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Three Republicans seek nod in new 10th House District

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Randy Minchew

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Cara Townsend

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John Whitbeck

Correction: A story published Saturday about today's Republican primary for the 10th District House of Delegates seat should have stated that polling locations in Frederick County will be Senseny Road School, Evaendale Elementary School, Bowman Library and Armel Elementary School.

By Candace Sipos -- csipos@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Three candidates are vying to become the Republican nominee for the House of Delegates' new 10th District.

The General Assembly created the district this spring, and the Republican primary is Tuesday.

The district includes portions of Loudoun, Frederick and Clarke counties. Loudoun has the greatest number of voters with 71 percent, followed by Frederick (21 percent) and Clarke (7.5 percent), according to Frederick County Republican Committee Chairman Bob Hess.

Redistricting divided Frederick among the 29th, 33rd and 10th districts. Being brand new, the 10th has no incumbent.

The 10th includes the Shawnee magisterial district, which is roughly the eastern central portion of the county. Hess said this is a relatively small area geographically, but it contains a high density of residents.

All three Republicans running for the 10th live in Leesburg in Loudoun County.

Randy Minchew, deputy counselor and adviser for Gov. Bob McDonnell, has lived and worked in the district for almost 20 years. He has served in the Republican Party's electoral process as a canvasser, election district chairman and precinct chairman. In addition, he has chaired the Loudoun County Economic Development Commission, the Rural Economic Development Task Force and the Goose Creek District Eagle Scouts, according to his website.

Minchew said his three biggest agenda items are jobs and economic development, transportation and avoiding tax increases.

"The government doesn't create jobs; business does," he said. "If we can keep our tax burden low ... that will encourage businesses to expand."

He added that Frederick County is very important to the district because it's the only true manufacturing base, and he hopes to do much of his "economic development and job creation work" there.

Cara Townsend is a small business owner who is working on cofounding the International Care Advocacy Foundation, a nonprofit that will help patients' families and caregivers.

Her biggest agenda items are health care, energy and government spending.

"One of my big focuses is the nursing shortage," said Townsend, who has her academic background in health care. "Also, I feel strongly in helping Virginia become the energy capital of the East Coast. The Obama administration is blocking us from tapping into that resource off of the coast of Virginia."

She also wants to help bring businesses to the Winchester area and create jobs, adding that she was disappointed that the local GE plant closed. Townsend moved to Loudoun County in April, but she has been a Virginia resident for 10 years.

John Whitbeck has lived in Loudoun County since the late 1990s and spent his entire career in the three counties that fall within the 10th District. His website notes that he founded his law firm, served as a substitute judge for general district courts and taught at George Mason University Law School.

His three biggest agenda items are avoiding tax increases, promoting jobs and the economy, and transportation.

"I've got a record of fighting against tax increases, and I'm committed to that notion," Whitbeck said. "We need to get government out of the way of business."

He said he's spent a lot of time campaigning in Frederick County and wants to make sure that residents there have an equal say.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. In Frederick County, voters can go to Senseny Road School, Evendale Elementary School or Bowman Library, while Clarke County voters can visit Powhatan School or Boyce Volunteer Fire Department.

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