The Democratic Party of Virginia is holding its primary for governor and other statewide races June 8 and both parties are holding primaries for some House of Delegates races and other local races.
Virginia’s governor’s race will be an open-seat election between businessman Glenn Youngkin on the Republican ticket and the Democratic nominee chosen Tuesday. Current Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam cannot seek reelection per state law, which prohibits a governor from serving two consecutive terms.
Youngkin was chosen through a convention process last month after the Republican Party opted against a statewide primary. The Democratic Party is choosing its nominee through a more conventional primary method with the current frontrunner being former Gov. Terry McAullife.
McAullife is running on his record as a former governor, in which he credited himself for working with, in his words, reasonable Republicans to pass legislation when the GOP had control of the General Assembly. McAullife has positioned himself as a pro-business Democrat.
The former governor has secured endorsements from key elected officials, such as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. One of his opponents, former State Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, from Woodbrige, received much less support from elected officials, but has become the favorite candidate for a number of the commonwealth’s larger and smaller unions. She has attacked McAullife on his moderate record, claiming his policies helped the wealthy and the well-connected, while leaving communities behind and contributing to a higher racial wealth gap.
Sen. Jennifer McClellan, whose been endorsed by Women of Color Coalition and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, is also vying for the Democratic nomination. She’s running on her record as a lawmaker and part of a subcommittee that advanced several criminal justice reform and policing reform bills. She was also one of the key figures to successfully get marijuana legalization passed in the commonwealth.
The other two candidates are Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Sen. Lee Carter. Fairfax has run on his record in the Northam administration and has focused on reforming the education system and pushing further reform on the state’s criminal justice system. Carter, who is a self-proclaimed socialist, has embraced universal healthcare, free community college and even more aggressive policing reform. Some of his proposed changes include reducing police funding and halting traffic enforcement by armed police and putting different officers in charge of enforcement.
Republicans chose former Del. Winsome Sears to be their nominee for lieutenant governor and Democrats will choose their nominee tomorrow. McAullife and his allies endorsed Del. Hala S. Ayala from Prince William County to be the party’s nominee. Other candidates include Del. Mark Levine, Del. Sam Rasoul, Norfolk City official Andria McClellan, small business owner Xavier Warren and NAACP activist Sean Perryman.
Current Attorney General Mark Herring is running for re-election and is facing a primary challenge from Del. Jerrauld Jones. Republicans nominated Del. Jason Miyares, a former federal prosecutor.
There are also primary races for several House of Delegates races for both Republicans and Democrats. Democrats currently have a 55-45 seat majority in the chamber, which they flipped from Republican control two years ago. The caucus is running on its legislative wins after taking control of both legislative chambers, which include gun control bills and criminal justice reform. Republicans are trying to take back control and focused on supporting the police and improving the state economy by reversing the higher regulations and other mandates on businesses passed after Democrats gained control.
Some municipal government races throughout the commonwealth will also have primaries tomorrow.
The general election will be Nov. 2.
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