In Virginia, 2 primary races stand out

While Tuesday will feature a busy primary election in D.C., it will also be Primary Day in Virginia, where voters will choose candidates in a handful of congressional races across the state.

Of the 11 U.S. House members in Virginia, seven are Democrats and four are Republicans, but Republicans see an opportunity to flip at least a couple of seats this year. That has led to some crowded Republican primaries.

“The big news is that all candidates are running in new districts because there was a redistricting that was recently done by the courts,” longtime Virginia political analyst Bob Holsworth told WTOP.

After the boundaries around Virginia’s congressional districts were redrawn, some districts became slightly less favorable to Democrats.

“That redistricting probably made two Democrats more vulnerable than previously,” Holsworth said.

According to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, Reps. Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger are among the most vulnerable Democratic members of Congress in the country this year.

“Most of the action is going to be with the Luria seat in the 2nd District and the Spanberger seat in the 7th District,” said Holsworth.

There are four Republicans running in Tuesday’s primary in the 2nd District, in the Virginia Beach area, fighting for the chance to face Luria in November’s general election.

In addition to the challenges related to redistricting, Luria sits on the House committee that is holding public hearings as it investigates the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Luria has acknowledged that her involvement with the committee could be polarizing, leading to political attacks.

“If I don’t get re-elected because of this, that’s OK,” Luria told The New York Times.

In the 7th District, which includes parts of Prince William, Stafford, Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties, six Republicans are hoping to take on Spanberger.

During the redistricting process, Richmond-area suburbs that were considered Spanberger’s base were drawn out of her district altogether.

“Spanberger doesn’t live where the district has moved to, so she’s not somebody who is very well-known now in the district,” Holsworth said. “Her base was basically removed.”

Even though Virginia has 11 House seats, only a handful of primaries are being held Tuesday because many candidates are running unopposed.

Additionally, in several districts, Republicans already chose their candidates through events such as conventions and locally controlled primary elections.

Here is the state of affairs in each district heading into primary day:

District 1 includes Williamsburg and parts of Henrico and Chesterfield counties.

*Incumbent Republican Rob Wittman (running unopposed/no primary)

*Democrat Herb Jones (running unopposed/no primary)


District 2 is located along the Eastern Shore including Virginia Beach.

*Incumbent Democrat Elaine Luria (running unopposed/no primary)

*Four candidates are in a Republican primary — Andy Baan, Jarome Bell, Jen Kiggans and Tommy Altman


District 3 is located in southeast Virginia, including Norfolk, Newport News and Hampton.

*Incumbent Democrat Bobby Scott (running unopposed/no primary)

*Two candidates are in a Republican primary — Ted Engquist and Terry Namkung


District 4 is between Richmond and Hampton Roads, including parts of Chesterfield and Henrico counties.

*Incumbent Democrat Donald McEachin (running unopposed/no primary)

*Republican Leon Benjamin (running unopposed/no primary)


District 5 is in central and Southside Virginia, stretching from Charlottesville to the North Carolina border.

*Incumbent Republican Bob Good (chosen in a convention)

*Democrat Joshua Throneburg (running unopposed/no primary)


District 6 covers much of the west-central portion of the state, including Roanoke, Harrisonburg and Winchester.

*Incumbent Republican Ben Cline is facing challenger Merritt Hale in a primary

*There’s no Democratic candidate in the race


District 7 includes sections of Prince William, Stafford, Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties.

*Incumbent Democrat Abigail Spanberger (running unopposed/no primary)

*Six candidates are in a Republican primary: Bryce Reeves, Crystal Vanuch, David Ross, Derrick Anderson, Gina Ciarcia and Yesli Vega


District 8 includes parts of Fairfax County, Arlington County, Alexandria and Falls Church.

*Incumbent Democrat Don Beyer is facing challenger Victoria Virasingh in a primary

*Republican Karina Lipsman was chosen in a convention


District 9 encompasses much of southwest Virginia.

*Incumbent Republican Morgan Griffith (running unopposed/no primary)

*There’s no Democratic candidate in the race


District 10 includes Loudoun County and parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties and Manassas City.

*Incumbent Democrat Jennifer Wexton (running unopposed/no primary)

*Republican Hung Cao was chosen in a locally controlled primary


District 11 includes Fairfax County.

*Incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly (running unopposed/no primary)

*Republican Jim Myles was chosen in a locally-controlled primary

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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