Nov. 6, Election Day, is just around the corner. This year, voters face choices that will determine their representation in Congress, as well as locally, and are asked to weigh in on issues that could impact their lives as citizens.
Voters in counties around Smith Mountain Lake — Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania — will choose their U.S. senator and U.S. representative. Also, they will decide on the addition of two proposed amendments to the Virginia Constitution. Some voters in Pittsylvania County will choose local representatives.
U.S. Senate candidates
Sen. Timothy M. Kaine (D)
Tim Kaine has represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate since 2012. He began his career as a lawyer in Richmond, later serving as a member of the Richmond City Council and as mayor. He became Virginia’s lieutenant governor in 2002 and was inaugurated as Governor of Virginia in 2006. His website is www.kaine.senate.gov.
Corey A. Stewart (R)
Corey Stewart is a businessman and the chairman at-Large of the Board of County Supervisors in Prince William County. He works as an international trade attorney and has served Prince William County as a member of its board since 2003. His campaign website is www.coreystewart.com.
Matt J. Waters (L)
Libertarian candidate Matt J. Waters is a Virginia native currently working on completing a master’s degree, and has been active in political fundraising for more than 20 years. His campaign website is www.mattwaters.com.
U.S. House of Representatives candidates
The counties that border Smith Mountain Lake are, predominantly, part of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, the largest congressional district in the commonwealth. It is currently represented by Thomas Garrett (R), who is not seeking reelection. Two candidates are vying to fill his seat.
Leslie C. Cockburn (D)
Leslie C. Cockburn has a background in journalism, working for “60 Minutes,” “Frontline” on PBS, and as a university journalism professor. She and her husband own property in Rappahannock County. Her campaign website islesliecockburnforcongress.com.
Denver L. Riggleman (R)
Denver L. Riggleman served in the U.S. Air Force, has worked as a defense intelligence consultant and contractor and is currently a businessman residing in Nelson County. His campaign website is www.denverforcongress.com.
A small portion of northwest Bedford County rests in Virginia’s 6th Congressional District. Currently represented by Bob Goodlatte (R), who is retiring from Congress, the district’s voters will choose between two candidates to replace him.
Ben L. Cline (R)
Del. Ben L. Cline has served in Virginia’s House of Delegates since 2002. Also an attorney in private practice, he previously worked as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney and on Goodlatte’s staff. His campaign website is www.bencline.com.
Jennifer Lewis (D)
Jennifer Lewis is a mental health professional and serves as vice-chair of the Waynesboro Democratic Committee. She has been active in environmental concerns, founding Friends of Augusta, a local group opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.
Virginia voters will have an opportunity to decide upon two proposed amendments to the Constitution of Virginia.
The first would allow a county, city or town to provide a partial local property tax exemption for real estate that is prone to recurrent flooding, if improvements have been made to the property that would improve its resistance to flood damage.
The second proposed amendment would extend certain tax benefits to the surviving spouse of a veteran who has been determined to have a 100 percent service-connected, permanent and total disability. Under current law, these veterans (and/or their surviving spouses) receive a tax exemption for their principal residence. The proposed amendment would allow a surviving spouse to continue to claim this exemption if he or she moves to a new principal place of residence that is owned by the surviving spouse.
Local government races
In Bedford County, there is one candidate in the special election for Bedford County treasurer, Kim J. Snow.
In the Town of Bedford, voters will choose members of the town council, selecting not more than three of the four candidates on the ballot: Bruce Erik Hartwick, Steve C. Rush, Darren Shoen and Robert T. “Bob” Wandrei.
In Pittsylvania County, voters in the Town of Chatham will select a mayor and members of town council. There is currently one name on the mayoral ballot, William A. “Will” Pace II, and voters will choose not more than three of the candidates listed for the town council: Janet R. Bishop, William P. Black, Irvin Wade Perry and Andrew D. Wall.
In the Town of Gretna, R. Keith Motley is the sole candidate for mayor, and voters will choose among four candidates for the town council (voting for not more than three): Thomas R. Aylor, Michael L. Bond, Michael D. Burnette and Deborah P. Moran.
In the Town of Hurt, two candidates, Jeffrey L. Saunders and Steven W. Watson, are on the ballot for the town council, and voters are to select not more than three.
For more information about the election Nov. 6, visit elections.virginia.gov.