May 11, 2010
The long campaign for Congress in the Charlottesville area has entered a new phase. Citizens can now vote.
The Republican party must choose one person from a cluster of candidates to face Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello in November. Primary day is June 8, but eager Republicans don't have to wait. Absentee voting is underway.
"I'm thinking that it's not on people's radar," voter registrar Sheri Iachetta said.
Iachetta's goal is to get the primary on voters' minds.
The candidates are hustling to get attention. Lawrence Verga, Mike McPadden and Robert Hurt are among those running radio ads. Ken Boyd is working his connections in Albemarle County and trying to build support among Tea Party members. Feda Morton from Fluvanna County fired up a recent Republican party gathering.
There are seven candidates on the ballot, "which is a high number," Iachetta said.
"It's wonderful. It means there are a lot of people interested in this position, so I strongly encourage people to educate themselves on the candidates," she said.
Voters have until Monday to register to vote in the next election. It will be an open primary, meaning anyone registered to vote may help decide which Republican will face off against Perriello in what is sure to be one of the nation's most watched elections.
Monday, May 17, is the last day to register for the June primary. Saturday, June 5, is the final day to vote absentee.