Tommy Smith

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Challenger

Background

Tommy Smith is a lifelong resident of District 34. He is a retired truck driver and formerly served on the Forest Park City Council for five years [1].

Key Issues

Government

Smith believes in giving the legislature emergency powers [1].

Economy

Smith emphasizes both protecting current jobs and creating new employment opportunities [1].

Sources

1 Ballotpedia

2 Personal Facebook

3 LinkedIn

Nanette K. Miller

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Challenger

Background

Nanette Miller earned a BS in criminology and history from Saint Leo University, went to the Darden School of Education at Old Dominion University, and earned a master’s degree in American government from Regent University. Miller is a 30-year US Navy veteran and has been a Naval Intelligence Commander. She is the Vice Chair of the Virginia Beach Republican Party and has served as President of the Nimmo Republican Women. She has been a member of the Women for Youngkin Coalition and the PTA at Kellam High School, as well as the Hampton Roads Black Caucus. Miller has also worked as a Program Coordinator for Blackbird Technologies and as a planner for Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC) [1, 4].

Key Issues

Veterans

Miller plans to send a formal letter to the Governor and General Assembly requesting a change in policy for veterans’ retirement tax rates. She wants to alleviate burdens on veterans and those whose spouses were killed in battle [1].

Economy

Miller wants to improve information on resources available for local small businesses [1].

Budget

Miller wants tax relief, particularly for real estate taxes and taxes that could hinder private sector growth in businesses [1].

Agriculture

Miller supports the Agricultural Reserve Program (ARP), the farmers’ market at Dam Neck Rd, and continued infrastructure improvements to allow safe transport of goods to market [1].

Education

Miller advocates for parental involvement with the school system and wants to improve teacher compensation, working conditions, and student decorum in order to lessen staffing shortages [1].

Gun Policy

Miller is against gun control [1].

Public Safety

In order to lessen the public safety employee shortage, Miller plans to increase pay, lower workload, and improve training [1].

Infrastructure

Miller wants to modernize general utility services, improve the safety of Sandbridge Road, and upgrade existing school buildings [1].

Water

Miller plans to address flooding through concentrated destiny and constant ditch cleaning [1]. She wants to allot more money for flood mitigation [5].

Housing

Miller promotes safe and affordable housing for seniors needing specialized care [1].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 Nanette Miller for Virginia Beach City Council 

2 VPAP 

3 Facebook 

4 LinkedIn 

5 The Princess Anne Independent News

Heidi L. Daniels

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Challenger

Background

Heidi Daniels graduated from Saint Leo University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management [4]. 

Daniels enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 years old and served from 1989 to 2005. While on reserve, she was a police officer for two years. Daniels is a former Navy contractor. From 2015 to 2020, Daniels served as Community Manager at Property Management Associated. Since 2020, Daniels has served as Executive Director at Green Runs Home Association [4, 5].

Daniels is a member of the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission [5].

Key Issues

Communication

Daniels wants to increase communication with the public. She supports law enforcement, but states that she understands the need to have conversations about community concerns [5].

Economy

Daniels wants to keep taxes as low as possible for Virginia Beach citizens, especially in the wake of COVID-19 [5]. Daniels also wants to help small businesses create more jobs and manage their finances [1].

Poverty

Daniels supports PIN Ministries, which aids the homeless. Daniels currently volunteers with and collects donations for PIN Ministries [2].

Public Safety

Daniels plans on connecting community leaders with the city to make needed safety improvements [1].

Water

Daniels wants to solve flooding issues and secure funding for improvements to keep Virginia Beach safe from flooding [1].

Education

Daniels wants education to be nonpartisan. She also wants to focus on funding schools and teachers [1].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 Heidi Daniels for City Council
2 Facebook
3 VPAP
4 Linkedin
5 The Princess Anne Independent News
6 WTKR

N. D. “Rocky” Holcomb III

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Incumbent

Background

Holcomb has a Bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and management from Regent University. He has also graduated from the West Point Leadership Course. Holcomb previously served in the Marine Corps. He was a delegate in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2017-2018, representing District 85, where he carried bills to improve mental health treatment for jail inmates. He currently works in the Sheriff’s Office as Chief Deputy and overseer of Administration, and he formerly worked as captain of the Criminal Intelligence Unit and Classification Division [1, 2, 4, 6].

During his career at the Sheriff’s Office, Holcomb served as commander of the Emergency Response Team and worked to improve mental health treatment for inmates, including through the creation of the Mental Health Housing Unit and Operation Green Thumb. He also implemented the K9 Unit, oversaw operations for the K9 program, and aided in the creation of the Reentry and Veterans programs. Holcomb is the City Council liaison to several community organizations, such as the Atlantic Park Community Development Authority, Clean Community Commission, and Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization [2].

Key Issues

Infrastructure

Holcomb plans to continue the revitalization of historic Kempsville [4].

