Polls open for Va. primary elections

      RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - In a rare August primary, Republicans and Democrats set their final slates for November legislative elections that will determine whether Virginia Democrats can cling to their last claim to power: a slim Senate majority.

      Polls open at 6 a.m. for a handful of primaries sprinkled across the state. In the Senate, there are seven GOP primaries and two Democratic contests. In the House, there are five Republican primaries and two for the Democrats.

      Interest, reflected particularly by candidate fundraising, was keenest in the Senate. Democrats control 22 of its 40 seats, and a net gain of two seats gives the GOP a 20-20 split, but effective control because Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling holds the tie-breaking vote.

      Republicans have a comfortable majority in the House.

      Polls close at 7 p.m.