VA Demo Memo Weekly Update: Virginia Democrats flip 3 House seats, lead the way for the nation again!

Years of hard work and a fierce commitment to building our Party at the grassroots level were once again rewarded last night. Just three years ago, Virginia Republicans outnumbered Democrats in the United States House of Representatives 8 to 3, now it’s Democrats 7 and GOP 4.

In 2017 and now 2018, Virginia showed the nation the way.

Here’s what Chairwoman Susan Swecker had to say about last nights Senate and Congressional victories and the hard fought campaigns that made our party proud:

Chairwoman Susan Swecker

Senator Tim Kaine, Congressman Bobby Scott, Congressman Gerry Connolly, Congressman Don Beyer, and Congressman Donald McEachin

“Tonight, Senator Tim Kaine and Congressmen Bobby Scott, Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer and Don McEachin were rehired by the voters of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Senator Kaine, Congressman Scott, Congressman Connolly, Congressman Beyer and Congressman McEachin represent the best in public service. They care deeply about their constituents, listen to what matters to them most and fight like hell for them in Washington. They all richly deserve their re-election this evening.”

Congressional District 10

“Change has come to Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. After nearly 40 years of Republican control, we could not be more pleased that Congresswoman-Elect Jennifer Wexton will be representing VA-10 come January. Congresswoman-Elect Wexton’s long history of public service, deep roots in the district and commitment to essential causes from increased healthcare to improving Virginia’s infrastructure will serve the people of Northern Virginia well. The DPVA deeply appreciates the many people who helped make this happen.”

Congressional District 7

“Congresswoman-Elect Abigail Spanberger ran one of the best campaigns in modern Virginia history. She travelled every inch of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District and gave her new constituents something to vote FOR, not just against. Congresswoman-Elect Spanberger’s deep national security background and commanding presence will make an immediate impact in the United States House of Representatives. A hearty thank you to everyone that contributed to this historic win.”

Congressional District 2

“Tonight, the people of Hampton Roads won. Congresswoman-Elect Elaine Luria worked hard, relentlessly stuck to the issues and prevailed in a hard-fought race with Congressman Taylor. Congresswoman-Elect Luria will do in Congress what she did during her 20 years in the Navy — she will serve our country, she will do what is right, and she will make us proud with her relentless hardwork. Congratulations to the Congresswoman-Elect and everyone that made this incredible victory possible.”

Congressional District 9

“Anthony Flaccavento brought a true farmer’s spirit to this race that resonated with Virginians across the Fightin’ Ninth. Pundits said a Democrat couldn’t run a strong race in Southwest Virginia, yet that is exactly what Anthony did this year. By not only doubling Morgan Griffith’s fundraising in this race but also hosting over 100 town halls, Anthony spread the Democratic message of hope and change across Southwest Virginia. His valiant effort will only further propel Democrats in rural Virginia for years to come.”

Congressional District 6

“Jennifer Lewis embodies everything that is good and true about a public servant. Jennifer’s campaign was not only about making it to Congress, but it was also about bringing awareness to some of the most important issues facing Virginians in the Valley — and she did. For that, Virginia Democrats are extremely grateful for the race she ran.”

Congressional District 5

“Leslie Cockburn’s strong message resonated with voters across Virginia’s 5th district more and more as she put nearly 80,000 miles on her car meeting, delving into the issues ordinary Virginians face every day — even in the face of vicious personal attacks. I am assured Leslie will never stop fighting for better healthcare, increased broadband access, a cleaner environment, and all the other issues near and dear to the people of Central and Southside Virginia. We could not be prouder of Leslie Cockburn and the race she ran.”

Congressional District 1

“I commend Vangie Williams on a hard-fought race. She represented the best in Virginia Democrats, bringing her exceptional experience in business and civic service in one of the best Democratic campaigns we have ever seen in VA-01. Even in defeat, Vangie left a lasting impression on Virginia’s 1st District. As this campaign season comes to an end, I look forward to seeing the work Vangie continues to do that will better communities across our Commonwealth.”

What is the press saying about the democratic energy in Virginia?

Democrats Wexton, Luria and Spanberger unseat Republicans Comstock, Taylor and Brat, while Kaine cruises in Virginia (Washington Post)

“A trio of Democratic women defeated Republican incumbents in Virginia congressional districts Tuesday, and Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine cruised to reelection as voters turned out in strong numbers around the state.…The wins exceeded expectations of even Democratic leaders and boosted the party’s successful efforts to regain control of the House of Representatives — in a state that only a generation ago was reliably Republican. Yet again, female candidates delivered big for Democrats in Virginia, just a year after another slate of women made huge gains in House of Delegates races.”

