Peake, Washington win nominations to run for Garrett’s state Senate seat
Andrew Cain – Dec 3, 2016
Lynchburg lawyer and GOP activist Mark Peake will face off against former Fluvanna County Sheriff Ryant L. Washington of Palmyra in the Jan. 10 special election to fill the state Senate seat of Congressman-elect Thomas A. Garrett Jr., R-5th.
Peake topped Goochland County Supervisor Ken Peterson on Saturday at a GOP convention at Hampden-Sydney College. Washington prevailed over Lynchburg teacher Katie Webb Cyphert in a Democratic caucus held at the Moton Museum in Farmville.
The special election is set for the day before the General Assembly session begins.
“I feel good about where I stand,” Peake said in a telephone interview, noting that he has been campaigning since January in anticipation of Garrett’s nomination and victory for the congressional seat.
“I will continue to talk about representing our conservative values in Richmond and standing up to government interference and government overreach,” Peake said.
Peake said he also wants to address what has become a compensation crisis for Virginia State Police and for local sheriff’s departments.
The GOP-leaning 22nd Senate District runs west from Goochland County to include Amherst and Appomattox counties, as well as parts of Lynchburg.
Washington said in a phone interview that he hopes to be a voice for the localities in the district on issues such as public safety, health care, education and the economy.
“The economy is the driving issue,” and a strong education is key to a strong workforce, said Washington, adding that it is important that “we don’t enact burdensome policies.”
Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker said in a statement: “Ryant Washington will be a change-maker for Virginia’s 22nd Senatorial District by fighting for good-paying jobs, affordable health care, education, and other critical issues facing the commonwealth.”
John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said in a phone interview: “Mark Peake is a longtime (GOP) activist in Virginia and an accomplished attorney. We look forward to his campaign and to his service in the Senate.”
On Nov. 8, Garrett defeated Democrat Jane Dittmar to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt, R-5th.
Peake, a married father of five — including a set of 18-year-old quadruplets — is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a law degree from Washington and Lee University.
Then-Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed Peake to the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Peake also is a former chairman of the Lynchburg City Republican Committee.
Washington, a married father of two, was elected Fluvanna County sheriff in 1999 after having served as a deputy sheriff and as a state trooper.
In 2014, Gov. Terry McAuliffe named Washington as a special policy adviser to the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
McAuliffe appointed Washington to address issues in ABC’s law enforcement division after a University of Virginia student was mistakenly arrested on suspicion of an underage alcohol purchase. It turned out that she bought sparkling water.