Holly Hazard of Stafford County and two Spotsylvanians—Rich Breeden and Phillip Scott—are vying to be the Republican candidate for the 88th District House of Delegates seat being vacated by Del. Mark Cole.
The nominee will be chosen in a Republican Party canvass on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The candidate with a plurality of votes will win.
There will be a single polling location in each of the four jurisdictions in the 88th legislative district: St. Michael the Archangel High School in Spotsylvania County, William J. Howell Branch Library in Stafford and the Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Fredericksburg and Fauquier County.
Any registered voter in Virginia can participate in the canvass, but voters must sign a pledge to support Republican candidates in the fall general election.
Hazard, an attorney who serves on the Stafford School Board, said she decided to run after learning Cole planned to retire from the legislature.
“I felt like it was an opportunity to take all of the experiences that I’ve had, from being youth leader to coach to PTO president to Planning Commission to the Leukemia–Lymphoma Society, and my legal background, and advocate for the community at the state level,” she said. “I have some demonstrated leadership in the community, I’m always willing to listen and I’m solution-driven.”
Hazard said she believes each locality has different needs and that she will fight against a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
“What works for Stafford, the second fastest growing community in the state, is not the same thing that needs to happen for Blacksburg or Botetourt County,” she said.
Scott, 39, a government contractor and father of five who ran for Spotsylvania School Board in 2018, said he is seeking the nomination on a platform of fiscal responsibility, national and cyber-security, First and Second amendment rights and supporting the middle class.
“We’re a single-income family, so I know the middle-class struggle,” he said. “A lot of folks run because they can take time off from work and have money to burn. For me, it’s about ensuring the future for my daughters is a safe and good future that they can be prosperous in because they put forth the effort.”
Scott said his degrees in religion, management and leadership and American legal studies, as well as the fact that he is younger and has young children, sets him apart from the other candidates.
He also said he has cultivated a relationship with Cole in the past few years that has positioned him well to take over representing the 88th district.
Breeden is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force with 20 years of service and now owns a cyber-security firm that works with federal agencies and private companies. He said he is distinguished from the other candidates by being the only one to have served in the armed forces.
“Make no mistake, we are at war for the soul of this nation and I am the only candidate in this race that has put my life on the line in service to this country,” he said. “Right now, our businesses are closed, elections are unsecured, and our Second Amendment right and pro-life values are under assault. As a small business owner, former federal agent and unwavering conservative, I have the technical and executive experience to solve these hard issues.”
Breeden said election security is his top priority.
“As a cyber-security expert and former federal agent, I have the technical know-how to restore integrity and trust in our elections,” he said. “This isn’t a partisan issue, this is common sense.”
Democrat Ashton Spencer and Libertarian Timothy Lewis have also announced plans to run for the 88th District seat, which is on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.