A sign at the Troutville precinct in Botetourt County. Photo by Dwayne Yancey
A sign at the Troutville precinct in Botetourt County. Photo by Dwayne Yancey

For complete election results, see the State Board of Elections site tonight. We’ll be posting analysis of the returns here.

12:31 a.m.: Five incumbents lose, McPike leads by 46 votes

The final tally: Five incumbents lost their primary contests — Democrats George Barker of Fairfax County, Joe Morrissey of Richmond, Chap Petersen of Fairfax city, Lionel Spruill of Chesapeake and Republican Amanda Chase of Chesterfield County.

State Sen. Jeremy McPike, D-Prince William County, clings to a 46-vote lead, with provisional ballots (and late-arriving ballots that were postmarked in time) to arrive. I think that’s what the term “nail-biter” was invented for. In this case, the nail-biting will have to go on until at least Friday.

11:42 p.m.: Petersen also loses

State Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, has been defeated by primary challenger Saddam Salim. That brings the total of incumbent senators who have lost up to five: Democrats George Barker of Fairfax County, Joe Morrissey of Richmond, Lionel Spruill of Chesapeake and Republican Amanda Chase of Chesterfield County.

10:52 p.m.: Barker loses in Northern Virginia

State Sen. George Barker, D-Fairfax County and, most importantly, the co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has lost his primary to challenger Stella Petarsky. She polled 52% to his 48%.

We’re still waiting on two other Northern Virgnia races where incumbent Democrats face strong challengers. Chap Petersen is trailing where Jeremy McPike clings to a narrow lead.

10:23 p.m.: Here’s what we’re waiting on

Creigh Deeds holds a 755-vote lead over Sally Hudson with only provisional ballots (and late-arriving mail ballots) yet to be counted. That would seem solid for him.

Meanwhile, we’re waiting on three tightly contested Democratic Senate primaries in Northern Virginia. With partial returns in, incumbents George Barker and Chap Petersen are trailing while incumbent Jeremy McPike is back-and-forth with Elizabeth Guzman.

Counting Barker, that’s four incumbent senators who have lost tonight. The others are Democrats Joe Morrissey and Lionel Spruill and Republican Amanda Chase.

9:51 p.m.: Northern Virginia districts running late

They always do, so we shouldn’t be surprised. We’re curious in them because several incumbent Democrats are facing challenges. Sen. David Marsden has turned back challenger Heidi Drauschak but we’re still waiting on the others. In early returns, incumbents George Barker, Jeremy McPike and Chap Petersen are all trailing. We’ve already seen three incumbent senators lose tonight — Joe Morrissey, Lionel Spruill and Amanda Chase.

9:45 p.m.: White-Boyd wins

Roanoke is often one of the last localities to report but now it has Trish White-Boyd has carried the city, along with every other locality in the district. Overall, she’s taking 57% of the vote with just a few precincts out.

9:08 p.m.: Deeds looks like a winner

Albemarle County came in hard for Deeds, giving him almost 61% of the vote. We’re still waiting on some precincts there and in Amherst County, which also went strong for him. He’s got this. Overall, he’s taking 55% of the vote district-wide.

9:05 p.m.: Brewer looks like a winner

She’s up by 2,951 votes over Hermie Sadler. The main locality still out is the city of Franklin. In the first two precincts to report there, Del. Emily Brewer leads. In the 2021 governor’s race, Franklin cast only 2,965 votes in all, so don’t expect Sadler to pull this one out.

8:41 p.m.: Davis defeats Jefferson

Will Davis is cruising to a easy win over Ron Jefferson for the Republican nomination in House District 39, which covers Franklin County and part of Roanoke County.

8:34 p.m.: Lucas likely to defeat Spruill

Chesapeake has now reported, and Louise Lucas has won her home base in Portsmouth by more than Lionel Spruill has won his home turf in Chesapeake. We’re waiting on some stray precincts but this now looks safe for Lucas. Spruill’s taking just under 54% in Chesapeake but Lucas rolled up almost 62% in Portsmouth.

8:30 p.m.: Brewer’s lead seems more secure

Del. Emily Brewer leads Hermie Sadler by 1,286 vote in their Republican state Senate primary. What’s still out: All 14 precincts in Brunswick County, two precincts in Chesapeake and some scattered others. Brewer ought to take those Chesapeake precincts; she’s won everything else on the eastern end of the district. Sadler should be favored in Brunswick but the question is whether he can make up that deficit. Not looking good for him.

