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1st District voters face GOP primary choice
GOP primary vote set tomorrow


Date published: 6/7/2010

BY CHELYEN DAVIS

Voters in the 1st Congressional District will go to the polls tomorrow to choose a Republican candidate for the November election.

The primary election is between incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman of Montross and Catherine Crabill, also of the Northern Neck.

Wittman was first elected to the seat in a special election in 2007, following the death of Rep. JoAnn Davis. He won the general election in 2008, and is seeking his second full term.

Crabill has never served in elected office, but ran last year for the 99th District House of Delegates seat against Del. Albert Pollard, garnering 48 percent of the vote.

Wittman, who served in the House of Delegates before running for Congress, has the backing of most mainstream elected Republicans in the area, including Gov. Bob McDonnell.

He is campaigning in part on fiscal issues, saying that government must rein in spending and "expose the waste, fraud and abuse in Washington." He voted against the federal bailout and health care reform bills, and advocates a balanced-budget amendment and reforming the Congressional earmark system.

Wittman, a longtime advocate for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, sits on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources.

In a normal year, Wittman--a generally well-liked conservative--would have little trouble locking up his nomination. But anti-incumbent and anti-Washington fervor this year may give Crabill a chance.

She is backed by a number of tea party and patriot groups in the 1st District. Her website says her top reason for running is to uphold the Constitution and limit the federal government's abuse of powers that are extended to it or limited by the Constitution.

She writes that elected officials who do not do so should be held accountable for what she says is treason.

Crabill also wants to end illegal immigration, supports continuing the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military, and believes in repealing the federal income tax and eliminating federal debt.

She opposes the federal health reform bill, and believes educational choices should be left up to families, with family decisions protected by a constitutional amendment.

The winner of the primary election will face Democrat Krystal Ball in November.

The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the usual polling places.

Information on the candidates:

robwittmanforcongress.com catherinecrabill.com

Information on polling places:

State Board of Elections: sbe.virginia .gov

Chelyen Davis: 540/368-5028
Email: cdavis@freelancestar.com


CATHERINE CRABILL

Age: 54

Family: Husband, four children

Occupation: Realtor; cook

Education: High school graduate; some college

Community activities: Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church

Honors: Numerous real estate sales awards

Important issues: Strict adherence to the Constitution; securing the border; repealing the income tax; preserving the Second Amendment; overturning health care reform; ending abortion

ROB WITTMAN

Age: 51

Family: Wife, Kathryn; children, Devon and Josh; granddaughter, Morgan

Occupation: Before being elected to Congress, was field director for the Virginia Department of Health's Division of Shellfish Sanitation

Education: Holds a Ph.D. in public policy and administration from Virginia Commonwealth University; a master's degree in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina; and a bachelor's degree in biology from Virginia Tech

Public involvement: Elected to Congress in 2007 after serving in Virginia House of Delegates and on Westmoreland Board of Supervisors and Montross Town Council

Important issues: Stopping massive government spending; protecting the Chesapeake Bay; opposing health care reform