Washington announces Senate bid

Published 10:48 am Thursday, December 1, 2016

Former Fluvanna County Sheriff Ryant L. Washington has announced his candidacy for the soon-to-be-vacant 22nd District in the Virginia Senate.

Washington said in a press release he’s filed the necessary paperwork today to qualify as a nominee for the Democratic Party candidacy for the special election being held on Jan. 10.

“In addition to having extensive experience in public safety and criminal justice, Washington has held a number of leadership positions within the commonwealth of Virginia,” he said in his release.

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On Tuesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, issued a writ of election for the soon-to-be vacant 22nd District State Senate seat, which will soon be vacated by Sen. Tom Garrett, a Republican from Buckingham, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 8, succeeding retiring U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt.

Last December, Hurt, a Republican, said he wouldn’t seek re-election to Congress.

The deadline for candidates to file for the special election, according to the governor’s writ, is Monday at 5 p.m.

Two candidates are seeking to get the nod from the state Republican Party for the nomination to run for the senate seat: Lynchburg Attorney Mark Peake and Goochland County Supervisor Ken Peterson, according to Daniel Bradshaw, the chairman of the 22nd Senate District Republican Committee.

“My career has afforded me the opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities and capabilities of state government, and I hope to be an advocate for the citizens of the 22nd District,” Washington said.

Washington was sheriff in Fluvanna County for more than 14 years, and currently works as a special policy advisor for the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

According to Bolton, the Democratic candidate will be chosen Saturday at the Moton Museum. Democrats are set to caucus at 11 a.m. The filing deadline for Democrats, she said, is Thursday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.

The Republican candidate will be chosen during a convention on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Hampden-Sydney College’s Kirk Athletic Center. The deadline has passed for candidates to file for the party’s nomination.

Rice resident Joe C. Hines has announced his intention to run for the seat.

Hines, the principal and director of economic development at Timmons Group, a multifaceted engineering firm, said he’s running as an “independent conservative.”

Hines, who graduated from Fuqua School in Farmville and was raised in Prince Edward County, said that once he gathers enough signatures and officially becomes a candidate, “I’ll be sending out a formal announcement letter and launching a website.”

The district includes the counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Prince Edward and Louisa and the city of Lynchburg.