By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Virginia’s statewide races may have been tight in Tuesday’s general election, but Pulaski County voters chose the Republican ticket by almost two to one in several races.
In the race for governor, former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe 4,716 votes (59 percent) to 2,581 (32 percent) in Pulaski County, according to unofficial results reported by Virginia’s State Board of Elections. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis garnered almost 9 percent of the local vote, receiving 712 votes.
Cuccinelli won in all 12 of the county’s precinct, with the closest race being in the New River Precinct, where Cuccinelli received 49 percent of the vote to McAuliffe’s 44 percent. Sarvis received 7 percent of the votes in that precinct.
Local voters also chose the Republican candidates in the races for lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Republican E.W. Jackson received 57 percent, or 4,504 votes, to Democrat Ralph Northam’s 43 percent (3,437 votes) in the lieutenant governor’s race. Meanwhile, county voters also chose Republican Mark Obenshain over Mark Herring for attorney general, with Obenshain receiving 66 percent, or 5,293 votes, to Herring’s 34 percent, or 2,709 votes.
In local House of Delegates races, Pulaski County voters stayed with the status quo, sending 7th District Delegate Nick Rush and 12th District Delegate Joseph Yost back to Richmond for their second terms. Both are Republicans.
Rush defeated his Democratic challenger, Mike Abraham, 4,435 votes (68 percent) to 2,088 votes (32 percent).
The 12th District race, which includes all of Belspring Precinct and part of New River Precinct, proved to be tighter. Yost defeated Democrat James Harder by 209 votes, receiving 808 votes (57 percent) to Harder’s 599 (42 percent).
According to SBE, 21,162 county residents were registered to vote as of Nov. 1, but only 8,009 cast ballots in the governor’s race (the most votes cast locally in all three statewide races). A total of 302 absentee ballots were cast in that race.
Of the county’s registered voters, 19,748 are considered active voters. Inactive voters are those who have failed to respond to mailings sent by their registrar and have not attempted to vote. Once they fail to in two consecutive federal elections, they can be removed from the voting rolls.
Of the county’s registered voters, 68 are military and 19 are overseas.