BRISTOL, Va. — Democratic voters will select a candidate to oppose 9th District incumbent U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith while GOP voters choose a challenger for U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine in today’s twin Virginia primary elections.

Polls open at 6 a.m. across the state and remain open until 7 p.m. All four normal voting precincts will be open in the city of Bristol but some counties may have precinct changes. It is recommended that voters visit www.elections.virginia.gov or contact the local registrar if they have questions about where to vote, according to city General Registrar Penny Limburg.

“We often don’t see as much interest in a primary election as we do general elections. Based on absentee turnout, I am guessing a 2 percent to 3 percent turnout,” Limburg said.

Voters will be asked which party primary they wish to participate in as Virginia allows voting only in one primary when held on the same day.

Griffith, R-Salem, is unopposed on the Republican side and won’t appear on the ballot. Two challengers appear on the Democratic ballot, Anthony J. Flaccavento, of Abingdon, and Justin D. Santopietro, from Montgomery County.

Flaccavento, 60, is a farmer and business owner who previously challenged Griffith in 2012. Santopietro, 26, previously worked as regulatory policy analyst at the Credit Union National Association.

Flaccavento has raised nearly $230,000 for his campaign, compared to $7,900 for Santopietro. Griffith has raised more than $630,000 while independent candidate Scott Blankenship reports no fundraising, according to campaign finance reports.

The general election is Nov. 6.

Democrat U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine is unchallenged in the primary and awaits the outcome of today’s Republican primary between Corey A. Stewart, a 49-year-old attorney and Prince William County board chairman, state Del. Nick J. Freitas, 38, a security consultant from Culpeper County, and E.W. Jackson, a 66-year-old minister from Chesapeake.

Stewart has raised more than $840,000 compared to about $500,000 for Freitas and $286,000 for Jackson, finance reports show. Kaine has amassed a war chest of $17 million.

Voters should take an acceptable form of photo identification when voting, such as a Virginia driver’s license, passport or other type of federal or state ID, Limburg said. A complete list of acceptable IDs can be found at elections.virginia.gov. Residents may have a photo ID made free of charge at the local registrar’s office if they do not have one.

The weather isn’t expected to keep voters home. Afternoon high temperatures are expected around 82 degrees with a 30 percent chance of scattered afternoon thunderstorms. The chance of rain increases to about 50 percent in the early evening hours.

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dmcgee@bristolnews.com | 276-645-2532 | Twitter: @DMcGeeBHC | Facebook.com/david.mcgee.127

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