2 Democrats vying to take on Rep. Morgan Griffith

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA – Two candidates are vying for the spot to take on 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith. 

Justin Santopietro is from Blacksburg, and this is his first time running for office. He says his experience in Washington, D.C., has given him a knowledge of how the government works, but he says growing up in the New River Valley has given him an understanding of what people in the 9th District really need. He mentioned wide access to high-speed internet and health care as some of his top issues.

Anthony Flaccavento has gone up against Griffith before. He is a small business owner and farmer in Abingdon. He says he wants to address the economy issues in the district, especially in rural areas.

"We have schools that can't keep the lights on that are constantly closing or consolidating. We have hospitals that can't stay open in two of our counties. We just have infrastructure that's not near where other parts of the country are, and that's just a fairness issue," said Santopietro. 

"When you have a stronger economy, you have more people who are employed and contributing to the tax base, hence stronger public schools. You also begin to solve some of your problems that come from unemployment and despair, like the opioid crisis," said Flaccavento. 

Virginia voters are making their picks in Senate and House primary elections Tuesday.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Anyone not already registered won't be able to vote. Virginia doesn't allow same-day registration.