Several incumbents ousted – NBC4 Washington
Challengers from all ideological backgrounds ousted or appeared poised to defeat a handful of incumbents in the Virginia House of Delegates, including a Republican and several Democrats, in Tuesday’s primary election.
Nomination contests are turning the page on what is expected to be a hotly contested battle for control of the House in the fall.
See the main results here
Republicans will seek to wrest control from Democrats, who over the past two years have passed transformative legislation that has made Virginia an outlier in the South. They expanded access to the vote, relaxed restrictions on abortion, legalized marijuana, passed a clean energy mandate, repealed the death penalty, and raised the minimum wage.
In an interview, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn called the evening strong for her Democratic caucus, which had faced challengers against 14 incumbents.
“It will be our focus now to make sure Virginians remember exactly what we have been able to accomplish and why it is important that we maintain the majority,” she said.
Republican House Leader Todd Gilbert said Democrats would be “grappling with a group of newcomers who believe Virginia hasn’t gone far enough to punish law enforcement and pamper criminals.” .
“Democrats have appointed a slate of candidates who want to continue failed policies that have seen Virginia’s national reputation diminish over the past two years. The Republican House caucus looks forward to working with our statewide and House candidates to defeat the Democrats from top to bottom in the November ballot, “he said in a statement.
Among the incumbent Democrats who lost their seats in the House was Del. Mark Levine of Alexandria, who was beaten in the 45th District race by challenger Elizabeth Bennett-Parker. Levine had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money in a campaign for the lieutenant governor, which he lost. Bennett-Parker is an established figure in Alexandria politics; she is currently vice-mayor.
In the 79th District, which covers parts of Hampton Roads, centrist Democrat Steve Heretick lost a main challenge to his left to Nadarius Clark, a 26-year-old community activist.
Clark said in an interview last month with The Associated Press that he wanted to bring a more progressive voice to Richmond. During the campaign, he criticized Heretick’s votes against bills allowing localities to remove Confederate monuments, ending qualified immunity and banning assault weapons.
In Northern Virginia, two of the left-most caucus members appeared to concede close races that AP had yet to call Tuesday night.
In the 86th arrondissement, Del. Ibraheem Samirah, who gained national attention in 2019 for a flamboyant protest during a visit to Jamestown by former President Donald Trump, was behind challenger Irene Shin.
“We did not get the election result we wanted. I am still extremely proud of the campaign we have led, ”he tweeted.
In the 50th House District, in the Manassas region, the incumbent Democrat Del. Lee Carter was behind challenger Michelle E. Lopes-Maldonado in a three-man race. Carter also ran unsuccessfully in the governor’s primary. The two-term holder is a socialist who has never had close ties to the party establishment.
He tweeted that the job had made him miserable and he was “relieved to say that I did my part, and now it’s someone else’s turn.”
On the Republican side, Wren Williams, a lawyer who worked on the unsuccessful recount of former President Donald Trump in Wisconsin, ousted longtime incumbent Charles Poindexter.
Poindexter has served in the House since 2008, representing the 9th Tory District, which covers parts of Franklin, Patrick and Henry counties south of Roanoke.
Williams will face Democrat Bridgette Craighead in November.
“The people here, they just forced the change and wanted someone who was going to be a defender and a fighter on their behalf,” Williams told the Roanoke Times. “They wanted someone more passionate and energetic.”
During the race, Williams called Poindexter a career politician and criticized him for failing to expose alleged voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, although many officials confirmed there was no had widespread fraud.
“I have seen with my own eyes what happens when electoral integrity is not maintained,” he said in a campaign ad.
Northern Virginia bureau chief Julie Carey talks to voters about their decisions during the primary.
The Wisconsin recount in the two largest Democratic counties in the key battlefield state cost Trump $ 3 million and confirmed Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
Poindexter, now retired from a career in information systems technology, is a conservative Republican who has spoken out against the Democrats’ environmental agenda and on bills giving localities the ability to remove Confederate monuments.
In a statement, Gilbert congratulated Williams on his victory and thanked Poindexter for his service, calling him a “staunch conservative”.
The Republicans had only three incumbents against the main challengers on Tuesday. The other two, Del. Kathy Byron and Del. Ronnie Campbell, won hands down.