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2012 elections review:Smooth sailing for incumbents in Virginia congressional primaries

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June 13, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team

With primary season in full swing across the country, Virgina voters went to the polls yesterday to make their choices known.

Here's what happened in U.S. Senate and U.S. House primary races in Virginia.

Contested Primaries in Virginia -- June 12, 2012
U.S. House
(11 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 2 (18.1%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 4 (36.4%)

U.S. Senate

United States Senate elections in Virginia, 2012

With Senator Jim Webb (D) retiring at the end of his term, four Republicans sought their party's nod to take on Democrat Tim Kaine in the general election. Kaine ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The Republicans that ran were former senator and governor George Allen, pastor E.W. Jackson Sr., state Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke, and state Representative Bob Marshall. In the end, Allen emerged as the nominee on the Republican ticket.[1]

The University of Virginia's Center for Politics rating page Sabato's Crystal Ball on March 22, 2012, detailed the 8 races in the Senate in 2012 that will decide which party will end up with control in 2013.[2] The seat rated a toss-up that Sabato's Crystal Ball believes is most likely to depend on the outcome of the Presidential election in November is the Senate seat in Virginia.[2] According to the article, "outcome of this race will largely be determined by which party claims Virginia’s 13 electoral votes in November."[2]

Allen outraised his Republican challengers and had the benefit of greater name recognition. He was also the most centrist of the Republican candidates, although all four candidates agreed on most issues.[3]

George Allen (R) will take on Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine in the general election.

U.S. House

United States House of Representatives elections in Virginia, 2012

Virginia had 11 U.S. House seats up for election this year. Of the 22 possible primaries, just 6 were contested. Nationally, 60.56% of primaries so far have been contested, making Virginia's 27.3% of contested primaries well below the national average.

All 11 incumbents either defeated their primary challengers or ran unopposed in the primary, advancing all incumbents to the general election.

Most primaries in U.S. House in Virginia were uncontested yesterday. In the 4th District, however, Chesapeake City Council member Ella Ward defeated small-business owner and minister Joe Elliott Jr. in the Democratic primary. On the Republican side, consultant Bonnie Girard was defeated by incumbent Randy Forbes.[1]

In the 11th District Republican primary, Chris Perkins defeated Ken Vaughn in the battle to see who will face Democratic incumbent Gerald Connolly in the November general election.[4][1]

In the 6th District, Air Force veteran Karen Kwiatkowski was defeated by incumbent Bob Goodlatte in the Republican primary.[1] Goodlatte vastly outraised Kwiatkowski, and according to a local news source, he "has avoided recognition of his opponent and calls from Kwiatkowski to debate."[5]

In the 7th District, Floyd Bayne unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Eric Cantor. Bayne criticized Cantor as being insufficiently conservative prior to the primary.[6][1]

Democratic incumbent Jim Moran defeated Bruce Shuttleworth in the 8th District Democratic primary.[7][1]


Members of the U.S. House from Virginia -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 3 3
     Republican Party 8 8
Total 11 11

See also

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