- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) comfortably won his first Congressional re-election contest Tuesday, defeating Democratic challenger Anthony Flaccavento of Abingdon.
Flaccavento, a first-time candidate, and Griffith, a 17-year member of the General Assembly and former state House majority leader, vied for the 9th Congressional District seat.
The district includes the City of Galax and Carroll and Grayson counties.
Griffith had 61 percent of the vote to Flaccavento’s 39 percent with all precincts reporting Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m very pleased the voters of the 9th district put their confidence in me,” Griffith said Tuesday night, adding he looks forward to working for residents of the district for another two years.
Virginia’s 9th District is a rural, sprawling area that includes the New River Valley, parts of the Alleghany Highlands and Southside and Southwest Virginia’s coal country.
Coal drives much of the area’s economy and was a critical issue.
In the race, Flaccavento, who has worked in farming and with community development groups, talked about a “bottom-up economy,” the need for public investment in research, and infrastructure items that small and medium-sized businesses can use. He also focused on the need to find jobs to replace those in the coal industry because of the challenges that industry faces. Griffith talked about the need for coal jobs and fewer government regulations in the industry.
Griffith unseated 28-year incumbent Rick Boucher two years ago with a similar focus on coal.
Griffith said Tuesday that it’s important government doesn’t regulate business “out of business.”
During his second term, Griffith said he wants to bring debt in line, keep jobs in the area and continue to curtail government regulations.
“Certainly I want to continue to fight to make sure we keep our jobs in the 9th District,” he said.
Griffith said he spoke briefly with Flaccavento on Tuesday. He said Flaccavento congratulated him and he extended the same congratulations to him on a well-run campaign.