As we prepare for the 2020 elections, Yesh Ginsburg and Steen Kirby will give a general overview of all 435 United States House of Representatives races. This is a basic overview to introduce you to the major candidates. All Partisan Lean numbers are taken from the Cook Partisan Voting Index. We will update this page as the races progress if anything noteworthy arises.

Virginia has 11 Congressional Districts. Four are controlled by Republicans and seven by Democrats in this blue-shifting state. We’ll discuss the last six districts in this article–four of them are currently held by Democrats and two by Republicans. We’ll discuss the other five districts in a separate article.

Virginia’s 6th Congressional District

Incumbent: Ben Cline (Republican, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+13

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Ben Cline (R) 167,957 59.69
Jennifer Lewis (D) 113,133 40.21

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Bob Goodlatte (R) 225,471 66.63
Kai Degner (D) 112,170 33.15

Republican Candidate:

Ben Cline (campaign website)

Cline is a conservative Republican in a deep red district. He is not campaigning particularly aggressively, but he doesn’t really need to.

Democratic Candidate:

Nicholas Betts (campaign website)

Betts is a moderate Democrat with a few more liberal positions. He is a pro-choice Catholic, and does not seem to be campaigning too heavily in this district, which should be nearly impossible to win.

Virginia’s 7th Congressional District

Incumbent: Abigail Spanberger (Democratic, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+6

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Abigail Spanberger (D) 176,079 50.34
David Brat (R) 169,295 48.4

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
David Brat (R) 218,057 57.51
Eileen Bedell (D) 160,159 42.24

Republican Candidate:

Nick Freitas (campaign website)

Freitas is a very conservative Republican, with emphasis on supporting President Trump. His campaign is focused mostly on attacking Democratic policies and the impeachment proceedings. He is also staunchly pro-life, but he wants to increase support and options for women who get pregnant and might not want to continue the pregnancy, as well as expanded obligations for men who get women pregnant.

Yesh’s notes: Spanberger votes with the Democrats on key issues, but it’s worth noting that attacks on Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic House might fall short, as Spanberger did not vote for Pelosi for speaker (she voted for Cheri Bustos).

Democratic Candidate:

Abigail Spanberger (campaign website)

Spanberger is a moderate Democrat, who touts her role in passing the USMCA. She supports a public option for healthcare, as well as relatively moderate methods of gun control. She also introduced a somewhat conservative bill on student loan transparency.

Virginia’s 8th Congressional District

Incumbent: Don Beyer (Democratic, third term)

Partisan Lean: D+21

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Don Beyer (D) 247,137 76.1
Thomas Oh (R) 76,899 23.68

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Don Beyer (D) 246,653 68.39
Charles Hernick (R) 98,387 27.28
Julio Gracia (I) 14,664 4.07

Republican Candidate:

Jeff Jordan (campaign website)

Jordan is a fan of Ayn Rand, focusing the basis of his campaign on fighting Socialism.

Democratic Candidate:

Don Beyer (campaign website)

Beyer is a liberal Democrat who focuses mostly on attacking Republicans. In this very safe blue district, how he campaigns probably doesn’t matter much.

Virginia’s 9th Congressional District

Incumbent: Morgan Griffith (Republican, fifth term)

Partisan Lean: R+19

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Morgan Griffith (R) 160,933 65.16
Anthony Flaccavento (D) 85,833 34.75

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Morgan Griffith (R) 212,838 68.59
Derek Kitts (D) 87,877 28.32
Janice Allen Boyd (I) 9,050 2.92

Republican Candidate:

Morgan Griffith (campaign website)

Griffith is a pro-Trump conservative who is taking a hard line on immigration and government spending. He easily holds down this deep blue district consistently.

Democratic Candidate:

There is no Democrat in the general election.

Virginia’s 10th Congressional District

Incumbent: Jennifer Wexton (Democratic, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+1

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Jennifer Wexton (D) 206,101 56.12
Barbara Comstock (R) 160,529 43.71

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Barbara Comstock (R) 210,791 52.69
LuAnn Bennett (D) 187,712 46.92

Republican Candidate:

Aliscia Andrews (campaign website)

Republicans seem to have given up on this rapidly shifting seat just two years after Wexton took it from Comstock. Andrews has money and is spending, but her moves are dwarfed by Comstock’s war chest. She is pushing for lower taxes and general anti-Democratic Party planks, including a focus on recent sometimes-violent protest in major cities.

Democratic Candidate:

Jennifer Wexton (campaign website)

Wexton is a liberal Democrat, focusing on criminal justice reform and LGBTQ rights and advocacy. She is also touting her record, especially on resisting actions by the prior Republican Congress and the Trump administration. This district is rapidly turning bluer, and it’s hard to see her losing this seat.

Virginia’s 11th Congressional District

Incumbent: Gerry Connolly (Democratic, sixth term)

Partisan Lean: D+15

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Gerry Connolly (D) 219,191 71.11
Jeff Dove (R) 83,023 26.93
Stevan Porter (L) 5,546 1.8

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Gerry Connolly (D) 247,818 87.88
Write-ins 34,185 12.12

Republican Candidate:

Manga Anantatmula

Anantatmula is an immigrant from India who is a conservative on most issues–including lowering taxes–though she’s also focusing on equal rights for women. She also says she wants to specifically focus on working for Indian Americans.

Democratic Candidate:

Gerry Connolly (campaign website)

Connolly is a liberal Democrat focusing on criminal justice reform, protecting and expanding the Affordable Care Act, and the Green New Deal. He also focuses on protecting DREAMers.

Overview

The 7th District is potentially competitive, though it’s hard to think that Freitas is the right candidate for it. Other than that, it’s unlikely to see any other race close to flipping.

Interested in the rest of our primers for other House races? We have them all listed on our primer home page.

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