Cosgrove runs solo

Published 8:50 pm Saturday, July 27, 2013

Suffolk residents who live in the 14th Senate District will have the chance next Tuesday to go to the polls and vote for a replacement for retiring Sen. Harry Blevins in a special election.

There won’t be a lot of choice, though. Although two names will be on the ballot, one candidate has announced he is withdrawing from the race.



“A full assessment has revealed that the support necessary for success has not materialized,” Democratic candidate Kerry Holmes said in a statement on his website.


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Holmes did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails from the Suffolk News-Herald.

His withdrawal leaves only the Republican nominee, Delegate John Cosgrove.

Cosgrove, 59, has served in the 78th House of Delegates seat since 2002. Before that, he was on the Chesapeake City Council from 1998 to 2001 and served as vice mayor for part of that time.

An electronics engineer by trade, Cosgrove said it was hard for him to give up his seat in the House of Delegates to run for Senate.

“It was a hard decision, because I would have been the next chairman of transportation,” he said, referring to the powerful committee that Hampton Roads relies upon for road money. “But it’s important, at least to us, that we (Republicans) keep that 20/20 split in the Senate. A lot of folks thought I was the best candidate to keep the seat.”

Cosgrove said transportation, education and bringing good jobs to the state are among his priorities.

He supports efforts to revamp the Public-Private Transportation Act to give the General Assembly more input into the deals cut between the state and private companies looking to cash in on transportation.

“If I was a betting man,” he said of a court case involving a tunnel toll deal with a private company, “I would bet the court will uphold the ruling.”

If a higher court judge does support the Portsmouth Circuit Court’s decision that the deal between VDOT and Elizabeth River Tunnels should be struck down, the state is going to be on the hook for plenty of money to back out of the agreement, Cosgrove noted.

In other priorities, education “is always right at the top,” Cosgrove said.

As a member of the Science and Technology Committee, he is especially interested in promoting early interest in the critical STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

He supported a two-year study for the General Assembly on the issue.

“We found out that if we lose kids in middle school, we don’t get them back,” he said.

Cosgrove said he has enjoyed getting to know Suffolk folks during the campaign, even though he is not unfamiliar with the city. His wife’s parents live here, he noted.

The 14th Senate District includes parts of Suffolk, Franklin, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties.

The Aug. 6 special election will have polls open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Only the following precincts in Suffolk are in the 14th District: Airport, Cypress Chapel, Holland, Holy Neck, Kilby’s Mill, Lake Cohoon, Lakeside, Whaleyville, and parts of the Elephant’s Fork/Westhaven and King’s Fork precincts.