Two women compete for 82nd District’s Republican nomination

June 4, 2021


Virginia Beach voters will decide this Saturday the Republican who will attempt to succeed Jason Miyares this fall as the 82nd District’s House of Delegate representative.

Miyares is no longer running after winning the party’s nod for attorney general, he confirmed via text.ADVERTISING

“As the child of an immigrant who fled communist Cuba, it had been such an honor to serve in the oldest democracy in the Western Hemisphere, the House of Delegates,” he wrote. “My hope is to continue to serve my constituents in Virginia Beach as their next Attorney General.”

His nomination opened the door for newcomers to compete for the Republican nomination for the 82nd district. Kathy Owens, a former Navy pilot and small business owner, and Anne Ferrell Tata, who works with Christian media to form partnerships with other organizations, said they would not have challenged Miyares if his bid for statewide office fell short.

The “firehouse primary” — elections run by a political party and originally held at single locations like firehouses — will be at Galilee Church at the Oceanfront from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, said Bill Curtis, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia Beach.

He said the contest is meant for Republican voters in the 82nd district and that the party will ask questions — such as “Are you a registered Republican?” or “Have you voted in a Democratic primary in recent years?” — meant to discourage non-party members from voting.ADVERTISING

The race, which both candidates said has been friendly, is less about specific issues. The candidates, who have lived in Virginia Beach for decades, said they knew each other prior to the race, having met when they both volunteered on a previous Republican campaign.

Both agreed that their general platform and priorities — on abortion, gun rights and being business-friendly — closely align.

The race has instead become a contest of who’s the more electable candidate — the winner will face Democrat Scott Flax this November in the general election — and who would be able to accomplish more in Richmond, where their party is currently out of power.

The district has been a Republican stronghold for several elections. In the most recent contest, Miyares beat Democrat Gayle Johnson by a nearly 20-point margin in 2019.

Tata said the race has been a sprint over the past month, as Miyares officially won the Republican nomination for attorney general in May.

“It’s like hurry, hurry, hurry,” she said. “Everything is an emergency.”

Tata, 59, has been buoyed by her last name and party connections. Her father-in-law, Republican Bob Tata, represented the 85th district in Virginia Beach for three decades, from 1984 to 2014, when he retired. She has pitched herself as a people person, who has earned high-profile endorsements, including former governors Bob McDonnell and George Allen.

Owens, 57, is running more as a can-do outsider, though she still won the backing of some notable Republicans — such as former U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor. As a mother, a veteran and business owner, she said there is no one better to represent those groups than her. And many of them are frustrated, she said.

“They know I’m going to go fight for them,” she said.

She was sharply critical of the location of the primary, saying “The GOP Establishment is at it Again!” in a release because, in part, Tata is a member of the church that is host to the canvas.

Curtis said he had no idea Tata was a member of the church when it was chosen. He called both “outstanding candidates’’ who would “represent us exceedingly well.”

He said he expects the results for the nomination to be in by that Saturday night.

Kathleen Purdy Owens

Age: 57

Occupation: President, Beach Development Group

Previous office held, if any: None

Education: BS, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, The Ohio State University


Kathy Owens
Kathy Owens (Courtesy of Kathy Owens)


Anne Ferrell Tata

Age: 59

Occupation: Ministry partnerships liaison, Educational Media Foundation

Previous office held, if any: None

Education: BA, Communications, Florida State University


Anne Ferrell Tata
Anne Ferrell Tata (Courtesy of Anne Ferrell Tata)

Peter Coutu, 757-222-5124, [email protected]

Former Congressman and Navy Seal Scott Taylor Endorses Kathy Owens for the 82nd District House of Delegates

May 12, 2021

Virginia Beach, VA — Today former Congressman and Navy Seal Scott Taylor endorses Kathy Owens to be the Republican Candidate to represent the 82nd recently left open by the Honorable Delegate Jason Miyares successful bid for the Republican Nomination for Attorney General.

Scott proclaimed “Kathy is a Conservative, Mother, Veteran, Business Community Leader, and she has served our Commonwealth selflessly for years on the Virginia Veteran Services Board.  There is no doubt that Kathy is the Woman for the Job!”

As the current Delegate Jason Miyares secures the support of the Republican Party of Virginia for Attorney General an opening is left.  In order to fulfill the vacancy, The Republican Legislative District Committee for the 82nd House District has determined a Canvass will be held on Saturday, June 5th from 10am – 3pm at Galilee Episcopal Church in order to decide who will represent the Republican Party in November.

Kathy is a former Navy Pilot, small business owner, and mom who has dedicated over 30 years to the Virginia Beach community.  After retiring from the United States Navy with over 10,000 hours of flight experience, Kathy began her own commercial real estate company Beach Development Group.  Focused on the understanding that good real estate projects like good government policy create employment opportunities, improve the landscape, and add value to the community.  Owens serves on many boards and committees throughout the Commonwealth including the Board of Veteran Services (BVS), Military Economic Development Advisory Committee (MEDAC), and Virginia War Memorial Foundation (VWMF).

