Welcome to the Thursday, June 13, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- How many pageviews have presidential candidate articles received on Ballotpedia?
- Two incumbents defeated in Virginia’s state legislative primaries
- One week until our next Ballotpedia Insights session
Two incumbents defeated in Virginia’s state legislative primaries
Two incumbents—one Democrat and one Republican—lost in Virginia’s primaries Tuesday as voters statewide selected nominees for this year’s state Senate and House of Delegates elections.
Former Del. Joe Morrissey defeated incumbent Sen. Roz Dance (D), 56.4% to 43.6%, in the Democratic primary in state Senate District 16—which includes parts of Richmond. Morrissey resigned from the state House in 2014 following his misdemeanor conviction stemming from his relationship with a 17-year-old girl but won election to his old seat in a special election in March 2015. Morrissey then resigned from that seat later in 2015 to run against Sen. Dance but withdrew prior to the general election citing health concerns. Morrissey faces independent candidate Waylin Ross in the general election.
Paul Milde III defeated Del. Robert Thomas Jr. (R) by 163 votes—51.4% to 48.6%—in the Republican primary for House District 28, which is located south of Washington, D.C. Milde finished second in the 2017 primary to Thomas and will face Democratic nominee Joshua Cole in November. Thomas defeated Cole by 82 votes—50.2% to 49.8%—in the 2017 general election. Ballotpedia identified this district as a battleground in this year’s elections.
According to data from the state Department of Elections and local political parties, there were 16 primaries for state Senate seats and 19 primaries for seats in the state House. Virginia uses a unique primary system in that local parties can hold party caucuses or nominating conventions in place of primary elections to select their nominees.
Eighty-seven incumbents sought re-election to seats in the state House, which was the lowest number since 2011.
No state House incumbents lost in the primary in 2017. Two state House members and one state Senator was defeated in 2015’s primaries, the most recent year that both legislative chambers were up for election.
Republicans hold a 21-19 majority in the state Senate and a 51-49 majority in the state House. This election will take place using court-ordered state House district maps redrawn by a special master earlier this year, which changed the boundaries of 25 districts. Under the old maps, Hillary Clinton won 51 districts in 2016 while Donald Trump won 49. Under the new maps, Clinton would have won 56 districts (7 currently held by Republicans) while Trump would have won 44 (none currently held by Democrats).
One week until our next Ballotpedia Insights session
In one week—on June 20—we’ll be holding the next edition of our Ballotpedia Insights series where we’ll discuss how the worldwide political environment has changed and what instigated these shifts. Sarah Rosier, my Brew predecessor and our current Director of Outreach, will be hosting Dr. Stevan Hobfoll, the author of Tribalism: The Evolutionary Origins of Fear Politics.
Dr. Hobfoll is a psychologist and the Chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He has spent years researching the impact of traumatic stress on an individual’s health and his latest book is, among other things, intended to explore the tribalist roots of our increasingly polarized and uncompromising political landscape.
April’s Ballotpedia Insights, with Jeff Roe and Jeff Hewitt, discussed the unique challenges of campaigning today. February’s session featured Edgar Bachrach and Austin Berg, authors of The New Chicago Way: Lessons from Other Big Cities, examining the governance of Chicago compared with other large cities.
These Ballotpedia Insights sessions are always fascinating, so I hope you’ll make plans to join me.