Today is primary day, and Virginia voters will head to the polls to select the Republican U.S. Senate nominee in the day’s only statewide contest, along with congressional candidates in a handful of races across the state.
Voter turnout across the state is expected to be light. In the most recent U.S. Senate primary — the 2006 race between Democrats Jim Webb and Harris Miller — statewide turnout was less than 3.5 percent.
In the day’s marquee race, former Gov. George Allen, hoping to reclaim the U.S. Senate seat he lost to Jim Webb in 2006, faces three rivals for the GOP nomination: tea party activist Jamie Radtke of Chesterfield County, Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson and Del. Robert G. Marshall of Prince William County.
The winner will face Democratic nominee and former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine in what will be one of the most high-profile races in the country.
Allen is the clear front-runner in the primary, but his challengers are each hoping for a low-turnout upset.
Virginians do not register by party. Any registered voter may cast a ballot in the primary.