General Assembly primary sets stage for fall election

Published: Jun. 21, 2023 at 6:48 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - The results in Tuesday’s General Assembly primary will set the stage for a more intense political fight this fall.

Wednesday, Democratic and Republican leaders said the results position them for success in November.

There are a number of story lines we’re following: the defeat of five incumbent senators adding to the number of lawmakers who won’t be returning in January, the influence of Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who was 10 for 10 in the candidates he endorsed, and a shift in how Democrats and Republicans are voting that could have an influence on the November results.

Both parties head toward the November election with control of the General Assembly hanging in the balance.

Despite bruising battles within the party, Democratic leaders say they are well-positioned to win in November.

Del. Don Scott (D-Portsmouth) is the House Minority Leader.

“At the end of the day, we’re all Democrats. We’re all going to be united. We’re going to move together as a team,” Scott told reporters during a teleconference Wednesday. “What happened during the primaries is what is supposed to happen. You have a vigorous debate over ideas and approach, but at the end of the day, democracy itself is on the ballot, women’s reproductive healthcare freedom is on the ballot.”

Republican Party of Virginia Chair Rich Anderson said the Republican candidates who were nominated will be strong advocates on the issues he says matter most to Virginians.

“I think they are focused on the issues of importance to Virginia voters, which includes parental involvement in the education of their children, in the economy and the tax cuts the governor is proposing,” Anderson said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

WDBJ7 Political Analyst Bob Denton took note of a shift in the way Republicans and Democrats voted.

“It seemed that yes, they went for conservative Republicans, but they certainly turned away from people like Marie March and Amanda Chase, who are a little bit controversial,” Denton said. “In contrast, in terms of the Democrats which I found very interesting, especially in northern Virginia, they certainly favored the more progressive.”

Denton said the primary set the stage for historic spending in the November races. And he said we can expect intense campaigns in the state’s most competitive districts.