Democrats flip three House seats in Virginia to take 7–4 advantage (Richmond Times Dispatch)

“The three incumbent Republicans fell to Democratic candidates fueled by the unpopularity of President Donald Trump. The GOP’s Barbara Comstock lost in Northern Virginia and Scott Taylor was defeated in Hampton Roads in addition to Brat, the former economics professor who landed a major upset himself four years ago when he beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary.”

Women carry Democrats to victory in Virginia House races (Virginia Mercury)

“A surge of Democratic voters knocked three Republican congressional incumbents out of office Tuesday night, but their victories in two of the races were narrow as Republicans found their own wave of support in the state’s rural quarters.

But big turnout in the state’s biggest suburbs was still enough to hand three Democratic House candidates, all women, wins over three incumbent Republican representatives, giving Democrats victories in a majority of the state’s 11 congressional seats for the first time since 2008.

One of the candidates will be the first woman elected to represent her district: Abigail Spanberger, who beat U.S. Rep. Dave Brat in the suburban-Richmond-anchored 7th District. Trump won the district and Republicans carried it again in last year’s governor’s race. It will be the first time a Democrat has held the seat since 1971.

Two other candidates will be the first Democratic women to hold their seats: State Sen. Jennifer Wexton beat Rep. Barbara Comstock in Northern Virginia’s 10th District — another longtime Republican stronghold the party has held since 1981. And Elaine Luria beat Rep. Scott Taylor in the Virginia Beach-anchored 10th District. Democrats last won that seat in 2008.”

Analysis: Democrats remake Va. map (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“Behind U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine’s lopsided victory for a second term and the pickup of three congressional seats, including one in the Richmond area that four years ago was held by a prospective Republican speaker, Democrats strengthened their hold on the bustling eastern crescent that drives Virginia’s politics. They also extended their reach into areas where Republican dominance had been an article of faith.

Republicans, having lost House seats in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and the Richmond suburbs, head into the crucial 2019 legislative elections reduced to a largely rural presence, protected — for now — by partisan gerrymandering that could be undone by a federal court and swelling Democratic ranks in the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate. Their bench for statewide office was deeply depleted Tuesday.

The Spanberger, Wexton and Luria victories pushed the Democrats’ numbers in the state’s House delegation to seven, giving them a majority for the first time in a decade. Before the 2016 election, Democrats held only three seats to the Republicans’ eight.”

Virginia Democrats Score Key Wins in Congressional Races (Associated Press)

“Virginia voters reproached President Donald Trump for the second year in row as Democrats flipped three congressional races and scored a convincing victory in a U.S. Senate race.

Democrats won GOP-held districts in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and the Richmond area, boosted by suburban voters unhappy with the president. The Virginia victories helped put Democrats on track to take control of the U.S. House.”

Democrat Jennifer T. Wexton defeats Rep. Barbara Comstock, turning a GOP stronghold district in Virginia blue (Washington Post)

Democrat Jennifer T. Wexton defeated Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), ending nearly four decades of Republican control of a key Northern Virginia seat.

“Change is coming to America, and change is coming to Virginia 10, and that change came tonight!” Wexton told cheering supporters at her victory party. “We demand a better nation, a nation where we treat each other with dignity and with respect.”

Fueled by suburban votes, Spanberger beats Brat in 7th District House race (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“I am honored to stand before you as the congresswoman-elect from Virginia’s 7th District,” she told a large crowd at The Westin Richmond in Henrico County late Tuesday. “This is what can happen when everyday citizens realize their collective strength in a democracy and when they join with their neighbors to stand up for what they believe in and they use their voices at the polls.”

Throughout the campaign, she positioned herself as someone who would work with both parties to solve problems with a focus on national security and protecting health care. She attacked Brat for his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and specifically over the possibility that people with pre-existing health conditions could have been charged more should the repeal have also passed the Senate.

In the buildup to Tuesday, Spanberger campaigned in all 10 of the district’s counties in 10 days, while Brat, who was endorsed by Trump, declined to release a campaign schedule to the public or press and held few public campaign events, saying he worried political opponents would protest him.

Democrat Elaine Luria ousts Rep. Scott Taylor in 2nd Congressional District (Virginian-Pilot)

“For a while now, we’ve had leaders in Washington who don’t share the values of Coastal Virginia, values of decency, community and service the country over all else,” Luria told the crowd.

“We’ve spent two years waiting for someone to stand up to the partisan and the division in Washington. We’ve been waiting for someone to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’ “

“If we want to change the conversation in Washington, we need to change the people we send to Washington,” Luria said in closing her speech Tuesday night. “This is your night, your democracy, and let’s get to work.”

What are our re-elected and newly-elected officials saying?

Many familiar faces were around the Commonwealth for GOTV weekend.

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Official Medium account of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

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