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Vote Tuesday on GOP Senate pick / June 06, 2018

Virginia Republicans are holding a primary election next Tuesday, June 12 — to select the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate to run in the November general election against Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine.

Three candidates are vying for the GOP nomination: 2017 candidate for governor Corey Stewart, Virginia Del. Nick Freitas of Culpeper, and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson.

The ballot is open to all voters as Virginia does not require party registration.

Mecklenburg County General Registrar Jason Corwin said Tuesday’s election has drawn little interest. As of midday Tuesday, June 5, only two people had voted absentee.

Each of the three candidates in the Republican field have run on pledges to support Donald Trump’s White House agenda. While Freitas has voiced some reservations about Trump’s brash style, each of the candidates has made support for the president a centerpiece of their campaigns. Stewart, in particular, touts his ties to Trump, noting he served as the head of his presidential campaign in Virginia in 2016.

Trump lost the state to Hillary Clinton in 2016 by nearly five percentage points. Stewart, who serves as chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors, was let go as campaign chairman prior to the election. In 2017 he narrowly lost the GOP primary for governor to Ed Gillespie, who went on to lose soundly in the general election to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

Freitas, a former Green Beret, is touting his military and statehouse experience to win him votes.

Here’s what you need to know about Tuesday’s primary:

» Deadline for in-person absentee voting is Saturday, June 9.

» Polls open, June 12 at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

» The ballot will be limited to Republican candidates for U.S. Senate though all registered voters countywide can participate.

» If you are planning to vote on your way home from work, keep in mind you need to be in line at your poll location by 7 p.m. in order to vote.

» You must present a valid photo ID before voting. There are several forms of acceptable ID, including Virginia driver’s license, U.S. passport, Military ID, Federal, Virginia or local government-issued photo ID cards.

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