Battle of the burbs: Virginia House races to see

Control of the Virginia House of Delegates hung in a balance Tuesday night as Republicans appeared to be winning seats in some key suburbs, threatening a 55-45 Democratic majority.

Why it’s important: While Virginia’s gubernatorial competition has dominated the headlines, the results of the house races can see a preview of what’s coming across the country in next year’s midterm elections.

  • Virginia Democrats have achieved major political goals over the past two years – from criminal justice reform, easing restrictions on abortions and expanding voting rights, reports the AP.

What they say: A strong display by Republican Glenn Youngkin appears to have lifted the GOP down the vote.

  • “Democrats have about a 2-1 fundraising advantage in house races, but it seems that party voting and momentum are stronger than money,” said Mark Rozell, dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

But: Even if Republicans draw a majority in Parliament and win the governorship, Democrats have a majority in the state Senate, where elections will not take place until 2023.

  • “The Senate will be the wall to prevent Republicans from regretting much of the progressive agenda that Democrats have adopted over the past four years,” he told Axios.

Zoom in: Here are some races in Northern Virginia that we are very aware of:

District 10: Wendy Gooditis (D) vs. Nick Clemente (R)

  • Gooditis had a 1.5 percentage point lead over Republican challenger Clemente late Tuesday night, with two areas still to be reported, according to unofficial results.
  • The race to represent part of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick County’s broken fundraising records. Gooditis had ousted a Republican in power in 2017 thanks to a blue wave.

51st district: Briana D. Sewell (D) and Tim D. Cox (R)

  • Sewell defended his seat with 55% of the vote against Republican challenger Cox, with an area not yet reporting late Tuesday night.
  • The 51st district seat in Prince William County went into play after incumbent Hala Ayala (D) decided to renounce re-election to run for lieutenant government.

District 31: Elizabeth Guzman (D) vs. Ben Baldwin (R)

  • The incumbent Guzman, who has been on three seats, had a nearly 8 percentage point lead over Republican challenger Baldwin, with three areas left to count.
  • Guzman campaigned to support workers, while Baldwin focused on improving what he calls Virginia’s poor pandemic response.

District 40: Dan Helmer (D) vs. Harold Pyon (R)

  • This district, which covers parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties, is fierce competition as Republicans seek to regain control of incumbent Helmer, who turned the district from red to blue in 2019 for the first time since the 1990s, the Prince William Times reports . Abortion access, which the candidates are divided on, has become a hotspot in this race.
  • Helmer had a lead of 10 percentage points with five areas left.
  • In September, Pyon’s campaign was accused of distributing anti-Semitic broadcasts about Helmer, which the campaign denied as anti-Semitic.

2nd district: Candi PM King (D) mod Gina R. Ciarcia (R)

  • Share. King, who won the seat in a special election in January to represent parts of Prince William and Stafford counties, led with nearly 59% of the vote against Republican challenger Ciarcia.

52nd District: Luke Torian (D) vs. Maria Martin (R)

  • Torian led with 66% of the vote, and most areas reported. She has represented the 52nd District since 2010.

Editor’s Note: This history will be updated during election day to reflect incoming election results. Last updated on Tuesday, November 2 at 23:12 ET.


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