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Voters head to polls to decide primaries in DC, Va.



Voters in D.C. and Virginia are casting their ballots Tuesday to choose candidates for November’s election for Congress and local offices.

Tuesday is primary day in D.C. and Virginia, and voters are picking the candidates for November’s ballot for Congress and local offices.



Virginia

In Virginia, many of the candidates are unopposed, and several ballot spots were determined by closed, party-sponsored events, such as conventions and firehouse primaries. But there are a couple of D.C.-area primaries Tuesday.

Here’s what voters are saying

Ahmar Abbas, a member of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, spoke with WTOP’s Neal Augenstein at George C. Marshall High School, in District 8, where only one item is on the ballot — incumbent Democrat Don Beyer’s reelection is being challenged.

“I think it’s important to participate in our democracy at all levels,” Abbas told WTOP. “To not just worry about the higher elections, but also really focus on the people that are actually doing the work at the local level.”

When working with existing congressmen, Abbas said “whenever we’ve had any issues, we call them out, they respond and I want to sort of continue to have that relationship with them.”

Some voters casting ballots in person today said they like having the option to vote early or with a mail-in ballot.

“We took advantage of early voting during the worst months of COVID,” Cynthia Vandekamp told WTOP. “So it’s awesome to have more than one option. Not everyone can come in person.”



What you need to know about voting

In District 7, which includes parts of Prince William, Stafford, Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties, six Republicans — Bryce Reeves, Crystal Vanuch, David Ross, Derrick Anderson, Gina Ciarcia and Yesli Vega — are running for the chance to take on incumbent Democrat Abigail Spanberger.

In District 8, which includes parts of Fairfax County, Arlington County, Alexandria and Falls Church, Beyer is facing a challenge from Victoria Virasingh.

Spanberger and Rep. Elaine Luria, who represents the 2nd District along the Eastern Shore and Virginia Beach, are considered to be among the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in Congress. Four Republicans — Tommy Altman, Andy Baan, Jarome Bell and Jennifer Kiggans — are running to take on Luria.

Early voting started May 6, and many people cast their ballots ahead of Tuesday.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Most voting sites will also have drop boxes for sealed absentee ballots.

If you’re a Virginia voter and you haven’t cast your ballot yet, WTOP’s Virginia Primary Voter Guide has more on where to vote and who’s on the ballot — including links to candidate websites.

DC

D.C. is holding primaries for mayor, attorney general and delegate to Congress. There are also races for several seats on the D.C. Council — the chair, one at-large seat and spots in Wards 1, 3 and 5. The Democrats are the only party with primary races; all other party candidates are running unopposed.

Vote centers are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Latest from the polls

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli, who’s reporting from the Chevy Chase Community Center, said Bowser came by the polling place when it opened around 7 a.m. to pass out hugs and handshakes to supporters. Some chanted “four more years,” upon her arrival.

Iannelli reports the first hour the polls were open in Chevy Chase was slow, with just a handful of voters casting ballots.



What you need to know about voting

Mayor Muriel Bowser faces challenges from council members Robert White and Trayon white, as well as James Butler.

Attorney General Karl Racine isn’t running again, so Brian Schwalb, Ryan Jones and Bruce Spiva are running to succeed him.

Council Chair Phil Mendelson is being challenged by Erin Palmer; At-Large member Anita Bonds is taking on Lisa Gore, Nate Fleming and Dexter Williams; and Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is facing Salah Czapary and Sabel Harris.

In Ward 3, Councilmember Mary Cheh isn’t running for reelection. Tricia Duncan, Henry Cohen, Matthew Frumin, Eric Goulet, Ben Bergmann, Beau Finley, Monte Monash, Deirdre Brown and Phil Thomas are running to succeed her. (Duncan, Cohen and Bergmann are still on the ballot but have suspended their campaigns.)

And in Ward 5, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie isn’t running for reelection. Kathy Henderson, Gordon Fletcher, Art Lloyd, Zachary Parker, Gary To-To Johnson, Faith Gibson Hubbard and Vincent Orange are running to succeed him.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is being challenged by Wendy Hamilton and Kelly Williams, and Shadow Representative Oye Owoleya is being challenged by Linda L. Gray.

D.C. has a searchable map for polling places, and the drop boxes are open until 8 p.m.

WTOP’s D.C. Primary Voter Guide has more on where and how to vote, as well as links to the candidates’ websites.

Maryland’s primary is July 19.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein and Nick Iannelli are reporting the latest on the primaries live from the polls in Virginia and D.C.





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