Republicans nominate Ennis in 89th

Published 9:47 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Republican Baxter Ennis won the nomination Saturday in the local firehouse primary in the new 89th District House of Delegates races.

Ennis defeated his two opponents, Don Carey and Jason Wooldridge, in two rounds of voting.

“I am humbled to have been nominated by my fellow Republicans in the 89th District,” Ennis said in a statement issued on his Facebook page. “Thank you to all the voters for coming out on a beautiful Saturday. Congratulations to Don Carey and Jason Wooldridge on a hard fought campaign, and thank you to all the volunteers and supporters who put their faith in me.”

Email newsletter signup

Ennis won Saturday’s first ballot in the canvas with 686 votes, or 43.5%, according to the Republican Party of Chesapeake. Carey picked up 485 votes, 30.8%, while Wooldridge captured 405 votes, 25.7%.

This set up a second ballot with the top two going head-to-head.

In the second and final ballot, Ennis garnered 814 or 57.7% of the vote, defeating Carey with 597 or 42.3% of the vote.

In both ballots, the results released by Chesapeake Republicans shows Ennis had the most votes on both ballots at the three Chesapeake precincts. In the first round of balloting, however, the Suffolk precinct put Wooldridge on top with 306 votes, to Carey’s 41 and Ennis’ 39. Ennis won the second round in Suffolk with 125 votes to Carey’s 121, according to the numbers from the Republican Party of Chesapeake.

On spending in this race, campaign finance reports filed March 31 show Ennis outspending his opponents, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

The breakdown shows Ennis had spent $26,971 as of the end of March, while Carey was at $12,183 and Wooldridge at $8,789.

“I will work to cut your taxes, get tough on violent crime and ensure that our veterans have a voice in Richmond,” Ennis said in his statement after clinching the nomination.

He will now face Democrat Karen Jenkins, who faces no opposition for her nomination, after James Aubrey Ramsey III failed to qualify for the ballot.

VPAP shows that the 89th District’s makeup leans toward Chesapeake. There are 44,100 registered voters in Chesapeake in the district, while Suffolk has 20,322. That’s 68.45% Chesapeake with 31.55 in Suffolk.

Based on voting results from past elections, the district flips back and forth between parties. Gov. Glenn Youngkin won in areas that are now part of the 89th in the 2021 governor’s race. In 2018, the district went for Democrat Tim Kaine in the race for U.S. Senate.