This comes following several other notable endorsements such as City Councilmember Michael Berlucchi, Former Secretary of Commerce Jim Cheng, and Legendary Aviator Dickie Burke.

Shorebreak meet and greet

May 6, 2021

Bring a friend and join us this Wednesday at Shorebreak for a Candidate meet and greet. Send an RSVP to [email protected] so we can make sure we have enough space for everyone!

Virginia Veterans Care Center Benefits from Board Members’ COVID-19 Response

April 26, 2021

On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Ms. Renee Tabb, the purchasing specialist at the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center located on Broad Rock Blvd. in Richmond, VA, took delivery of 4 gallons of badly needed hand sanitizer, stating, “Our residents and staff will benefit directly from your generosity!” This was not just any sanitizer, however – this particular sanitizer was manufactured and donated by The Vanguard Brewpub and Distillery in Hampton VA, and its delivery was made possible by a few special people associated with the Virginia Board of Veterans Services (BVS), the Virginia War Memorial Foundation (VWMF) Board, and the former Virginia War Memorial (VWM) Board.

In response to Governor Northam’s Executive Order 51 regarding COVID-19, Virginia ABC issued an emergency order, authorizing Virginia distillers to manufacture and distribute alcohol-based sanitizer. The Vanguard President, Mr. Randy Thomas, jumped at the opportunity and began sourcing ingredients specified by the World Health Organization recipe. After finding reliable supplies of hydrogen peroxide and glycerin, sourcing other materials that could be distilled into purified alcohol became the challenge. That’s when BVS and VWMF Board member Kathy P. Owens sprang to action. Ms. Owens, also a partner at The Vanguard, reached out to fellow VWMF Board member Mr. Bob Archer, President of Blue Ridge Beverage Co., located in Salem, VA, with a request to acquire expired beer in order to distill it into alcohol for the sanitizer. Mr. Archer connected Ms. Owens with Mr. Ryland Thomas with Tri-Cities Beverage Co., located in Newport News, VA, who was quick to identify over 1,000 kegs of defective beer in his warehouse. Former VWM Board member and Virginia State Senator Bill DeSteph was instrumental in working with Virginia ABC officials for an accelerated approval of the transfer and, within a week, The Vanguard was converting the expired product into purified alcohol for the sanitizer.

The Vanguard also provides direct-to-consumer sales of sanitizer in an array of various-sized spray bottles. Dollar Tree stores had the best quality and selection of sizes and the Vanguard staff spent weeks visiting local Hampton Roads stores and depleting their stocks. This caused sporadic availability to local consumers, hospitals, health care facilities, and first responders. Ms. Owens then reached out to her friend and U.S. Navy colleague, Mr. Bob Gantt, Vice President of Facilities and Special Projects at Dollar Tree, and pleaded The Vanguard’s case for a bulk purchase of bottles. Mr. Gantt immediately found a solution and was able to coordinate a bulk order with Mr. Harry Thetford and Mr. Mark Adams, who then managed the speedy fulfillment. The Vanguard now has a steady supply of spray sanitizer for the community, thanks to their friends at Dollar Tree.

In appreciation for their assistance in making this possible, The Vanguard donated four gallons of sanitizer to the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center, one each on behalf of Senator Bill DeSteph, Mr. Bob Archer, Tri-Cities Beverage Co., and Dollar Tree.

Virginia Beach City Council Member Michael Berlucchi Endorses Kathy Owens For House District 82

April 19, 2021

Virginia Beach, VA — Today Virginia Beach City Council Member Michael Berlucchi endorsed Kathy Owens who is running to be the Republican Nominee for House District 82 conditional on sitting Delegate Jason Miyares being elected as the Republican nominee for Attorney General.

Berlucchi said of Owens “I am confident Kathy will take her knowledge and relationships with the Navy, her ability to create, attract, and retain jobs, and her compassionate heart and experience with nonprofits to the General Assembly in Richmond to serve Virginia Beach.”

Kathy is a former Navy Pilot, small business owner, and mom who has dedicated over 30 years to the Virginia Beach community.  Accumulating over 10,000 flight hours as a US Navy and Commercial airline pilot, Kathy also started her own commercial real estate company Beach Development Group (BDG) and is a licensed Class A contractor.  BDG focuses on ‘sustainable developments for the future’ because Kathy understands that good real estate projects create employment opportunities, improve the landscape, and add value to the community. 

