Virginia’s General Assembly primaries were last night, with 49 Republican and 45 Democratic contests for the House of Delegates and Senate. With all 140 seats of the General Assembly up for grabs this November, the results of these races will have a part in shaping which party holds control of the legislature.
In several races, ultra conservatives beat out their more moderate Republican challengers. That sets up a scenario where candidates who opposed Virginia’s expansion of health insurance to 400,000 people and a woman’s right to choose are heading to Richmond in the next General Assembly session.
THOMAS DEFEATED BY EVEN MORE CONSERVATIVE CHALLENGER
Del. Bob Thomas (R-Stafford) was defeated by Paul Milde in Tuesday’s primary, setting up an even more conservative candidate to face off against Democrat Joshua Cole in the 28th district this November.
Milde campaigned on a promise to repeal Obamacare. He criticized Thomas for voting along with Democrats to expand health insurance to more than 400,000 Virginians.
“I will file a bill to repeal Obamacare’s expansion on my first day in office,” Milde said in a recent interview.
Thomas gained notoriety last month when he went on conservative talk radio and was asked if he thought near-total abortion bans, like the one enacted in Georgia, goes too far. Milde has also pledged to take away a woman’s right to choose.
“I don’t believe it’s too extreme,” Thomas said in May. “I think the problem we have here in Virginia is we have a Democrat [sic] governor. We’ve had one for a decade now. And if we’re ever to take the tide back and and start putting some of those laws in Virginia, we have to find candidates who can win in blue areas of the state.”
HASHMI TO TAKE ON STURTEVANT
Democrat Ghazala Hashmi will take on Sen. Glen Sturtevant (R-Richmond) this November in a race that could make her the first Muslim American woman in the Virginia Senate.
Sturtevant opposed Democrats’ successful expansion of health insurance to over 400,000 Virginians, and is opposed to a woman’s right to choose.
Hashmi, an administrator at a community college, said she was inspired to run after seeing the Trump administration’s “relentless pursuit of the Muslim ban.”
“What triggered my panic was not so much the deliberate and callous way the administration sought to criminalize people and communities on the basis of their faith, but rather the casual ease with which we were now willing to accept — as legitimate legal action — this assault on our democratic values,” Hashmi wrote.
Hashmi will be uniquely positioned to challenge Sturtevant, who has tried to frame himself as a moderate despite opposing Medicaid expansion, on how far he would go to support President Donald Trump’s agenda on immigration, health care and a woman’s right to choose.
REPUBLICAN WHO DARED TO SUPPORT MINOR GUN SAFETY MEASURES DEFEATED IN LOUDOUN
In a race that was framed as a fight for the soul of the Republican party, the ultra-conservative running against the moderate Republican ultimately won in Loudoun county.
Geary Higgins, who had the backing of controversial former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, beat Ron Meyer.
Higgins was endorsed by the National Rifle Association after Meyer dared to back some minor gun safety measures in his role as a Loudoun County supervisor following “five incidents in the past six months that saw eight homes struck by bullets.” Higgins is also a county supervisor.
“Geary Higgins is exactly the type of conservative we need in the Senate,” Cuccinelli, who was recently tapped to enforce President Trump’s extreme immigration policies, said in the final days of the campaign.