 Princess Anne Road, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays until Feb. 28, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 22 and Feb. 29.

This month, other locations will come into service:

  • Bayside Recreation Center, 4500 First Court Road; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, Feb. 17-28; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays, Feb. 22 and 29.
  • Great Neck Recreation Center, 2521 Shorehaven Drive; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, Feb. 17-28; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays, Feb. 22 and 29.
  • Kempsville Treasurer’s Office, 5340 Fairfield Shopping Center: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, Feb. 17-28. There are no Saturday hours at this location.

Additionally:

  • The voter registration deadline passed on Monday, Feb. 10.
  • The absentee by-mail application deadline is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 25.
  • Voted ballots must be returned to the registrar’s office by 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 3, the date of the primary.

Visit vbgov.com/voter for information about absentee in-person voting, absentee by-mail voting or to view a sample ballot, as well as other information about local elections.


Virginia Beach City Councilmember Jessica Abbott, who is in her first term representing the Kempsville District, has a challenger as she seeks reelection this year. Michael Anderson, who works in architectural and commercial sales for Riverside Brick & Supply Co., filed paperwork to run in the district with election officials. 


Dale Holt had paperwork in to run for a School Board seat this year, but he has withdrawn from that race. Holt filed paperwork to withdraw on Wednesday, Jan. 29, with the Virginia Beach Voter Registration & Elections Department.

He had been amoing those seeking one of two at-large seats on the School Board. Candidates who have filed paperwork to run so far — and are still in the running — are incumbents Beverly Anderson and Victoria Manning and challengers Justin Burns and Matthias Telkamp. 


Virginia Beach Voter Registration & Elections in January issued several fines for campaign organizations that did not file financial disclosure reports on time or, in some cases, at all. Two campaigns face $1,000 fines for second violations of reporting requirements over reports that were due on Wednesday, Jan. 15, but were filed late.

Campaign disclosures allow the public to see monetary influence upon political campaigns and how campaigns use that money to influence elections. Such disclosure is an important tool for the public to track monetary influence on politics in a state that has few limits on political giving. 

The campaign of City Councilmember Aaron Rouse, elected two years ago to an at-large seat, has been fined $1,000 for a report due on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Patterson sent a letter to the campaign on Monday, Jan. 27. As of June, Rouse’s campaign reported only 18 cents in its coffers.

Joseph Baptiste, campaign treasurer for Rouse, said there was a technical issue with the state website that prevented the report from being filed, but that it will be filed.

“There was no activity,” Baptiste said on Thursday, Jan. 30, meaning no fundraising or spending by the campaign during the latter half of 2019.

The report at issue, which covered the last six months of 2019, had not been filed as on Thursday, Jan. 30, but the campaign has since filed the late report, according to the city elections office.

The campaign of Revenue Commissioner Phil Kellam has been fined $1,000 for a late report, which was filed to state election officials on Friday, Jan. 17, or two days past the deadline. The Kellam campaign reported no contributions during the period, less than $600 in spending and less than $3,000 of remaining cash on hand. Kellam, who was in Richmond, could not be reached as this edition went to press.

Some campaign organizations were fined $100 due to initial late reports during their current election cycle. 

They are related to the following politicians: School Board Member Sharon Felton, who represents the Beach District; Garry Hubbard, who ran for City Council in 2018; Mary Watson Wales, formerly a candidate for School Board; and Vice Mayor Jim Wood, who represents the Lynnhaven District. 

Felton could not be reached by phone on Thursday, Jan. 30. 

A letter to the Hubbard campaign was still forthcoming when Notebook reviewed fines of various candidates in late January, but Hubbard in an interview said he would contact the office to resolve the matter.  

Wales said on Thursday, Jan. 30, that she was finalizing the report, which needed to be amended, and it was filed soon after. 

And Wood, reached by phone, said he would file his report right away. 

“That is is absolutely my mistake,” he said. “I have never missed one before. I will file it in a few minutes.” 

His report, too, was filed soon after on Thursday, Jan. 30.


Notebook was in Richmond on Monday, Jan. 27, and so were a number of representatives of Virginia Farm Bureau.

In addition to meeting with legislators amid the Virginia General Assembly Session, folks from Farm Bureau set up a farmers market between the legislative building and the entrance to the Capitol — a tasty reminder for lawmakers to think about the largest industry in Virginia.

Agriculture also happens to be the third-largest industry in Virginia Beach.

Among those who grabbed lunch on the way to the floor was state Del. Glenn Davis, R-84th District, who got a bagged lunch.

“When Farm Bureau comes up, it’s one of the highlights,” the Virginia Beach Republican said. “We just have to remind people of the importance of the industry and our economy.”

The Independent News, by the way, is an associate member of Farm Bureau.

The newspaper and its parent, Pungo Publishing Co., LLC, do not participate in lobbying or political endorsements. Learn more about Virginia Farm Bureau online via vafb.com.

Virginia Farm Bureau representatives are seen at the Capitol in Richmond. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]


Notebook runs announcements of political endorsements, fundraisers and events as space allows at no cost. Reach jhd@princessanneindy.com with submissions and tips. 


© 2020 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

The Independent News

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