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Stuart earns GOP nod in Senate race
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Date published: 5/20/2007
The race for the nomination quickly became a struggle between those conservatives and moderates who felt a candidate more in line with Chichester's beliefs would give the party a better chance in November.
The result was four candidates and an intraparty fight over how to pick the nominee. The party eventually chose what is called a "firehouse primary," which differs from a regular primary by limiting the hours and polling locations and requiring voters to pledge loyalty to the GOP.
The conservative establishment backed Van Hoy early on, with support coming from 28th District party Chairman Russ Moulton, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and former Gov. Jim Gilmore.
Chichester and Howell teamed up to support Stuart, and Stuart received campaign money from Senate allies of Chichester such as William Wampler, Ken Stolle and Tommy Norment.
Van Hoy said he wishes Stuart were more conservative, but he likes his rival and will support him in the fall. Myers said he also will support the nominee.
"The reason I got into the race was because the Senate needs to be more conservative," Van Hoy said. "So now the challenge is, let's see if we can convince Richard if the right way to govern is a little more fiscally conservative."
Graziano, who also ran as a conservative, said he was disappointed that the candidate who shares Chichester's views won.
"I guess that's a victory for Senator Chichester. It's a shame," Graziano said. "I'm more disappointed that once again, we don't have a Republican nominee that actually reflects the values of the party."Chelyen Davis: 804/782-9362