Kathy serves on many boards and committees throughout the Commonwealth including the Board of Veteran Services (BVS), Military Economic Development Advisory Committee (MEDAC), and is Vice-Chair of the Virginia War Memorial Foundation (VWMF) and Vice President of the Virginia Beach Central Business District Association (CBDA).

Berlucchi concluded, “I have every confidence that Kathy will make an extraordinary representative for the citizens of Virginia Beach in our General Assembly and I hope you will join me in offering her our full support, thank you.”

The Republican Legislative District Committee for the 82nd House District is in the process of determining the method of nomination. Find out more about Kathy Owens at

Former Navy Pilot, Mother, and Small Business Owner Kathy P. Owens Declares Her Candidacy for Virginia’s 82nd House District

March 25, 2021

Virginia Beach, VA — Former Navy pilot, mother, and small business owner Kathy Owens announced her bid for delegate today, seeking the Republican nomination to serve the 82nd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Owens has devoted countless hours to serving the 82nd district and the Commonwealth, serving on multiple advisory boards, as president of the local civic league, and being awarded Inside Business’ 2019 “Women in Business Achievement” Award.

“I think we would all agree that Washington is a mess. Unfortunately, it is no different in Richmond. The party in power is chipping away at our fundamental rights and values making us less safe and prosperous. The solution to this is to elect skilled, energetic, effective, and visionary leaders who protect our rights and values. I am one of those leaders,” said Owens.

Kathy’s determination to run for the 82nd district comes as long-time Republican stalwart Jason Miyares is running for Attorney General of Virginia. Over the last several years of watching the release of violent criminals, repealing of 2nd Amendment rights, further dissolution of sacred election integrity, and a continuing attack on the unborn, Kathy knew she had to act.

As a business owner, Kathy understands the devastating effects of current policies on those who are just trying to make an honest living. Arbitrary mandates and Executive Orders have created hardships for restaurants and small businesses that need to be addressed.

Owen’s concluded, “A vote for Owens is a vote for effective, transparent, and conservative leadership in Richmond.”

The Republican Legislative District Committee for the 82nd House District is in the process of determining the method of nomination.  Find out more about Kathy Owens at

Kathy Owens: Women veterans should seize their opportunities

March 14, 2020

The Virginian-Pilot

Calling all women veterans: There has never been a better time to become an entrepreneur in Virginia.

For some, the hassles of starting a business can seem more daunting than a night carrier landing in rough seas, but fortunately many nationwide and state programs have been created to assist veterans, and particularly women veterans, navigate and succeed in the world of small business.

Virginia has the highest percentage of women veterans in the United States, more than 107,000 and growing every year. This is why Virginia recognizes the third week of March as “Virginia Women Veterans Week” and organizes the annual Virginia Women Veterans Summit to assist current and transitioning women veterans in connecting with employers, mentors, business leaders and financiers. The summit, hosted by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and partner agencies, is widely attended, well sponsored and, in 2019, held “pitch opportunities” with cash awards.

DVS assists veterans in connecting to a variety of resources. The Small Business Association, in partnership with the DVS Virginia Transition Assistance Program, offers Boots to Business, an entrepreneurial education and training program for transitioning service members, including National Guard and Reserve. These free classes are held frequently and in numerous locations around the commonwealth.

Need a certification to start your business? Onward to Opportunity has you covered with a free career-training program that provides professional certification to transitioning service members and veterans.

Want to parachute right into ownership of an existing business? VETFRAN offers a safe landing zone by encouraging franchisors to offer discounts and incentives to veterans, and assembling resources, tools and a database of franchising opportunities for veterans.

If the risk of failure and thought of being directly responsible for the welfare of others still gives you the pre-deployment jitters, know that most entrepreneurs find that creating jobs and changing the landscape of a region or industry is precisely what makes owning a business so rewarding.

Let the successes of other veteran business owners and the skills and tenacity you have acquired from your military service put you at ease. You will find, for example, that having been immersed in an environment of military acronyms during your service, you will quickly be able to master new terms such as FICA, BPOL, ROI and ID/IQ, and programs such as 8a and SWaM continue to offer a slight advantage for new businesses to thrive and grow in the state and federal contracting arenas.

I once heard a successful college football coach say, “I look for three things in a player: speed, speed and speed. Everything else in the game can be taught.”

The analogy for women veterans looking to be an entrepreneur is that your success in the military has shown that you are trainable, diligent and enterprising. All the rest can be learned.

As Amelia Earhart once said, “The woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune.” There is a frontier of new technology, innovation and services waiting to be explored. Now is the time for you to go win your own fame and fortune.

Cmdr. Kathy P. Owens is a retired U.S. Navy pilot, commercial airline pilot and president of Beach Development Group. She serves on the Virginia Board of Veterans Services, the Virginia War Memorial Foundation board of directors and is vice president of the Central Business District Association of Virginia Beach. Email her at [email protected].