Berg easily tops Yates in 29th House race

Posted: November 6, 2013

The Winchester Star

Virginia 29th District Del.-elect Mark Berg (right) talks with supporters Jerry Coffee (left) and David Sparkman on Tuesday evening during a Republican campaign party at the Wingate by Wyndham Winchester. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
Mark J. Berg
Larry Lamar Yates

WINCHESTER — The retired doctor who defeated veteran 29th District Del. Beverly Sherwood in the Republican Party primary handily won election on Tuesday night.

Mark Berg of Winchester received about 65 percent of the vote to Independent Larry Yates’s 34 percent.

Berg had 12,720 votes to Yates’s 6,697, according to complete but unofficial results from the Virginia State Board of Elections. The count also included 154 write-ins.

His biggest advantage came in Frederick County, where he collected 8,271 votes (roughly 70 percent) to Yates’s 3,461 (29 percent). Seventy-nine people cast a write-in vote.

In Warren County, Berg had 1,527 votes (about 65 percent) to Yates’s 799 (34 percent), with six write-ins.

The race was much closer in Winchester, where Berg had 2,922 votes — about 54 percent — to 2,437 for Yates — 45 percent. The results also included 69 write-in votes.

“I think the campaign was pretty well-run,” Berg said during a Republican reception in the Wingate by Wyndham Winchester. “I think Larry worked hard and did a pretty good job [in] his campaign. I think there was enough information [where] people just looked and said, ‘I prefer Mark.’”

He said he was looking forward to finding common ground with fellow legislators and finding solutions that work for the most people.

“And I think we can do that,” said Berg, who ran on an anti-Affordable Care Act platform. “I’m willing to reach [out] and listen. I’m sure Larry and I will be talking.”

Taxes, spending and liberty issues will also be a focus.

“I haven’t formulated anything specific I want to do,” Berg said. “It’s become apparent to more and more people that the Affordable Care Act is basically a disaster. I really think we need to get back to basics [and] not bring in the Medicaid expansion. Hopefully, that will be something we can address effectively in upcoming legislation.”

Berg expressed his gratitude for his supporters. “I will work to maintain that confidence.”

Yates, a publisher and author from Winchester, conceded that Berg had won the race “very solidly.” But his fight for those with disadvantages — particularly the disabled — will continue.

“We agreed we’re going to continue,” Yates said of his supporters. “We have something important to say, and we’re going to find ways to say it.”

— Contact Sally Voth