There's a showdown for state Senate in Loudoun County
Republicans in Virginia hope to win three state senate races and gain control of both houses.
The race in a district that encompasses Loudoun County could be particularly competitive. The district is considered a toss up.
District 13 was drawn as a result of local population growth and redistricting. It’s considered a swing district with many independent voters.
“I don't stick to one party, I stick to the issues,” said Hal Carraway.
Democrat Shawn Mitchell is running for state Senate here.
“I'm a combat veteran, I'm a small business owner, I have a young family and that really talks to the demographics of this new district,” Mitchell said.
Republican Dick Black is a former state delegate known for his socially conservative views and votes. He once tried to limit access to birth control and proposed banning gays from adopting children.
Many voters say the economy outweighs social issues this election cycle so Black's past does not matter.
“It's one of those things depends on your priorities are and where you are on your life I guess,” said Reepal Kapadia.
Even some voters who lean Republican say they won't support Black because of his past.
“I don't like that, just on principle,” said Hal Caraway.
The Black campaign did not respond to requests for interviews in time. The candidate has declined to comment for other stories by local media. He also declined to participate in a Newstalk segment with his opponent.
On his website, Black says, if elected, he'll fight President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, work to keep taxes low, and reduce regulations.
“There is a degree of uncertainty that is creating a paralysis in business,” Black says in campaign material.
Mitchell is trying to exploit what he sees as a reinvention by Black.
“If I had eight years of those types of votes, I would try to reinvent myself six years later as well,” Mitchell said.
The Black campaign accuses Mitchell of trying to focus attention away from the economy.
"All he wants to do is talk about social issues. My priorities are getting people back to work, promoting energy independence and cutting the debt,” Black said in a statement.
Mitchell calls himself a moderate who sometimes disagrees with Obama. He supports efforts to speed up lending to small businesses but does not support infrastructure portions of the President's jobs bill.
“I'm running for state senate. I can't control anything with the President's jobs bill or what's happening at the federal election but what I can do is bring a new perspective and new innovative ideas to Richmond,” Mitchell said.
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