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Stories about Virginia

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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Elaine Luria re-elected in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District

Incumbent Elaine Luria (D) defeated challengers Scott Taylor (R) and David Foster (I) in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.

The race was one of 56 U.S. House rematches this year; Luria defeated Taylor 51% to 49% in 2018. Taylor was the incumbent in that election, having first won election to the seat 61% to 39% in 2016. Preliminary results suggest Luria expanded her margin over Taylor this year, winning 51% to 47%.

This was one of 30 U.S. House districts held by a Democrat that Donald Trump (R) carried in 2016. That year, he defeated Hillary Clinton (D) by a margin of 3.4 percentage points, expanding on Mitt Romney’s (R) 2.3 percentage point margin over Barack Obama (D) in 2012.

Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) included this district on their target lists this year. The DCCC and House Majority PAC spent a combined $1.5 million, while the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund spent a combined $3.5 million.



Bob Good wins election to Virginia’s 5th Congressional District

Bob Good (R) defeated Cameron Webb (D) in the election for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. Good, a former Campbell County supervisor, was nominated over Rep. Denver Riggleman (R) at the Republican convention this year, becoming one of five Republicans to defeat an incumbent U.S. representative in a primary or convention this year.

Both parties’ national organizations targeted the district this year, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) both adding it to their target lists. President Trump (R) endorsed Good, while former President Obama (D) endorsed Webb. As of 6 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 4, Good led Webb 53.4% to 46.3%, a margin comparable to Riggleman’s 53.2% to 46.6% win over Leslie Cockburn (D) in 2018.



Freitas wins Republican nomination at Virginia’s 7th Congressional District convention

Nick Freitas defeated John McGuire and four other candidates in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District’s July 18 Republican primary convention. After the third and final round of voting, Freitas received 56 percent of the delegate vote to McGuire’s 44 percent.
Freitas led in fundraising during the primary with $1,031,000 according to June 28 campaign finance reports. McGuire followed with $670,000. Freitas was also supported by Club for Growth, which spent roughly $300,000 supporting his candidacy.
Freitas will face incumbent Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-07) in the general election. She was first elected in 2018, defeating incumbent David Brat (R) by a margin of 50 percent to 48 percent.
The 7th Congressional District one of 30 U.S. House Districts represented by a Democrat in 2020 that voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016. During the presidential election, Trump received 51 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 44 percent in the 7th District.


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