Austin wins Republican nomination for 19th District House seat

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Terry L. Austin of Buchanan won the Republican Party nomination to run for the 19th District House of Delegates seat in the November General Election.

Austin easily defeated three other candidates for the party nomination in a “firehouse primary” Tuesday, May 7 by collecting 44.5 percent of the 1,770 votes cast in Botetourt, Alleghany and Bedford Counties that make up the 19th District.

Terry Austin (left of Austin sign) and his supporters when he opened a campaign headquarters in Fincastle in April.
Terry Austin (left of Austin sign) and his supporters when he opened a campaign headquarters in Fincastle in April.
James McKelvey of Bedford County had the next highest total with 32.5 percent of the votes cast. Bedford resident Zach Martin got 20.1 percent of the vote and Botetourt resident Zach Hatcher got 2.9 percent of the vote.

The party primary created quite a bit of activity in the month leading up to the Tuesday night canvas when six people filed to run for the party nomination after Lacey Putney decided he would not seek a 27th term in the House. Two of those dropped out before the primary and through their support behind McKelvey.

Terry Austin
Terry Austin

Austin’s nomination was secured by the large primary turnout in Botetourt where 1,200 voters went to Lord Botetourt High School during the three-hour window when voting was allowed by the party.

He received 670 (55.8 percent) of those votes. He also won in Alleghany County where he got 103 (54.5 percent) of the 189 votes cast there.

McKelvey, a Bedford County businessman, won easily in Bedford where he received 251 of the (65.9 percent) of the 381 votes cast there.

Overall, McKelvey received 576 vote, including 277 in Botetourt and 48 in Alleghany. Martin received 356 votes with 216 coming in Botetourt, 109 in Bedford and 31 in Alleghany.

Hatcher received 51 votes with 37 coming in Botetourt, 7 in Alleghany and 7 in Bedford.

The district is comprised of all of Alleghany County and the City of Covington, all but two voting precincts in the Valley District in Botetourt and the central part of Bedford County and the City of Bedford.

Austin will face at least one other candidate for the 19th District seat in November. Joshua Ball, 25, of Bedford will be on the ballot representing the Constitutional Party.

The Democratic Party has not nominated anyone yet and Independents have until June 11 to qualify.

Austin will finish his fourth term on the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors this year. He had already qualified as the Republican nominee to run for that seat again, but is expected to give up that nomination since he won the nomination to run for the House of Delegates.

A 19th District Republican Party official said Wednesday the party will probably hold a firehouse primary before June 11 to pick another nominee for the Buchanan District Board of Supervisors seat. John Williamson III of Buchanan has indicated he may stand for that nomination.