Dave Marsden, Jeff McWaters Win Senate ElectionsDemocrats Gain One Seat in Senate
Dave Marsden, Jeff McWaters Win Senate Elections
January 13, 2010
Virginia Republicans lost one state Senate seat last night but retained another. Democrat Dave Marsden, won a close special election for the Northern Virginia Senate seat of Republican Ken Cuccinelli, and Republican Jeff L. McWaters easily won a special election to fill the seat of former state Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle.
With all 40 precincts reporting, Marsden led Republican Steve M. Hunt, a former member of the Fairfax County School Board, by 317 votes out of 23,569 cast. Picking up Cuccinelli's seat gives Democrats a bit more breathing room in the General Assembly session that starts today. Democrats will now hold 22 seats to the GOP's 18.
Jeff McWaters is a founder and former CEO of Amerigroup Corporation. A native of Kentucky, he attended Paducah Community College and the University of Kentucky and has a degree in accounting. He worked for Ernst and Young, then CIGNA, and finally Value Options, a behavioral health care company, before launching Amerigroup in 1994. He handily defeated a tough competitor, Virginia Beach City Councilwoman Rosemary Wilson, for the GOP nod in early December. McWaters won 63 percent of the vote in a five-hour firehouse primary that attracted 7,600 voters despite heavy rain.
Delegate Dave Marsden was just reelected in November in a House district that makes up a portion of Senate district 37. Marsden was legislative aide to Republican Delegate Jim Dillard and won Dillard’s seat when the veteran legislator retired in 2005. Marsden switched parties to run as a Democrat and won with 60% of the vote. Marsden spent most of his career in juvenile corrections. He ran the Fairfax Juvenile Detention Center for 17 years before accepting an appointment from Gov. Jim Gilmore in the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. After the election of Gov. Mark Warner in 2001, Marsden became a private consultant on juvenile justice issues. A native of Alexandria, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland.