UMW to Host 88th District House of Delegates Debate

Candidates for the 88th District of the Virginia House of Delegates participated in a debate at the University of Mary Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The debate was held at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411 and was free and open to the public.

Mark Cole

Del. Mark Cole

The debate presented Republican Del. Mark Cole, who has held the seat since 2001, and Democratic challenger Kathleen O’Halloran. The 88th District includes parts of Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fauquier counties and the city of Fredericksburg.

O’Halloran, who was raised in Brooklyn, came to Virginia in 1978 and held multiple civil service jobs before retiring in 2011 in Fredericksburg.

A former member of the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve, Cole worked for many years as a defense contractor before coming to work for Spotsylvania County as Deputy County Administrator.

For more information on each candidate, please visit their respective websites: and

Kathleen O'Halloran

Kathleen O’Halloran

Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies, moderated the program. The candidates  were questioned by  Chelyen Davis, state government and politics reporter for the Free Lance-Star, Town Talk radio host Ted Schubel, and Dr. Farnsworth. The debate was co-sponsored by the Legislation Action Committee of UMW’s Student Government Association; the UMW chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society; the university’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies and The Free Lance-Star.

For more information, contact Stephen Farnsworth at