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Conservatives win big in Mineral, 56th House districts

Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 9:57 am

Duane Adams cracks a smile after learning that he was successful in his bid for the Mineral district supervisor race.

Duane Adams, the first candidate for the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to identify as a Republican in eight years, won a decisive victory on Tuesday in the Mineral district race over incumbent Stephanie Koren. Another newcomer, Bob Babyok, ousted a 12-year incumbent to win the Green Springs supervisor’s seat.

Meanwhile, John McGuire, an energetic newcomer to politics from Henrico County, defeated Melissa Dart to win the 56th district seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. McGuire, who will represent all of Louisa, bucked a statewide Democratic tsunami that may cost the Republicans control of the House.

The Democrats kept control of the governor’s mansion, as Ralph Northam topped Republican Ed Gillespie and Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring won the lieutenant governor and attorney general races by defeating Jill Vogel and John Adams, respectively. Democrats also picked up at least 14 seats in the House of Delegates, with many of their wins in Northern Virginia.

“It’s been an amazing team effort. I love our country,” McGuire said at his party in Goochland County. “Hopefully, we can work together to make Virginia the best state to live and work in.”

McGuire captured 60 percent of the vote district-wide, and 61 percent in Louisa County.

The delegate-elect ran his race as a conservative, but he avoided emphasizing his stands on issues, casting himself more as a listener. He played up his 19 years as a business owner and his personal story of a childhood in foster care and a decade as a Navy Seal.

Dart, the Democrat, was more up-front about her concerns about protecting public schools and health care access.

“I’m incredibly proud of the race that we ran,” Dart said in a statement. “I’d like to congratulate John on his victory. I hope he stays true to his promise to improve education, as our schools reflect the core of our community.”

The outcome of the race between Adams and Koren in the Mineral district supervisor’s race was not as close as some observers expected. Adams captured 56 percent of the vote.

“I’m glad we had a message that resonated with the people of Mineral,” Adams said. “It was a pro-business message to expand the tax base, and to watch every dollar we spend. Those are my fundamental beliefs.”

Koren could not be reached prior to press time for comment.

Adams thanked Koren for her service to the county. He said he wants to “build coalitions” with other supervisors to get things done.

Adams made clear during his campaign that he opposes the board’s decision to spend $1.1 million on towers and radios to expand broadband internet service. Two current supervisors, Toni Williams (Jackson district) and Troy Wade (Louisa district), voted against spending county funds on broadband, so Adams’s presence could complicate the board’s future direction on the issue.

To read the full story, see the Nov. 9, 2017 edition of The Central Virginian.