Barlow unseated; Miller wins

Published 11:50 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Voters, including those in three precincts in Suffolk, put longtime area state delegate William K. Barlow out of office on Tuesday in favor of political newcomer Richard Morris.

Suffolk helped in the sweep, with voters in Holland, Holy Neck and Whaleyville precincts collectively going heavily for Republican Morris over Democrat Barlow.

On the other side of the city, voters in the Harbour View precinct went heavily for Democrat incumbent John C. Miller in the Virginia Senate’s First District, favoring him by a 2-to-1 margin over challenger Mickey Chohany. The margin was much thinner across the entire district — Miller won by fewer than 1,000 votes, about 3 percent.


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“We knew from the beginning it was going to be a very tough race,” Barlow said of his loss to Morris. “The surprise was the margin.”

Morris’ victory was by more than 10 percentage points.

Barlow’s 64th District, which he has represented for 20 years, changed drastically in the recent redistricting. He said Friday night he believed that to be a major factor in the outcome.

“It is a predominantly Republican-leaning district,” he said. “Every election I was sort of the underdog, but this year was even more so with a number of new areas.”

Barlow also called the amount of television and mail advertising Morris did, along with a general dissatisfaction with government at the federal level, factors in his loss. He said Morris’ advertising unfairly connected him to Washington politics.

“I’m not offering these as excuses,” he said. “I’m the candidate. I did the best I could. My people did the best we could.”

Barlow said he called Morris and congratulated him Tuesday evening.

“I appreciate so much the high honor the voters of the 64th have given me the last 20 years,” he said. “I cherish those 20 years.”

Morris did not return a message left on his cell phone late Tuesday night.

In other General Assembly races in which Suffolk voters cast ballots, incumbent Senators Thomas K. Norment Jr., Harry B. Blevins and L. Louise Lucas, and incumbent Delegates S. Chris Jones, Lionell Spruill Sr. and Matthew James all won handily, as they were unopposed.

Suffolk Clerk of Court W.R. “Randy” Carter also coasted to an unopposed victory to return to his job.

For full election results, see Thursday’s paper.