Tagvirginia

Stories about Virginia

Virginia statewide filing deadline is March 25

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Virginia is on March 25, 2021. In Virginia, prospective candidates may file for the following offices:

  • Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Virginia House of Delegates (all 100 seats)

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following cities:

  • Chesapeake
  • Norfolk
  • Richmond
  • Virginia Beach

The Democratic primary is scheduled for June 8, the Republican convention is scheduled for May 8, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 2, 2021.

Virginia’s statewide filing deadline is the fourth to take place in the 2021 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on April 5 in New Jersey.

Virginia has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the House of Delegates with a 55-45 majority and the state Senate with a 21-18 majority with one vacancy. Democratic Governor Ralph Northam was elected in 2017.

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Special election for Virginia Senate district on March 23

A special election is being held on March 23 for District 38 of the Virginia state Senate. Former Radford City Councilwoman Laurie Buchwald (D) and Tazewell County Supervisor Travis Hackworth (R) are running in the general election.

The seat became vacant after the death of A. Benton Chafin (R) on Jan. 1, 2021, from complications due to COVID-19. Chafin had represented the district since 2014.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 21-18 majority in the Virginia Senate. Virginia has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of March, 30 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.

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Changes to ballot access procedures in the 2021 election cycle

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the two states conducting regular state-level elections in 2021—New Jersey and Virginia—have both made temporary modifications to their candidate ballot access procedures.

Ballot access procedures dictate whether a candidate or political party will appear on an election ballot. These laws are implemented and enforced at the state level. A candidate must prepare to meet ballot access requirements well in advance of primaries, caucuses, and the general election.

New Jersey: On January 25, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy (D) issued Executive Order No. 216, which provided that filing officers “allow for any candidate, delegate, recall, initiative, referendum, or other petition required to be filed prior to an election to be submitted by hand delivery and electronically.” The order also allows for petition signatures to be collected electronically.

Virginia: In January 2021, the Virginia Department of Elections settled a lawsuit over ballot access requirements for statewide candidates in 2021. As a result of the settlement, the signature requirement for statewide petitions was reduced from 10,000 to 2,000, with at least 50 signatures from each U.S. House District (as opposed to the statutory requirement of 400 signatures per district). The settlement also provided for petition signers to submit their signatures electronically.

Ballot access changes in 2020: In 2020, at least 20 states made temporary modifications to their ballot access procedures: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

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Filing deadline passes for special election in Virginia state Senate

Candidates interested in running in the special election for District 38 of the Virginia State Senate had until January 22, 2021, to file. Former Radford City Councilwoman Laurie Buchwald (D) is facing Tazewell County Supervisor Travis Hackworth (R) in the general election scheduled for March 23.

The seat became vacant after the death of A. Benton Chafin (R) on January 1 from complications due to COVID-19. Chafin had represented the district since 2014.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 21-18 majority in the Virginia Senate. Virginia has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of January, 24 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.

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Voters in two Virginia House districts to decide special elections on Jan. 5

Special elections are being held on January 5 for District 2 and District 90 of the Virginia House of Delegates.

  1. In District 2, Candi King (D) and Heather Mitchell (R) are running to replace Jennifer Foy (D), who resigned in December 2020 to focus on her 2021 campaign for governor. Foy had represented the district since 2018. She won re-election in 2019, earning 61% of the vote to defeat Mitchell in the general election.
  2. In District 90, Angelia Williams Graves (D) and Sylvia Bryant (R) are competing to replace Joseph Lindsey (D), who resigned in November after being appointed as a judge for Virginia’s 4th Judicial District. Lindsey was elected to the House of Delegates in a 2014 special election, and he ran unopposed in each of his re-election campaigns.

Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 53-45 majority in the House of Delegates with two vacancies. Virginia has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. All 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for election in 2021.

There have been 11 state legislative special elections scheduled for 2021 in eight states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.

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Wiley defeats Khanin in special election for Virginia House of Delegates District 29

A special general election was held for Virginia House of Delegates District 29 on November 3, 2020. Bill Wiley (R) defeated Irina Khanin (D), earning 63.7% of the vote to Khanin’s 36.2%. 

The special election was called after Chris Collins (R) resigned on June 28, 2020, to serve on the Virginia 26th Judicial District Court. Collins served from 2016 to 2020.

Virginia has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Following the special election, Democrats control the Virginia House of Delegates by a margin of 55-45.

As of November 2020, 59 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 27 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year. 

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Abigail Spanberger (D) wins re-election in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District

Incumbent Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) defeated challenger Nick Freitas (R) in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

Spanberger was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, defeating incumbent Rep. Dave Brat (R) 50% to 48%. Preliminary results indicate Spanberger won re-election by a similar 51% to 49% margin.

The 7th District was one of 30 districts Democrats were defending nationwide this year that Donald Trump (R) carried in the 2016 presidential election. In that election, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton (D) 51% to 44% in the district.

Both parties’ national committees targeted the district; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) added Spanberger to its Frontline program, which allocates funds and resources to Democratic candidates in competitive races, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) added Freitas to its Young Guns program, the Republican Party’s equivalent fundraising program.

The DCCC and House Majority PAC spent a combined $3.9 million on the race, while the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund spent a combined $5.0 million.

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