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McWaters wins GOP nomination in Va Beach

Anita Kumar

Businessman Jeff McWaters easily won the Republican nomination In Virginia Beach's soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat today.

"I am so humbled at the fantastic turnout Virginia Beach delivered today,'' McWaters said in a statement. "Despite the horrible weather conditions, Virginia Beach voters have once again taken pride and participated in the significant constitutional right we as Americans have the right to vote."

In the GOP-leaning district where the Democrats have yet to field a candidate, today's success may be tantamount to winning the Jan. 12 special election to replace retiring Sen. Ken Stolle, who was elected Virginia Beach sheriff.

Democrats have until Dec. 11 to nominate a candidate.

McWaters received 63 percent of the vote. Rosemary Wilson, who serves on the Virginia Beach City Council, received 37 percent.

Today's five-hour firehouse primary attracted 7,594 voters despite a steady rain.

In recent days, McWaters had received the backing of his hometown newspaper, the Virginian Pilot, the National Rifle Association and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R).

McWaters founded a company that strives to improve healthcare for seniors and people with disabilities that eventually became a Fortune 500 company, Amerigroup Corp. He served on the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary.

Wilson, a former teacher who served on the Virginia Beach School Board, now sells real estate. She was chairwoman of the Hampton Roads Women for McDonnell group.

By Anita Kumar  |  December 5, 2009; 6:54 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2009 , General Assembly 2010 , State Senate  
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