Candidates anxious as hours count down
Story by Chris Graham
Frank Nolen had played the game before – numerous times.
The former 22-year state senator and member of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors should know how to handle Election Day anxiety by now.
But it might as well have been the first time for the Democratic nominee for Augusta County treasurer on Tuesday.
“Oh yeah. You never lose that,” Nolen told The Augusta Free Press.
“And it’s not just me. I’ve got my cell phone right here. I think the family’s more nervous,” Nolen said. “They’ve been calling me all day long. ‘Dad, how do you think it’s going?’
“I’m anxious to see how it turns out myself,” Nolen said.
Over in Waynesboro, meanwhile, circuit-court clerk candidate Bruce Allen was coming down from a bad case of the nerves himself.
“I had trouble getting to sleep last night. I remember getting home from going door to door yesterday evening, and I still had energy. I wanted to get out and do some more, but I also realized it was too late to be bothering people,” said Allen, the Republican nominee.
“But I couldn’t help but feel that I could’ve done more. I felt that way this morning, and it got to the point where I was wondering if maybe I’d come down with something,” Allen said.
“I’ve calmed down now. I’ve done all I can do. Now it’s just in the hands of the voters,” Allen said.
One of Allen’s opponents in the six-candidate race, independent Geoff MacIlwaine, was anxious in his own way.
“But really, at this point, I’ve done all the hard work I can do. I finished up yesterday evening, and now it’s up to the voters to decide,” MacIlwaine said.
MacIlwaine greeted voters as they passed by on their way to vote at Westminster Presbyterian Church with a simple line.
“Thanks for coming out today.”
“That’s all I wanted to do, basically. Thank people for taking the time to come out and vote. It’s important to be visible, I think, but most of the people who come out have already made up their minds,” MacIlwaine said.
Wendell Coleman, an independent candidate running for the Wayne District seat on the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, took the same approach.
“Most people know who they’re going to vote for before they get here. They’ll take what you give them to be nice. But they know what they’re going to do. I’m just here to give them a familiar face to say hi to. We’ve already done the hard work,” Coleman said.
As if to prove his point, Coleman turned to greet a voter heading into the polling precinct at the Valley Vocational-Technical Center in Fishersville.
“You don’t have to shake my hand, Wendell. I’m already voting for you,” the woman said without breaking a stride.