Government

Holcomb supports the new method of electing Virginia Beach City Council members by district, stating that the transition from state to local government was positive [4].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 Ballot Ready
2 City of Virginia Beach
3 WAVY 
4 The Princess Anne Independent News
5 3 WTKR – Inmate Completes Mural
6 3 WTKR – Rocky Holcomb
7 Twitter
8 Virginia Mercury

Robert Bernosky

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Challenger

Background

Robert Bernosky received a degree in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Delaware. He is the Chief Financial Officer for Skyline Advanced Technology Services and a Consulting CFO for SV Advisors. He has worked as a CFO for various companies since 1992 [5]. Bernosky has served as the San Benito County Chairperson for the California Republican Party since 2012 and previously served on the Hollister School District Board of Trustees [2]. He has three children with his wife Jennifer [1].

Key Issues

Elections

Bernosky wants to implement ongoing voter registration validation programs at county registrars and supports cleaning voter rolls. He opposes the use of open-source voting systems and expanding voting rights to 16 or 17 year olds. He supports establishing election day as a holiday and wants to simplify and automate candidate filing processes [7].

Campaign Finance

Bernosky opposes public-funding for political campaigns [1]. 

Economy

Bernosky wants to simplify the business registration process and supports increasing manufacturing jobs in California [7]. 

Endorsements

Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the California Republican Party Tom Del Beccarro

Sources

1Official Website
2 CalMatters
3 Twitter
4 Ballotpedia
5 LinkedIn 
6 VoteSmart 
7 The San Diego Union Tribune
8 Benito Link

Ted Gaines

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Incumbent

Background

Ted Gaines graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a BA in Business Administration [4]. Gaines has represented District 1 on the CA Board of Equalization since 2019. He served in the CA State Assembly from 2006-2011 and the State Senate from 2011-2019. As a State Senator, he was a member of the committees on Insurance, Government Organization, Transportation and Housing, and Emergency Management. Gaines was appointed to the Roseville Planning Commission in 1997 and was elected to the Placer County Board of Supervisors in 2000 [1]. He currently owns Gaines Insurance Agency and previously owned Point West Insurance of Sacramento [3]. Gaines and his wife currently live in El Dorado County [4]. They have 6 children and 7 grandchildren [1].

Key Issues

Government

 

Gaines wants to limit government, and supports tax decreases and fewer regulations. As a State Senator, he opposed the Fire Prevention Fee for unincorporated areas in CA [4]. He also supports eliminating the Vehicle License Fee and reducing gas taxes [5].

Budget

Gaines supports the establishment of a rainy-day fund and pension reforms to shrink the state’s unfunded liabilities [4]. He wants to refund part of the surplus CA budget back to taxpayers [8].

COVID-19

Gaines does not support vaccine mandates for students and employees, allowing children ages 12+ to consent to vaccination without parent approval, or laws preventing doctors from spreading covid misinformation [10].

Energy

Gaines does not support transitioning to zero-carbon power sources and electric vehicles. He wants to increase the use of nuclear power and natural gas, and stop the closure of Diablo Canyon nuclear plant [9].

Reproductive Rights

Gaines does not support access to reproductive healthcare such as abortion and contraception. While in the State Senate, he voted against requiring health insurance to cover maternity services and against requiring comprehensive sex education for students [11].

LGBTQIA+

Gaines opposes same-sex marriage. As an Assembly-member and State Senator, he voted against banning conversion therapy, prohibiting discrimination against trans individuals, and allowing students to use school facilities that correspond to their gender identity [11].

Economy

As a State Senator, Gaines voted against increasing protections for domestic and agricultural workers, increasing the minimum wage, and providing paid family leave. He voted for a law requiring externally peer reviewed economic impacts analysis for major proposed regulations [11]. 

Gun Policy

As a State Senator Gaines voted against background checks for ammunition purchasers, increasing the purchasing age for firearms, and requiring gun safety training for concealed carry applicants [11].

Housing

As a State Senator, Gaines voted against establishing regulations for home loans and foreclosures. As an Assembly-member he voted in favor of mobile home rent control [11].

Endorsements

Pat Bates, CA State Senate Republican Leader; Joel Anderson, CA State Senator; Anthony Cannella, CA State Senator; Jean Fuller, CA State Senator; John Moorlach, CA State Senator; Janet Nguyen, CA State Senator; Jim Nielsen, CA State Senator; Jeff Stone, CA State Senato; Andy Vidak, CA State Senator; George Runner, CA State Board of Equalization; Diane Harkey, CA State Board of Equalization; Chad Mayes, CA State Assemblymember; Dante Acosta, CA State Assemblymember; Travis Allen, CA State Assemblymember; Rocky Chavez, CA State Assemblymember; Steven Choi, CA State Assemblymember; Jordan Cunningham, CA State Assemblymember; Heath Flora, CA State Assemblymember; James Gallagher, CA State Assemblymember; Kevin Kiley, CA State Assemblymember; Tom Lackey, CA State Assemblymember; Devin Mathis, CA State Assemblymember; Melissa Melendez, CA State Assemblymember; Marc Steinorth, CA State Assemblymember; Marie Waldron, CA State Assemblymember; Randy Voepel, CA State Assemblymember’ Tom McClintok, US Representative CA-4; Kevin McCarthy, US Representative CA-23

