In a mass meeting Sunday night, Republicans in the 33rd Senate District chose former delegate Joe T. May as their nominee in the special election to fill the seat that will be vacated by state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-33) when she heads to Congress.
May, a Leesburg resident, won the nomination with 36 votes, just three more than Arash Ebrahimi of Herndon. In three-minute speeches before the vote, the two candidates offered very different platforms. Ebrahimi, 31, is a new name among the GOP and a leader in the district’s Young Republicans who described himself as a constitutional and fiscal conservative. May, 81, is known as one of Virginia’s veteran legislators and described himself as a moderate conservative.
May served in the House of Delegates from 1994 to 2014, when he lost his seat in the House to a challenger from the right, David LaRock. During his speech Sunday night, May didn’t shy away from the legislation that cost him that election. He quoted a Washington Post article that called him one of the architects of Virginia’s 2013 landmark transportation funding bill. In response to some Republicans’ accusations that the legislation raised taxes to pay for roads, bridges and other transportation projects, May said, “We didn’t raise taxes. What we did do was ensure that taxes that were being generated in Northern Virginia stayed here. That’s an important distinction.”
May said he will never choose a political win over a win for those who live in the district. “I’ve worked in Richmond. I’ve been able to work on both sides of the aisle and I have always done what’s best for my constituents.”
May was nominated at the mass meeting by former Del. Randy Minchew, who worked with May in the House for four years. In a short nomination speech, Minchew said May will be able to hit the ground running in Richmond and credited May, who chaired the House Transportation Committee for six years, with having a hand in “almost all the transportation improvements you’ve seen in Northern Virginia.”
The 33rd District covers eastern Loudoun County and a small slice of Fairfax County. The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 8.