20181107_ELEX_VASEN_SL

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., was first elected to the Senate in 2008. He won a close race against Republican Ed Gillespie in 2014 but has far outpaced his potential GOP rivals in fundraising this cycle.

Three Republicans have qualified for the June primary seeking the GOP nomination to run against Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

Nottoway County civics teacher Alissa Baldwin, American University professor Daniel Gade and Army reservist Thomas Speciale filed enough petition signatures to get on the ballot, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. The primary is scheduled for June 9, but Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order, issued as the coronavirus spreads, extends to June 10, making it unclear how voting would take place.

Gade has raised the most money ($266,417) among the candidates, according to VPAP.

A fourth candidate, Omari Faulkner, did not qualify for the ballot.

Faulkner, a former Georgetown University basketball player, sued the state Department of Elections last week over the eligibility requirements to get on the ballot, saying the pandemic made it difficult to reach the 10,000-signature threshold. A Richmond judge sided with Faulkner, lowering the minimum signature count to 3,500.

Still, Faulkner wasn’t able to qualify for the primary.

Warner, the heavily favored incumbent, served as governor from 2002 to 2006 and is seeking a third six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday that he considers voting “an essential right.” He urged Virginians to vote absentee by mail while the state assesses the logistics of how to hold elections amid the pandemic.

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