Elec­tion sea­son kicks off

Can­di­dates par­tic­i­pate in straw poll as cam­paigns gear up for pri­mary

The Progress-Index Weekend - - PETERSBURG - John Adam Staff Writer —John Adam may be reached at jadam@progress-in­dex. com or 804-722-5172.

PETERS­BURG — Elec­tion sea­son un­of­fi­cially kicked off in Peters­burg last week, as can­di­dates gath­ered at Maria’s in Old Towne on Wed­nes­day, May 9 to min­gle with ci­ti­zens and take part in a spe­cial straw poll. The event was put on the by Peters­burg Democrats. Can­di­dates run­ning for Trea­surer, Com­mis­sioner of Rev­enue, and Com­mon­wealth's At­tor­ney were present, as well as can­di­dates for the 63rd House District. Justin Fairfax, who is run­ning for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor also was present.

Par­tic­i­pants got to hear from each can­di­date be­fore par­tic­i­pat­ing in the straw poll. Can­di­dates also got the chance to min­gle with par­tic­i­pants and hand out cam­paign lit­er­a­ture. Vir­ginia State Sen, Ros­alyn Dance mod­er­ated the speak­ing por­tion.

“It’s one of those in­for­mal times when the can­di­dates can min­gle with the con­stituent base,” said Dance. “The peo­ple get to see them up close and per­sonal.”

Dance said that the poll and meet-and-greet was a good op­por­tu­nity to for can­di­dates to be able to see where they stand be­fore the elec­tion.

“It’s more about ca­ma­raderie,” said Dance. “It’s about how many sup­port­ers you brought out, be­cause that’s what you’re go­ing to have to do on June 13.”

Dance also stressed how it was im­por­tant for ci­ti­zens to see the can­di­dates, es­pe­cially those run­ning for con­sti­tu­tional of­fices in the city.

“They get to see who those can­di­dates are who want to rep­re­sent them,” she said.

In a year that has seen the city go through lots of in­ter­nal tur­moil, the can­di­dates who took part saw talked about ci­ti­zens get­ting in­volved in the process.

“It’s aware­ness,” said Kyle Dixon, a can­di­date for Com­mis­sioner of Rev­enue. “It’s let­ting peo­ple know that we’re se­ri­ous about the demo­cratic process.”

Fairfax, the can­di­date for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor, stressed the im­por­tance of all lev­els of gov­ern­ment be­ing ac­ces­si­ble to their con­stituents.

“It’s im­por­tant that we have a gov­ern­ment that you can touch, that’s re­spon­sive, and that re­ally lis­tens to peo­ple and their con­cerns,” he said. The pri­maries for this elec­tion year is June 13.

[SCOTT P. YATES PHO­TOS/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

State Se­na­tor Ros­alyn Dance, left, and Peters­burg Sher­iff Vanessa Craw­ford speak at a Peters­burg Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee meet and greet and straw poll in Peters­burg on Tues­day, May 9, 2017.

Can­di­date for Peters­burg trea­surer Ken M. Pritch­ett speaks at a Peters­burg Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee meet and greet and straw poll in Peters­burg on Tues­day, May 9, 2017.

Paul Mullin, can­di­date for Peters­burg trea­surer, speaks at a Peters­burg Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee meet and greet and straw poll in Peters­burg on Tues­day, May 9, 2017.

Justin Fairfax, a Demo­cratic can­di­date for Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor of Vir­ginia, speaks at a Peters­burg Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee meet and greet and straw poll in Peters­burg on Tues­day, May 9, 2017.

Ch­eryl J. Wil­son speaks at a Peters­burg Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee meet and greet and straw poll in Peters­burg on Tues­day, May 9, 2017.

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