Republican Voters Gearing Up for a June Battle for State Senate Seat


(Tuesday, May 15, 2007 2:30 PM EDT)

Republicans in the 27th state Senate district of retiring Russell Potts Jr. will go to the polls on June 12 to pick a nominee for the general election., with Mark Tate and Jill Hotzman Vogel competing in the race.

Potts, who has served in the Senate since 1992 and made an unsuccessful bid for governor as an independent in 2005, has opted not to seek re-election. The 27th District includes portions of Clarke, Fauquier, Loudoun and Frederick counties and the city of Winchester.

Under state law, voters do not register by party. And qualified voter in the 27th District can cast a ballot in the primary. Individuals who will be 18 years old by Election Day in November and have registered to vote can cast a ballot in the primary.

Co-owner of the Coachstop Restaurant in Middleburg, Mark Tate says on his campaign Web site that he sees himself as a “Ronald Reagan conservative” and is committed to fighting tax increases. He sees it as “an issue overlooked by the legislature in Richmond.”

He said he also wants to control growth by linking land use with transportation, and ensuring that adequate public facilities in place, as well as to fight Dominion Virginia Power's plans for expansion, support family friendly policies, fight to protect life from contraception to natural death and defend the Second Amendment.

Tate served on the Middleburg Town Council from 1992-2004, including service as vice mayor from 2000-04. He also has been involved in the local community and politics in organizations such as the Virginians for Sensible Energy Policy, Virginia Society for Human Life, Loudoun Arthiritis Wallk, Heart Association of Virginia (Loudoun chapter), the United Way, Jamestown Compact Land Trust, Middleburg Community Center Foundation Board and the Loudoun Republican Party.

Jill Holtzman Vogel, a resident of Upperville, also is looking to win the Republican nomination for the 27th District seat.

One of the top issues on her agenda is fighting illegal immigration, and she proposes ending what she terms the current catch-and-release policy, which would give local law enforcement more authority to detain criminal aliens.

“Our nation's borders are not secure and the costs of illegal immigration are staggering, even here,” Vogel said recently in The New Dominion newspaper. “We can't wait for politicians in Washington to solve this problem for us.”

According to her campaign Web site, Vogel also wants to fight for no new taxes, more fiscal responsibility when determining Virginia's budget, the strengthening of private property rights, reform transportation (with rail and mass transit), enhance the education system, promote ethical standards in government and defend the Second Amendment.

Vogel has a law practice in Warrenton, and became chief counsel for the Republican National Committee in 2004. She served as a counsel in the Florida presidential recount and worked as deputy counsel at the Department of Energy in 2001.

Vogel also is active in the Warrenton Rotary Club, the Board of the Virginia Outdoor Foundation, the Board of Trustees of Massanutten Military Academy and the capital campaign for the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum.

All 40 seats in the state Senate and all 100 seats in the House of Delegates will be on the ballot in November.

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