Norfolk businessman Wayne Coleman was nominated in a firehouse primary last Thursday to be the Republican Party’s candidate to compete for the 6th District Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Ralph Northam. Northam was chosen to be lieutenant governor during the Nov. 5 general election.
The district includes Mathews County, parts of Norfolk, and the Eastern Shore.
While Coleman, owner and CEO of the Norfolk-based CV International, won district-wide, Norfolk business attorney Richard Ottinger was the favorite candidate in Mathews, winning 182 votes out of 322 ballots cast. Coleman garnered 134 Mathews votes, and the third contender, John Coggeshall, another Norfolk attorney, trailed far behind with only six supporters in the county.
Vote tallies across the district were Coleman, 1,643 votes; Ottinger, 1,249 votes; and Coggeshall, 173 votes.
Mathews Republican Committee chair Dave Davis said that all three candidates visited Mathews County, so residents had an opportunity to interact with each of them.
Republican committee members campaigned door-to-door and made telephone calls to get out the vote, said Davis. The canvass was held at Mathews Memorial Library, and Davis said there were 40 or 50 people lined up before the poll opened at 3 p.m. He said this bodes well for strong party participation in the special election.