Minchew wins 2nd term in 10th District

Posted: November 6, 2013

Monte Johnson
J. Randy Minchew

WINCHESTER — Voters on Tuesday elected Republican incumbent J. Randy Minchew to his second term representing the 10th District in the House of Delegates.

Minchew, a 56-year-old Leesburg attorney, defeated Democrat Monte A. Johnson, 32, a project manager who lives in the Loudoun County community of Brambleton.

As of 11:50 p.m., with 27 of 28 precincts reporting, Minchew had 12,584 votes, or 57.09 percent of ballots cast, to Johnson’s 9,429 votes, or 42.73 percent.

“I’m just honored to be able to continue my service,” Minchew said.

He attributed his victory, in part, to his constituent services and noted that he won all of his Frederick County precincts “decisively.”

“Between Frederick and Clarke, I spend half my time in those two counties,” Minchew said. “I’ve gotten to know my constituents very well in those areas.”

The 10th District encompasses parts of Frederick, Clarke and Loudoun counties and has 54,682 registered voters — 3,192 in Clarke, 9,052 in Frederick and 42,438 in Loudoun, according to the State Board of Elections.

Minchew carried 70 percent of the electorate in Frederick, 60.28 percent in Clarke and 53.77 percent in Loudoun.

Although Minchew has just two years of experience as a state legislator, he is now the area’s senior representative in the House of Delegates.

Longtime Republican incumbent delegates Beverly Sherwood of Frederick County (29th District) and Joe T. May of Leesburg (33rd District) lost their party’s nomination in the June Republican primary to Mark Berg and Dave LaRock, respectively.

Berg of Frederick County handily defeated Independent candidate Larry Lamar Yates of Winchester in Tuesday’s 29th District election, and Loudoun County resident LaRock bested Democrat Mary Costello Daniel of Berryville and Libertarian Patrick Hagerty of Loudoun County in the 33rd District.

Minchew, who served his first term under Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, said he will continue to work in a “consensus-building way” under newly elected Democratic gubernatorial victor Terry McAuliffe.

He noted that the House has retained its Republican majority.

Despite the partisan rancor that has been dominating Washington politics, Minchew believes Democrats and Republicans at the General Assembly in Richmond can work across party lines to help support the creation of jobs and address public education and transportation issues.

“We’ve never had this kind of politics-above-people attitude,” Minchew said. “We’re a citizen legislature, and our job is not to play politics but to work together for the good of our constituents.”

Minchew was elected to his first two-year term in the House in November 2011, defeating Democrat Dave Butler with more than 58 percent of the vote, according to the State Board of Elections.

Johnson conceded Tuesday’s race to Minchew at about 10 p.m.

“We talked briefly,” Johnson said. “I congratulated him on his victory and wished him well in his next term.”

Johnson added that Minchew “ran a good race. Hopefully he will do a great job representing the 10th District.”

He said Minchew’s incumbency was an advantage.

“He’s built some relationships in the district,” Johnson said, adding that Minchew’s personal wealth also gave his opponent an edge.

But Johnson admitted it was tough to lose his first political race.

“I love competing, and I wanted to win,” he said from a Leesburg hotel, where he was gathered with supporters. “I felt I was the best person to represent the 10th District, but it has been a growing experience.”

Johnson said he is not sure what the future holds for him in terms of politics.

Right now, he said, he wants to return his focus to his life and family.

“We’ll see what happens later,” Johnson said.

Minchew’s term in the 100-member House of Delegates will begin in January. He will be paid an annual salary of $17,640.

— Contact Cynthia Cather Burton at cburton@winchesterstar.com