Want more political news? Sign up for our free weekly political newsletter, West of the Capital.
Despite a delayed start at Saturday’s GOP Convention, Del. John McGuire of Goochland County won the Republican nomination for Virginia’s new 10th state Senate District, securing more than 60% of the vote in the first round.
The crowded race for the open seat put McGuire against three other contenders: Duane Adams, chair of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors; businessman Jack Dyer; and former schoolteacher and marketer Sandy Brindley.
About 1,500 delegates from across the district came together in a humid gym at Buckingham County High School to hear the candidates state their case. While the convention started at 10 a.m., candidates did not get to introduce themselves until almost noon after confusion over the total votes needed to secure motions introduced at the beginning of the convention.
McGuire’s team confirmed he won 61% of the vote, but on his campaign Facebook page McGuire stated that he had 63% while Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson posted that that McGuire received 62% of the vote.
While the number may be unclear, Adams, Dyer and Brindley all pledged their support for McGuire after votes were counted.
“At the end of the day, we all walk out of here as Republicans,” Adams told the crowd with Dyer and Brindley beside him.
Brindley called her former opponents her friends and said that even before the results were announced, the candidates promised to support the winner no matter what.
“I may not be the nominee, but I’ve won so much from this experience,” she said.
Dyer echoed his opponents, encouraging people to “get into our local government and local school boards.”
In his acceptance speech, McGuire first thanked his campaign staff and volunteers for their support during the race before declaring that he is ready to go to work. McGuire even gave out his cellphone number so constituents could reach him.
“I need everyone on one team,” he said. “We have to put our petty differences aside. … I didn’t get here by myself and I am honored to be your nominee.”
Many predicted that McGuire was most likely to earn the GOP nomination after receiving an endorsement from Gov. Glenn Youngkin. He already serves as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for the 56th District, which includes Appomattox, Buckingham and Cumberland counties as well as portions of Fluvanna, Goochland, Prince Edward and Louisa counties.
But it seemed that McGuire was able to sway some delegates to vote for him in the last few days of campaigning.
Fluvanna County delegate Darryl Youngblood said that he planned to vote for Duane Adams up until two days ago.
“[McGuire] came to my house,” Youngblood said. “That’s what changed it for me.”
While Youngblood wasn’t home, he said that McGuire took time to speak to his wife, which made him feel that McGuire showed a genuine desire to get to know his voters.
“He left me a handwritten note saying that he was sorry he missed me,” Youngblood said.
Virginia’s 10th Senate District votes strongly Republican. Nearly 68% of the district voted for Youngkin in the 2021 governor’s race.
While all the candidates ran on similar issues, it was McGuire who earned a standing ovation when he was introduced at the beginning of the convention.
During his introduction, McGuire focused on topics such as supporting law enforcement, standing for the pro-life movement, and putting God first.
“We need to save our country,” he said. “Our country needs to be saved. It won’t be by a donkey. It won’t be done by an elephant. It will be done by a lamb.”
McGuire promised that if elected as the nominee, he would work hard to preserve “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Who McGuire will face in the November elections remains to be seen. Earlier this week, Jacob Boykin withdrew his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to make way for Dan Tomlinson of Louisa County.
“As I have said during my entire candidacy, the people of SD-10 deserve a choice, and we must put forth a nominee that will keep that promise,” Boykin announced on Twitter. “After speaking with Dan, I am confident that he is willing to put 100% of himself into this race, that he has a plan that could potentially be a winning strategy in SD-10, and that he is indeed running as a proud Democrat.”
For a full list of General Assembly candidates in Southwest and Southside, see our election guide.