Virginia Primary Election: What you need to know before you hit the polls

Published: Jun. 20, 2023 at 6:02 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia voters are heading to the polls for more than 40 General Assembly primaries across the state Tuesday.

The election results will have a major impact on the political landscape in Richmond next year.

In many districts, the candidate who wins the nomination will likely be the favorite in the fall, while the November election will bring big changes to the Virginia General Assembly.

In our area, some races to watch are the Marie March-Wren Williams matchup in House District 47, and the three-way Democratic primary in Senate District 4 with DA Pierce, Luke Priddy and Trish White-Boyd.

Senate District 11 will see longtime Senator Creigh Deeds facing Delegate Sally Hudson.

Plus, two candidates are vying for the new 39th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Will Davis is taking on Ron Jefferson in the Republican primary.

WDBJ7 political analyst Bob Denton says this primary election is historic in many ways.

“Some of the people are saying you have to go back even to the previous century to find the impact of the change in the Virginia legislature it’s bringing, and it’s sweeping change. And especially in terms of not only the number of individuals who retired and who will be retired based on the electoral vote, but the years of institutional knowledge,” said Denton.

No matter what happens during primary races Tuesday, or in the general election in November, voters will see many new faces in the General Assembly next year.

“One of the interesting things in terms of retirements, ten senators, eighteen delegates kind of retiring, but what’s interesting there are 12 incumbent Democrats that are facing challenges and only four incumbent Republicans, and so you will have a large number that will lose and therefore instead of retiring are retiring based on the electoral outcome, and that’s a significant outcome itself and highly unusual to have that number of challenges within long-term service,” said WDBJ7 political analyst Bob Denton.

Denton went on to say this primary is one of the most consequential Virginia has seen in two decades.

WDBJ7 Senior reporter Joe Dashiell has profiled some of our local and statewide races.

The deadline to return ballots issued by mail is 7:00 p.m. All mailed ballots must be postmarked no later than June 20, 2023.

Be sure to take a valid ID to the polls, which are open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

You can read more about primary elections by visiting the Virginia Department of Elections website.