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Following Primaries, November's Races (Mostly) Set as CUs, League Ready for Busy Election Season

Authored By: CeJae Vtipilson on 6/21/2023

Since the beginning of May, 56 primary elections (25 in the Senate and 31 in the House) have taken place across Virginia, with the vast majority (44) taking place via state-run primary on June 20.

According to the June 12 Campaign Finance reports each candidate was required to submit, an unprecedented $22 million dollars was raised for this year’s elections, with $7.9 million raised by the 309 House candidates and $14.1 million by 139 Senate candidates.

After months of campaigning with millions of dollars raised and spent, thousands of yard signs staked in the ground, hundreds of stump speeches delivered, dozens of TV ads aired and countless doors knocked, we now (mostly) have the candidates set for the 40 state Senate and 100 state House races taking place on Nov. 7.

As we have been saying, the Virginia General Assembly will look very different come January and we’re not talking about their new building. Along with the dozens of long-time legislators who retired or did not seek reelection, five Senate incumbents lost to their primary challenger (Chase, R-12; Morrissey, D-13; Spruill, D-18; Barker, D-36; and Petersen, D-37), as well as one House incumbent (March, R-47).

Twelve incumbents defeated their primary challengers - six in the Senate and six in the House. At least one-third of the Virginia General Assembly will be new members in 2024 with the Senate having at least 15 new members and the House with at least 32 new members.

As for ideology, last night’s results were a mixed bag. While a handful of more moderate Democratic Senators lost to more progressive challengers, for the most part, moderate candidates had the most success.

On the Republican side: Glen Sturtevant defeated extremely conservative Senator Amanda Chase in the 12th District, Del. Tara Durant defeated a more conservative challenger in the 27th Senate District, and Del. Emily Brewer bested Hermie Sadler in the 17th District.

These more moderate victories give Republicans a much better chance to win the Senate in November. Democratic moderates also came out victorious, though in much less competitive general election districts, with Sens. Marsden (D-35), Bagby (D-14), Deeds (D-11), and likely McPike (D-29) defeating more progressive challengers.

Even though moderates appeared to have the most overall success, the special interest group Clean Virginia, which spent $7.25 million on primaries races, helped elect numerous progressive candidates; including helping unseat two more moderate Democratic Senators (Barker and Morrissey), along with several new Senate and House candidates.

The Virginia Credit Union League donated a total of $11,000 in 11 primary races. Nine of the 11 candidates we supported won their races.

You can visit HERE to see the complete list of results from last night’s primary races.

On to November!

Now that the slate of candidates is mostly set, we are now looking toward the 140 General Assembly races taking place in November. As it stands around 50 of the 140 races have only 1 major party candidate and more than one-third of the races have no incumbent candidate (15 in the Senate and 32 in the House). With the primary elections complete, the League will reassess our PAC contribution schedule to best reflect the interests of Virginia’s 104 credit unions. 

We will also be highlighting key races with credit union champions and will be asking credit union advocates to take active roles in some of these races. This will include participating in phone banking, door knocking, and allowing candidates to place signs on credit union property. With the legislative agenda we plan to undertake in January, we will need to strongly support our friends and supporters in the General Assembly.

We also hope you will join us at our legislative receptions taking place around the state from now through August.  We will be inviting not only our current elected officials but also the candidates running in the November general elections.  You can find the list of and register for our scheduled receptions on the League’s Event Calendar.

We thank you for your continued support. Should you have any questions regarding the primary elections or League events please do not hesitate to contact us - JT Blau and CeJae Vtipilson.

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