8:26 p.m.: Chase loses

OK, it’s almost official: former state Sen. Glen Sturtevant is going to defeat state Sen. Amanda Chase in a three-way Republican primary. That means the two most polarizing members of the state Senate — Chase on the Republican side, Joe Morrissey on the Democratic side — have lost.

8:22 p.m.: Albemarle coming in heavy for Deeds

I said earlier we’d need to hold our breath on the Creigh Deeds-Sally Hudson state Senate race until we started seeing numbers from Albemarle County. It’s now starting to report and with 14 of 31 precincts there reporting, he’s taking 56% of the vote there. Meanwhile, she’s taking just 54% of the vote in Charlottesville. That doesn’t seem enough for her. Overall, Deeds leads with 53.29% of the vote. We should wait on this one but it’s looking better for him than it did.

8:19 p.m.: Chase trails

State Sen. Amanda Chase trails in a three-way race. Former state Sen. Glen Sturtevant holds a 352-vote lead with four precincts still out.

8:16 p.m.: Davis leads in first returns in House District 39

This one’s been sluggish to report but Will Davis now has a big lead, thanks to polling 82% of the vote in Franklin County. The vote in Roanoke County is much closer but the bulk of this district is in Franklin County.

8:12 p.m.: Botetourt Supervisor Billy Martin loses, Mac Scothorn renominated

On his third challenge to Martin, Walter Michaels has prevailed in the Blue Ridge District. Meanwhile, Valley District Supervisor Mac Scothorn has come from behind to defeat challenger Robert Young. Martin’s defeat comes after he was charged with misdemeanor assault after an encounter with a protestor earlier this month.

8:11 p.m.: Galliher takes early lead in Roanoke County clerk’s race

He’s leading Rhonda Perdue, who was appointed clerk earlier this year.

8:07 p.m.: Brewer’s vote coming in but will it be enough?

Keep your eyes on the Hermie Sadler-Emily Brewer state Senate race. He jumped out to an early lead on the basis of his support in Emporia. Now Suffolk, her base, is starting to come in, but we haven’t seen anything yet from rural counties in the western part of the district. If those go Sadler’s way, this could be close.

8:04 p.m.: Aird ousts Morrissey

State Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, has become the first Senate incumbent to lose. Former Del. Laschrecse Aird is taking nearly 70% of the vote in that Richmond-Petersburg area district.

8:01 p.m.: Lucas-Spruill will come down to Spruill’s home turf

Louise Lucas’s home turf of Portsmouth is nearly completely. With 27 of 28 precincts reporting, she holds a 392-vote lead. But we have no results yet from Chesapeake, Lionel Spruill’s home base. Hold tight on this one.

8 p.m.: No results yet from Roanoke and Roanoke County

Trish White-Boyd leads the three-way Democratic primary for the state Senate seat in the Roanoke Valley but those early numbers are from Salem and Montgomery County, nothing yet from the two biggest localities in the district.

7:55 p.m.: Making sense of the Deeds-Hudson numbers

State Sen. Creigh Deeds holds a narrow lead over Del. Sally Hudson but before we jump to conclusions we need to dig into where those numbers are from. Most of those numbers are from the district’s rural areas, which were expected to go for Deeds. We have no numbers yet from Albemarle County and are just starting to get numbers from Charlottesville. The first four precincts from Charlottesville show Hudson taking 57% of the vote there. That’s been her House district, so that may not be a surprise, either. We need to wait to see what Albemarle County does.

7:49 p.m.: Williams will defeat March

He’s winning — and winning big — in every locality except for her home base of Floyd County. However, Williams is winning his home county of Patrick County (88%) by more than she’s winning Floyd (67% for March). More notably, with 8 of 17 precincts reporting in Carroll County, he’s taking 62% there. He’s got this.

7:46 p.m.: Sadler takes early lead over Brewer

Most of these results are also from Emporia, home base for former NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler, who is running against Del. Emily Brewer of Suffolk in this Republican state Senate primary.

7:41 p.m.: Carroll swinging to Williams

I’ve been saying that we need to watch for Carroll County. It’s the biggest locality in House District 47 and is new to both Del. Wren Williams of Patrick and Del. Marie March of Floyd. We now have six of the 17 precincts in Carroll reporting and Williams is leading there 60% to 40%. Hard to see how she overcomes that.

