League Readies for Busy Primary, Election Seasons and Unprecedented Turnover in General Assembly
Earlier this month was the deadline for candidates to submit to run in Virginia’s June 20th state primary elections. While there are some districts holding party-run conventions or firehouse primaries that allow for later submissions, the vast majority of primary races for the Virginia House and Senate have been set.
Both chambers are in play this election and either party might win control. Of interest: there are 35 House Districts with no Republican candidates, but only 24 Districts with no Democratic candidates. This 11-seat deficit will make holding the House that much more difficult for Republicans come November.
Taking back the Senate will also be difficult but not impossible for Republicans, but with only 4 unopposed Republican districts in the Senate compared to 7 unopposed Democratic districts, Republicans will again be going into the election at a disadvantage. What Republicans do have in their favor, however, is a popular Republican Governor with a deep campaign war chest, who has all but officially announced he doesn’t plan to run for President, but instead plans to focus on Virginia and taking control of the Virginia General Assembly.
This means control of the Virginia General Assembly could go any number of ways come November. Here at your League, we’re watching the coming primaries and General Election with keen interest. Successful candidates in November will be deciding the issues that directly impact our credit unions.
Close to one third of the 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates have contested primaries, with 29 primary elections being held either by state-run primary on June 20 or by party-run convention or firehouse primary. Six of these races have incumbents running to maintain their seats. Due to an unprecedented number of Delegates either retiring or running for Senate, only one House primary will see two incumbents facing each other. This race pits Republican Delegates Marie March and Wren Williams against each other for the nomination to run as the Republican candidate in the newly created 47th District, which spans Carroll, Patrick, Floyd, and Henry counties. Regardless of the outcomes from these primary races, with 34 open seats in the House of Delegates, we will have new Delegates in more than a third of the House’s seats!
More than half of the Virginia Senate’s 40 seats will be holding primary elections, with 22 primary elections taking place either by state-run primary on June 20 or by party-run convention or firehouse primary. 11 of these races have incumbents running to maintain their positions, but, like the House, only one race will pit two incumbents against each other. Long-serving legislator Sen. Louise Lucas faces longtime credit union champion Sen. Lionel Spruill in a closely contested primary for the new 18th District in Chesapeake and Portsmouth. Both Senators have factors in their favor to win the primary; Sen. Lucas is the current Senate President Pro Tempore and has a large social media following while Sen. Spruill has served more of the newly drawn district. Whichever way these primaries turn out, with 11 open seats up for election we will see new faces in at least a quarter of the Senate in January.
The Virginia Credit Union League will be supporting several candidates in both the House and Senate with their primary races. We will be reaching out to credit unions in these districts seeking volunteers to knock on doors and potentially man phone banks for these credit union-friendly candidates, so be on the lookout for these requests.
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