Piedmont District — Mike Biniek
Biniek, longtime co-owner of a farm and adjacent Belle Meade B&B, and the farm-based Belle Meade School in Sperryville, is seeking his second term on the board. Biniek has been a supporter of education and conservation efforts and supports measures to keep the county’s emphasis on both agriculture and tourism. He’s running unopposed.
Stonewall-Hawthorne District — Chris Parrish
Hay farmer and lifetime Viewtown resident, Parrish is also unopposed in seeking a second term on Rappahannock County’s five-member governing body. Parrish is a strong proponent of land-use and agriculture in the county, and served for many years on the county’s elections board.
Piedmont District — Aline Johnson
Johnson, of Sperryville, is the longest-serving member of the Rappahannock County School Board, completing her 14th year on the five-member body. “It’s been a privilege and a pleasure,” says Johnson, who is 84, “because this county just means that much to me. And the most valuable asset we have here is . . . our children.”
Stonewall-Hawthorne District — Larry Grove
A longtime administrator in Arlington County public schools, Grove already has several ideas he’d like to see the school system and board consider, including offering adult education courses and moving away from block scheduling. He is running unopposed for the seat being vacated by Paul Brown, who is not seeking a second term.
Rappahannock County’s registered voters comprise 10 percent of the 18th District; 53 percent of the district’s voters live in Fauquier County (home of both candidates). The district includes all of Rappahannock County and parts of Fauquier, Culpeper and Warren counties.
Colin Harris, Democrat
First-time candidate Harris, 22, grew up in Orlean; he’s a 2013 Dartmouth graduate and son of former Obama administration attorney Scott Harris. In his campaign, Harris has promised a fresh take on politics, promoting bipartisanship and fighting to maintain the power of government at the local level. He has also taken a similar tack as Democratic candidates for statewide office, campaigning against what they believe is the “invasive” and “overreaching” agenda of Richmond’s Republican majority, specifically citing Webert’s consistent record of voting with that majority. Three of Harris’ top four contributors share the same last name, with Scott Harris giving $6,151 to his son.
Michael Webert, Republican incumbent
Webert is a 34-year-old father of an 18-month-old son and runs his family’s farm in northern Fauquier. He’s seeking a second term in Richmond. When asked by local supporters in the district to run for delegate two years ago, Webert says he ran on a platform of innovation and small business, and has stayed true to that vision. His proudest achievement during his first term in office, Webert says, was his role in forming of the 27-member bipartisan Business Development Caucus, which allows business owners to voice their needs to government officials. Though his own top campaign contributors are primarily organizations rather than individuals (including Dominion Leadership Trust, the Virginia Coal Association, Dominion Power, Majority Leader PAC, the Virginia Bankers Association and the Virginia League of Conservative Voters), Webert has criticized Harris for his numerous out-of-district, out-of-state individual and group supporters.
Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday (Nov. 5) and close at 7 p.m.
In-person absentee voting is available through Saturday at the Registrar of Voters office (262A Gay St., next to the courthouse). Call 540-675-5380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Hampton: Washington fire hall, 10 Firehouse Lane, Washington. Jackson: Amissville fire hall, 14711 Lee Hwy., Amissville. Piedmont: Sperryville fire hall, 11871 Lee Hwy., Sperryville; Stonewall-Hawthorne: Castleton Community fire hall, 593 Castleton View Rd., Castleton. Wakefield: Chester Gap fire hall (42 Waterfall Rd.) and Flint Hill fire hall (945 Fodderstack Rd.).