Sources

1 Ballotpedia
2 Wikipedia  
3 Vote Smart 
4 Ted Gaines 
5 Twitter 
6 Board of Equalization
7 Linkedin
8 California Globe   
9 The Union
10 The Union: COVID-T variant
11 Vote Smart – Voting Records

Richard W. “RK” Kowalewitch

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Challenger

Background

Richard Kowalewitch attended Old Dominion University for two years. Kowalewitch has been the owner of RK’s Surf Shop for over 31 years. Kowalewitch has run for Virginia Beach City Council several times and ran for Virginia Beach Mayor in the 2020 election. Kowalewitch is certified in Occupational Safety and Health Administration [2, 3, 4].

Key Issues

Economy

Kowalewitch supports small businesses, as a small business owner of RK’s Surf Shop [3].

Water

Kowalewitch wants Virginia Beach to increase its maintenance of stormwater infrastructure. Kowalewitch also wants to increase regulation on building stormwater infrastructure in low lying areas, and he believes that some areas should not be built on at all. In 2018, he met with city officials on stormwater maintenance. [2, 3].

Public Safety

Kowalewitch wants to increase the salary of and fully staff the Fire Department and Police Department [2, 3].

Budget

Kowalewitch wants to reduce Virginia Beach’s bond debt and fund the unmandated pension liabilities. He wants to target and eliminate the unnecessary spending by the city [3].

Corruption

Kowalewitch wants to stop government corruption. He wants the government to focus on all groups rather than special interest groups. Kowalewitch wants to change the state conflict of interest code section to make consequences of corruption more severe [3].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 VPAP
2 The Princess Anne Independent News
3 WAVY
4 WTKR

Linwood O. Branch

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Incumbent

Background

Linwood Branch graduated from Randolph Macon College. Branch currently serves as the owner of Days Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront [1, 2]. Branch served on the Virginia Beach City Council from 1992 to 2002 and was appointed to the current council in 2021 to fill the seat vacated by James Wood [1, 5, 6].

Branch has previously served on the Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Virginia Beach Development Authority, Hampton Roads Transportation District Commission, City Landscaping Committee and Virginia Beach Clean Community Commission. Branch currently serves as Council Liaison to the Process Improvement Committee, Bayfront Advisory Committee, Resort Advisory Commission, Atlantic Park Community Development Authority, Advertising Advisory Committee, Open Space Committee and the Virginia Aquarium [1, 6].

Branch has been President of the Sandler Center Foundation for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach Hotel Association, Resort Retailers Association, and Virginia Beach Police Foundation . Branch was selected as Outstanding Young Citizen by the Jaycees in 1994 and First Citizen of Virginia Beach in 2007 [1].

Key Issues

Law Enforcement

Branch supports the police force and wants to increase salary and incentives for them. He has served on law enforcement support groups, including the Friends of the Mounted Patrol and the Second Precinct Citizens Advisory Committee. Branch has also served as President of the Virginia Beach Police Foundation [1, 6].

Water

Branch supports funding flood mitigation projects. He wants these projects to be completed within budget and with transparency [1, 9].

Community

Branch wants the Virginia Beach community to discuss issues face to face, and he wants the government to work with citizens person to person [1].

Environment

Branch supports funding for the Open Space Program, which supports building a foundation for the outdoor park system. He currently serves as liaison to the Open Space Advisory Committee. He also supports the Agricultural Reserve Program [1, 6].

Economy

Branch supports the installation of overseas data cables and offshore wind to create local jobs [1]. Branch also supports the development of a comprehensive events program and a tourism reinvestment plan funding things such as a new boardwalk, Atlantic Avenue improvements, an Aquarium, Convention Center, and Sports Center [6].

Endorsements

Will Sessoms, former Virginia Beach Mayor

Sources

1 Linwood Branch
2 LinkedIn
3 Virginia Beach Police Foundation
4 The Princess Anne Independent News
5 13 News Now
6 Virginia Beach Government
7 WAVY
8 VPAP
9 The Virginian Pilot

Billy Hickman

Key Facts

Party Republican
Status Incumbent

Background

Hickman was born and raised in Statesboro, Georgia, and he graduated from Georgia Southern University, where he currently is the Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees [3,4]. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is licensed in Financial Forensics. He was a partner with Dabbs, Hickman, Hill, & Cannon, LLP for 20 years beginning in 1998. Hickman, along with his wife, has been a member of First Baptist Church of Statesboro since 1981 [3].
Hickman serves as the Secretary of the Government Oversight Committee, and as a member of the Finance, Higher Education, and Retirement Committees [5].

Key Issues

Healthcare

Hickman wants to expand healthcare to rural areas in Georgia [2].

Economy

Hickman wants to create more jobs for the economy by reducing taxes and regulations [2].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 Ballotpedia
2 Hickman Official Campaign Site
3 DHHCCPA
4 Legistorm
5 Georgia General Assembly