Local candidates greet voters at Hob Nob

Lenny Milholland, left, an independent candidate for Frederick County sheriff, chats with 10th District Delegate Randy Minchew during the Hob Nob held Friday evening at Lord Fairfax Community College. Rich Cooley/Daily

MIDDLETOWN – A wide lineup of candidates for local and state legislative offices crowded onto a stage at Lord Fairfax Community College on Friday and gave the audience a clear preview of the ballot in the Nov. 3 General Election.

Most of the candidates at the 16th annual Hob Nob in the Valley are running races in Frederick County and Winchester. Winchester Commonwealth’s Attorney and Frederick County sheriff are two of the most closely watched and hotly contested races

The aptly named event, sponsored by the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, featured 2 ½ hours of candidates hobnobbing with members of the public who paid $25 a ticket to talk politics, dine on barbecued pork and listen to a live band. Candidates filled tables with flyers and brochures bearing their biographies and descriptions of political philosophies and stands on the issues.

Del. David LaRock, R-Leesburg, reminded the audience members of why they were there after a viewing of a video commemorating the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

“So much rides on the decision you make when you go to the ballot box,” LaRock said.

A straw poll conducted throughout the evening ended with Acting Commonwealth’s Attorney Marc Abrams topping attorneys Beau Correll and Howard Manheimer in the Winchester Commonwealth’s Attorney race.

Abrams, who is running as an independent, finished with 71 percent of the vote. Manheimer is also running as an independent. Correll is the Republican candidate.

Republican Terry Bohan, a local restaurant owner and former agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, finished ahead of former Winchester Sheriff Lenny Millholland and Frederick County Deputy A.S. “Scott” Madigan Sr. in the straw poll of Frederick County sheriff’s candidates.

Bohan, a Republican, won 68 percent of the vote. Millholland and Madigan are running as independents.

Organizers said they sold about 300 tickets for this year’s Hob Nob, down from 400 in 2014. Slightly fewer than 200 people participated in the straw poll.

Event organizers allowed only state legislators to address the audience this year.

John Fox said the field was too large to allow each candidate for local office a chance to deliver a standard 4-minute speech.

“There were too many of them,” Fox said. “We would have been here until two o’clock in the morning.”

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com