Wexton wins Dem race for Virginia’s 10th District

WASHINGTON – State Sen. Jennifer Wexton the winner of the Democratic primary in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, the Associated Press has declared.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Wexton, the only elected official in the race, has a commanding lead, with 41.88 percent of the vote in the six-candidate race. Former State Department official Alison Friedman is in second at 22.98 percent.

Army veteran Dan Helmer, former Obama Administration official Lindsey Davis Stover, former prosecutor Paul Pelletier and scientist Julia Biggins trail the field.

The winner will take on U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, the winner of Tuesday’s 10th District Republican primary, in November.

The national Democratic Party considers the seat the most likely one in Virginia to flip from Republican to Democratic. Though Comstock won reelection with 53 percent of the vote in 2016, Hillary Clinton won the presidential race in the district by 10 points.

In her acceptance speech, posted to Facebook, Wexton said, “People are ready for change.”

She added that Comstock “hasn’t held a single town hall” in her four years in Congress and pointed out her A-rating from the NRA.

Referring to President Donald Trump, Wexton said, “We realize that democracy is more fragile than we thought, and no one can afford to stand on the sidelines.”

She added, “We don’t have to live in a country where it’s easier to buy a gun than it is to vote.”

See the full speech in the video below:

Davis Stover said in a statement Tuesday night that she would support Wexton in the general election campaign. “There’s a lot of work left to be done and I look forward to working with her to ensure that Virginia is the open, inclusive, and progressive state I know it to be.”

She added that the crowded field “built momentum and enthusiasm that will ensure Democrats can unseat Barbara Comstock this November.”

Larry Sabato, of the Center for Politics at the university of Virginia, told WTOP, “The Democrats arguably chose their best candidate,” citing Wexton’s support from party leaders. “She won handily.” Sabato also called Comstock “very vulnerable.”

Four of the Democrats in the primary race raised $980,000 or more, including Friedman, who committed $1 million of her money; Wexton had the endorsement of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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