Far left Dems Carter, Samirah to lose in Virginia primary

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — Two of the most left-leaning Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly lost their reelection bids after being defeated in the Democratic primary.

Lee Carter, a two-term socialist Democrat who represents the Manassas area, lost to challenger Michelle Lopes-Maldonado in a three-way race Tuesday.

And Ibraheem Samirah, who represents parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties, lost to challenger Irene Shin.

They were among four Democrats and one Republican knocked off in Tuesday’s legislative primaries.

Both Carter and Samirah were to varying extents shunned by their own party and saw numerous mainstream Democrats endorse their opponents.

The Associated Press declared Lopes-Maldonado and Shin victors Wednesday, though both Carter and Samirah conceded Tuesday night. Carter seemed far from distraught at his loss; in a tweet, he said the job had made him miserable and he was “relieved to say that I’ve done my part, and now it’s someone else’s turn.”

He said he plans to become a farmer.

Samirah, a dentist, drew national attention in 2019 for interrupting then-President Donald Trump while he spoke at an event in Jamestown.

On the other end of the Democratic ideological spectrum, centrist Del. Steve Heretick lost his seat in Hampton Roads to Nadarius Clark, a 26-year-old community activist.

The fourth losing Democratic incumbent was Mark Levine in Alexandria, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money in a simultaneous bid for lieutenant governor, which he also lost. He was defeated by Alexandria Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker.

On the Republican side, the only Republican incumbent to lose was Del. Charles Poindexter, who was defeated in his southside Virginia district by challenger Wren Williams, an attorney who worked on former President Donald Trump’s unsuccessful Wisconsin recount. Poindexter has served in the legislature since 2008.

Democrats currently control the legislature and have passed a wave of progressive legislation; Republicans are hoping to regain control of the House in November’s election, when all 100 seats are on the ballot.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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