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Adams bests Bowman in 16th primary
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin staff writer
Les Adams emerged from the GOP primary on Tuesday as the Republican candidate in the 16th House District in the Nov. 5 election.
“We gave it our best effort. We were strengthened by the support that came onto our campaign and I just can’t express how grateful I am to the people that volunteered their time and effort, and ultimately their votes, to our candidacy,” said Adams, of Chatham.
Among voters in Henry County and Martinsville, Adams handily defeated Ken Bowman, a former economic developer from Pittsylvania County.
“It is what it is,” and it is “too soon” for him to know whether he may seek another public office, Bowman said. “I’m not going to try to speculate on the future. We ran a good campaign. We tried to do what we thought was best, and I hope Adams does a great job.”
When asked if he had called or planned to call Adams, Bowman said, “I don’t have his number, but I wish him the best.”
According to unofficial results in Henry County precincts in the 16h District, Adams received 337 votes compared to 66 cast for Bowman.
A combined 2 percent, or 723, of the county’s 35,747 voters turned out for the Republican and Democratic primaries.
According to unofficial primary results in Martinsville, 241 voters backed Adams, compared with Bowman’s 68 ballots.
A total of 309, or 3.5 percent, of the city’s 8,949 registered voters participated in the Republican primary.
That was the highest turnout in the city, Henry County and Patrick County in Tuesday’s primary. The lowst was 1.44 percent in Patrick County’s Democratic primary.
From a Chatham restaurant reserved for his victory party Tuesday, Adams said his strategy throughout the campaign will be to continue spreading “our message of principled conservative leadership that clearly has resonated with the voters, and we are going to carry that” to ultimate victory in November, he said.
Pittsylvania County Democrat Elizabeth Jones, chair of the Pittsylvania County Democratic Committee, will challenge Adams in November.
Martinsville Republican Party Chairman Jeff Williams said he was excited about Adams’ victory.
“I think he’s been able to reach out and connect with voters across the district,” Williams said. He added that Adams understands the issues and gave voters his perspective on how he can help this area in Richmond, especially concerning the economy.
Bowman had worked in economic development, but “I’m not sure people took his experience as any indication of his ability to do things for us,” Williams added.
The tally of votes in Henry County was a combined total and not broken down by precincts.
In Martinsville, Adams received eight votes at the Central Absentee precinct, 65 at Martinsville Middle School, 22 at the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) and 27 at Martinsville High School and 119 at Druid Hills School, for a total of 241.
Bowman received five votes in the Central Absentee precinct, nine at the middle school, three at the VMNH, four at the high school, 46 at Druid Hills School, and one at Albert Harris, for a total of 68 votes.
In Henry County’s Democratic primary for the lieutenant governor contest and according to unofficial results, Ralph S. Northam received 159 votes to Aneesh Chopra’s 128.
In the attorney general race, unofficial results show that 203 Henry County voters cast ballots for Mark R. Herring and 84 voted for Justin E. Fairfax.
In Martinsville’s Democratic primary, Chopra was selected, with 87 votes to 65 won by Northam. Herring was the top attorney general vote-getter, with 84 ballots to 65 votes for Fairfax.
In the city, 153 voters or 1.7 percent participated in the Democratic primary.
According to unofficial results in Patrick County, Northam topped Chopra 106 votes to 68. Herring led the attorney general race with 115 votes to the 52 ballots cast for Fairfax.
Of the county’s 12,161 registered voters, 175, or 1.44 percent, went to the polls Tuesday. Patrick voters did not have a Republican primary.
In other state races, two senior Republican House members lost to conservative challengers Tuesday. Del. Beverly Sherwood lost to Mark J. Berg, and Del. Joe May lost to Dave LaRock.
Both delegates had supported this year’s landmark transportation reform bill, according to The Associated Press. The issue divided Republicans. Some hailed it as a necessity to jumpstart Virginia’s moribund highway construction program and alleviate traffic gridlock in the state’s economic engines of northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
Republican conservatives called it the largest tax increase in Virginia history, the AP reported.
Williams, of Martinsville, attributed the delegates’ losses to two things. First, he said, some politicians of both parties are in Richmond so long that they “become more dedicated to” political in-crowds than people at home, and they lose their perspective.
Second, Williams said, the transportation bill was not aligned with Republican values against tax increases. The transportation bill would not have benefited this area, he added.