The Latest: Virginia GOP hopes to benefit from Morrissey win

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on Virginia’s primary elections (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

Virginia Republicans keep getting help from Virginia Democrats as the GOP tries to win over suburban voters unhappy with President Donald Trump.

The latest instance was Tuesday’s victory by a former lawmaker who once spent his nights in jail and his days at the legislature because of a sex scandal involving a teenager. Joe Morrissey won a Democratic primary in a Richmond-area Senate seat despite his own party’s best efforts to keep him out of office.

Republicans have already signaled they plan to use Morrissey’s past scandals as a way to focus voters on more ones involving the state’s top three statewide Democrats.

All 140 legislative seats are up for grabs this year. Republicans currently have a narrow majority in both chambers.

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2:56 a.m.

Virginia’s off-year elections later this year — when 140 legislative seats and partisan control of the Legislature is up for grabs — may signal what the rest of the country’s mood will be in 2020. But a series of surprising primary results Tuesday offered mix messages on what voters want.

The progressive wing of the Democratic party flexed its muscles in some races and faltered in others. Conservatives unhappy with moderate Republicans who backed Medicaid expansion last year took out one target and whiffed on another.

Once a key swing state that’s been tilting increasingly toward Democrats, Virginia’s 2017 elections were an early warning signal that a blue wave of opposition to President Donald Trump would wash over the 2018 U.S. midterms.

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