Then. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) Celebrates his second term at a party in Falls Church on Tuesday. (Pete Marovich / For…
A trio of democratic women defeated Republican Commander in Virginia Congressional District Tuesday and Democratic Sen Tim Kaine cruised to re-election as voters proved in strong numbers around the state.
State Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton defeated commander Barbara Comstock in the 10th district in the suburbs of Washington and the newcomer Elaine Luria unseated Rep. Scott W. Taylor in the Hampton Roads area’s second district.
In a close race that went down to the last few parts, Democrat Abigail Spanberger, shot by Rep Dave Brat in the 7th district of Richmond suburbs.
The profits exceeded expectations of even democratic leaders and increased the party’s efforts to regain control of the House of Representatives – in an indication that only one generation ago was reliably the Republican. Once again, female candidates delivered great to the Democrats in Virginia, just one year after another slate of women made huge profits in houses of delegated races.
Comstock failed to win a third term in a district that had been comfortable Republican for almost 40 years. Wexton, a state senator and former prosecutor, rolled up huge margins in Loudoun County’s ever-changing suburbs.
Kaine, a popular former governor and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 companion, easily defeated Corey A. Stewart, head of Prince William County who promised a vicious campaign in the form of President Trump.
National Democrats had spent h eavily to defeat Comstock as part of an attempt to regain control of the House. Virginia was an early test of that strategy, with an unusual number of competitive house races and polls that closed before many others around the country.
Democrats had targeted four of Virginia 11 congress seats as potential flips and Wexton led Comstock public investigations for months. But the prospect of another two pickups in Richmond and Hampton Roads made the Democrats unhappy.
“Virginia showed who we are and who we are not,” said Kaine at his victory celebration at a hotel in Falls Church where he joined Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Justin Fairfax and former governor Terry McAuliffe. “It will be Democrats who will eventually ensure that women are represented in all our legislative bodies,” Kaine said.
Luria, a business owner and former naval commander, said Tuesday’s wins were more than sex. “I think this is a moment for our country, and it happens that many people who stood up were women,” she said after celebrating in Virginia Beach. Luria said that Taylor had called her to promise to work together for a smooth transition.
Outside Richmond, Spanberger’s followers threw tears, logged and held hands when their candidate declared victory. “They said this district was unusable, but this campaign was always about giving people something to vote for,” Spanberger said after becoming the first democrat to win there since at least 1968.
Republicans held one open seat when Denver Riggleman beat Democrat Leslie Cockburn in the 5th district near Charlottesville. But it was a bit of comfort for some.
“I’m a veteran of the blue wave of 2017. It is clear that the blue wave still remains,” said John Whitbeck, former chairman of the Virginia GOP, referring to democratic gains in last year’s state elections. “The Republicans have to figure out how to react. Clearly, we did not do this time. I can not think of a better candidate and a message than Barbara Comstock. We have just learned how to be better than we have been in this climate. “
Stewart admitted defeat just before 21 o’clock when Kaine was present with about 10 points with many democratic districts in voting heavy northern Virginia than counting.
“I’m not sorry what we did,” Stewart told a crowd of pleasing followers after calling Kaine to congratulate him. “We gave it a good fight, and we have a big president in the United States.”
The Riggleman won the seat left by Rep Thomas Garrett, who announced that he was fighting for alcoholism and said his campaign showed a new drawing for Republicans in Virginia.
“We proved we can run a campaign of class, integrity and dignity,” said the Riggleman during his victory party at a Afton brewery. “I think we’ve shown that we can run a campaign about the issues. I think you’re seeing a new day where we see a new form of civility in politics that comes from this campaign in the 5th district.”
Brat declined to meet the crowd gathered outside Richmond when the return came in and did not acknowledge.
Turnout was reportedly heavy around the state – in some places even tremendous presidential elections year. Despite the heavy rain in much of East and Central Virginia, voters waited for a few polling stations as long as two hours to cast voices.
Mohammed Moutaouakil, 47, arrived at McLean High School just after 6pm “to see if everyone is happy as I am,” he said. Run his excitement: “Trump,” said Moutaouakil, who voted democratic across the board.
“I do not agree with anything he has done so far, from immigration to fiscal policy,” he said. “In two years it has gone quite dramatically.”
But in rural areas of Spotsylvania County, along Interstate 95 between Washington and Richmond, Kim Mandzak, 61, was an eager to vote for exactly the opposite reason.
As Virginia cities have become more prosperous and its suburbs have spread in an arc from Fairfax down to Richmond and across to Hampton Roads, the former Red State has become more competitive – demanded by Democrats as a possible new voice source. 19659031] It was only southern state to go to Hillary Clinton in 2016 – when Kaine served as his ass friend.
Last year, in the first closely sought after election after Trump’s surprising victory, the Virginia Democrats wiped out almost the long-standing GOP majority in the General Assembly. It gave Democrats the opportunity to believe that they could gain more land this year – but also acted as an alarm clock for Republican voters, which would less likely appear in the polls last year.
The results of the year “look much like 2017 when angry white wardmen expelled Republican commander,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political researcher at the University of Mary Washington. “This is partly a Trump effect, but it’s also a Corey Stewart effect.”
If Republicans had driven a more common candidate than Stewart at the top of the ticket, Farnsworth said that it could have been enough to help Taylor or Brat hang in their tight competitions. “It is obvious that the Republican party has to retool in Virginia,” he said.
The main goal of the Democrats this year was Comstock, whose race against Wexton was the most expensive congressional competition in the state and whose district has become increasingly blue.
But the Democratic Congress’s campaign committee is also addressed to Taylor, and the first representative and former Navy SEAL were involved in a scandal during the campaign.
Several of his colleagues are under state criminal investigation, accused of turning fraudulent signatures to help an independent candidate get on the vote, apparently watering down voices for Luria. Although there were headlines in the late summer, voters were mixed as to whether it had influenced their decision.
Amy Lander, 43, an independent Norfolk teacher, said that incorrectness had no effect on her support to Taylor. “I do not think he had anything to do with it,” she said. She voted Republican “because I’m in order to keep the government small and lower taxes. I do not like the socialist policy I see the Democratic Party on my way to. I do not like to make such illegal immigration such a problem.”
But For Eric Mitchell, 26, a student at Norfolk State University and healthcare staff, the scandal Luria shone in a better light. “She seemed more honest to me compared to Scott Taylor with all this scandal agreement. It’s a big thing for me to have something that’s kind of happen to happen so. I feel you should be up to it. I just did not know that he be honest. “
Outside Richmond, the spread was heavily in suburban areas where former CIA operative Spanberger mounted a well-funded challenge to Brat.
The voters waited for as long as two hours to cast their voices in Robious Middle School in Chesterfield County, the suburbs of Richmond swing area that showed the difference in the race.
When heavy rain and wind blew at noon, school officials gave a number of voters wound around the building to move inside. By late afternoon, the line was all through the school.
“It’s not normal,” Renita McKnight, chief of the election, said about the announcement.
National Democrats looked at Virginia numbers carefully for early clues as to whether the message has gone on.
“We always thought Virginia was very important to the battlefield and important for our ability to take back the house,” said Dan Sena, Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Committee.
Winning two of Virginia congress seats would be a “good night”, said late before the election. Nationally, the party has experienced an enthusiasm among different dyes and suburbs that have played in districts held by Comstock, Taylor and Brat.
Jenna Portnoy, Laura Vozzella, Antonio Olivo, Jim Morrison, Michael Brice-Saddler, Steve Thompson, Mark Ferguson, John Harden and Hawes Spencer contributed to this report.