7:37 p.m.: Aird lengthens lead over Morrissey

The biggest locality in this district is Henrico County. We now have the first five precincts form Henrico and former Del. Laschrecse Aird has taken 80% of the vote in them, just 20% for state Sen. Joe Morrissey. This is a locality new to both of them. If this keeps up, it’s hard to see where he gets his vote from. Overall, she’s leading 69% to 31%.

7:34 p.m.: Young leads Scothorn in Botetourt supervisor race

Challenger Robert Young has carried the Troutville precinct and holds a narrow lead over Republican incumbent Mac Scothorn. We’re still waiting on the Cloverdale precinct — and the early votes.

7:32 p.m.: All the Lucas-Spruill results are from Portsmouth

State Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, holds a narrow lead over state Sen. Lionell Spruill, D-Chesapeaake but note that all the results so far are from her home base in Portsmouth.

7:29 p.m.: Deeds leads in Louisa County

We’re starting to get numbers in Senate District 11. State Sen. Creigh Deeds has taken an early lead over Del. Sally Hudson but note that these numbers are from Louisa County, a rural county that accounts for just a small fraction of the vote in that district. It’s Charlottesville and Albemarle that will tell the tale there.

7:26 p.m.: White-Boyd takes early lead

Trish White-Boyd has won the first two precincts to report in the Democratic primary for Senate District 4. Both are in Montgomery County. That’s a place that’s been represented by retiring state Sen. John Edwards, whose chief of staff, Luke Priddy, is also running. So these first numbers look good for White-Boyd.

7:23 p.m.: Williams leads and here’s why

Del. Wren Williams is polling 84% of the vote so far. Note that all the vote so far is from Henry County, a locality he’s represented.

7:17: p.m.: Aird leading in first returns; Lucas-Spruill tight

We shouldn’t get too excited about a handful of precincts but for those hungry for data: former Del. Lashrecse Aird has jumped to an early lead over state Sen. Joe Morrissey on the strength of votes form her hometown of Petersburg. Meanwhile, state Sen. Louise Lucas and state Sen. Lionell Spruill are in a close heat in the first numbers from their Hampton Roads district.

7:15 p.m.: Program note on the State Board of Elections site

The overall numbers shown for a race are lagging behind the individual numbers shown for the localities. For instance, the SBE shows state Sen. Joe Morrissey leading former Del. Lashrecse in the first returns but when you click deeper, you’ll see that more precincts are in and she’s ahead.

7:11 p.m.: Williams takes early lead over March

The first results come from Henry County. Williams 135, March 25. It’s unclear how many precincts, or which one, this is. Henry has been in Williams’ district, so it’s no surprise he’s doing well there.

7 p.m. Polls have closed.

And now we wait!

5:45 p.m.: No literature for Del. March’s campaign?

Joe Syzmanski of Election Daily is monitoring the Del. Wren Williams vs. Del. Marie March primary. He tweets out a text from someone who claims they haven’t found any March supporters. I’m always skeptical of claims like that on Election Day. I don’t doubt him, but many voters don’t like to disclose their choices. However, he has also tweeted: “I’m also told that Marie March poll workers at numerous precincts do not have any handouts or literature, which surely won’t help convincing voters.” If that’s true, that’s not a good sign for March. As you can see below, Williams has literature — and at least one sitting legislator to help him hand it out.

5:40 p.m.: Del. Walker works the polls in Carroll County for Del. Williams

Del. Wendell Walker, R-Lynchburg, was in Carroll County today, working the polls for Del. Wren Williams, R-Patrick County, in his primary battle against Del. Marie March, R-Floyd.

Carroll is the biggest locality in the district, and is new to both Williams and March. Plus, some local Republican primaries are driving up the turnout there, so Carroll is clearly the battleground in that contest, as I wrote in this previous column.

Walker tweets out this photo:

Del. Wendell Walker working the polls in Carroll County for Del. Wren Williams. Courtesy of Walker.
Del. Wendell Walker working the polls in Carroll County for Del. Wren Williams. Courtesy of Walker.

5:20 p.m. Primaries are ‘kale smoothies.’

The quote of the day surely goes to former Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Albemarle County, who tweets: “Primaries are the kale smoothie of democracy – painful to get through but make us stronger in the end.”

All I know is that in every newsroom I’ve ever been in, pizza was on the menu for an election night.

5:02 p.m.: Charlottesville / Albemarle have highest turnout in the state

The Virginia Public Access Project has computed turnout figures so far and says that House District 54 in Charlottesville and part of Albemarle County has the highest turnout in the state — 9.6% so far with House District 55 in the rest of Albemarle and parts of Louisa, Fluvanna and Nelson in second place with 7.9%. By VPAP’s calculations, Senate District 11 (state Sen. Creigh Deeds vs. Del. Sally Hudson) has the the highest turnout for a Senate district, at 7.6%.

As noted before, there are multiple races driving the turnout in Charlottesville — the Senate primary, the House primary, a city council primary.

The second highest-voting Senate district is Senate District 40 in Arlington (state Sen. Barbara Favola vs. James DeVita at 6.5%.

4:30 p.m.: Charlottesville headed for high turnout

Charlottesville looks like it’s headed for a high turnout. The Charlottesville registar just released the turnout figures as of 4 p.m.:

Charlottesville voter turnout. Courtesy of Charlottesville registrar.
Charlottesville voter turnout. Courtesy of Charlottesville registrar.

You’ll see that as of 4 p.m., some 2,747 people had voted in the Democratic primary. That’s just short of the 2,992 who had voted at that point in 2021. While that’s lower, we also know that the House and Senate districts that encompass Charlottesville have the highest early-voting figures in the state, so it’s entirely possible that Charlottesville’s overall vote totals this year will be higher than some previous years. Early voting in 2021 was still a novelty; now it’s more traditional, particularly among Democratic voters.

There are multiple races driving the turnout among Charlottesville Democrats: The state Senate primary between Sen. Creigh Deeds and Del. Sally Hudson, a three-way race for the House nomination for Hudson’s current seat, plus city council primaries. While we don’t know how these voters are voting, it’s reasonable to assume that this would be good news for Hudson. Any candidate needs to do well on their home turf, and this is hers. I wrote recently that the early voting trends suggested that Charlottesville would wield outsized clout in that district; this would seem to confirm that.

3 p.m.: Many votes have been cast early, we just don’t know the context for that yet

I’m seeing scattered reports around the state of light turnout. Those might be so. However, let’s keep in mind that, thanks to early voting, a lot of votes have already been cast. This is the first full General Assembly primary cycle with early voting so we don’t have a good apples-to-apples comparison. However, just to give some context, consider these numbers:

2019: 15,620 votes were cast in the Democratic state Senate primary where Joe Morrissey defeated Rosalyn Dance.

2023: 8,972 votes were cast early in this year’s Democratic primary between Morrissey and Lashrecse Aird.

Granted, the districts have been reshaped, but that gives a rough sense of the impact of early voting.

2019: 12,126 votes were cast in the three-way Republican state Senate primary where Amanda Chase won.

2023: 4,483 vote were cast early this year in the three-way Republican primary between Chase, Tina Ramirez and former state Sen. Glen Sturtevant.

I pick out those races because those are high-profile ones where the winning candidate from 2019 is running this year.

Democrats are more enthusiastic about early voting than Republicans are so we can see that in Morrissey’s case, early voting was already 57% of the total turnout four years ago. In Chase’s case, it was 36.9% of the way there.

Also of note: These aren’t the highest early voting turnouts in the state. The Morrissey-Aird district ranks third, according to figures compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project. The two highest early-voting state Senate races are:

  • Senate District 11 (Albemarle County to Amherst County, state Sen. Creigh Deeds vs. Del. Sally Hudson): 12,052 early votes
  • Senate District 40 (Arlington County, state Sen. Barbara Favola vs. James DeVita): 10,109 early votes

The highest early-voting House primary is House District 54 in Charlottesville and Albemarle County (Bellamy Brown, Dave Norris and Katrina Callsen seeking the Democratic nomination for Hudson’s old House seat): 5,808 early votes

The highest early-voting Republican House primary is House District 47 that pits Del. Marie March of Floyd County against Del. Wren Williams. In that district, 2,442 early votes were cast. In 2021, when Williams defeated Del. Charles Poindexter in a primary, the total votes cast were 6,711 — so the early vote there is 36.3% of the total vote in Williams’ primary two years ago.

What does any of this mean? We won’t know for sure until we see the full results later tonight. Isn’t Election Day fun?

Want to know where to look at returns come in tonight? See my column today on which localities may be bellwethers.

Yancey is editor of Cardinal News. His opinions are his own. You can reach him at dwayne@cardinalnews.org...