2013 Elections Preview: Some seats may switch parties in the Virginia House of Delegates

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

2013 badge.jpg
Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2013

Majority controlCampaign contributions
QualificationsImpact of Redistricting

State Legislative Election Results

List of candidates
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16District 17District 18District 19District 20District 21District 22District 23District 24District 25District 26District 27District 28District 29District 30District 31District 32District 33District 34District 35District 36District 37District 38District 39District 40District 41District 42District 43District 44District 45District 46District 47District 48District 49District 50District 51District 52District 53District 54District 55District 56District 57District 58District 59District 60District 61District 62District 63District 64District 65District 66District 67District 68District 69District 70District 71District 72District 73District 74District 75District 76District 77District 78District 79District 80District 81District 82District 83District 84District 85District 86District 87District 88District 89District 90District 91District 92District 93District 94District 95District 96District 97District 98District 99District 100
Virginia House of DelegatesVirginia State Senate

October 4, 2013


By Ballotpedia's State legislative team

In the 2013 elections for the Virginia House of Delegates, the Democrats are seeking to make inroads into the Republican majorities built up during the 2009 and 2011 state legislative elections. Democratic candidates would have to win a net of 19 seats from Republican officeholders or the Republican candidates seeking to succeed them. In the 2013 elections for the Virginia House of Delegates, all 100 seats are up for election.

Polling and analysis

See also: Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2013

According to a September 2013 poll of Virginia voters, 47 percent approved of the job the General Assembly was doing, while 32 percent disapproved. About 80 percent of those polled favored term limits for the General Assembly.[1]

A July 2013 poll of the state's voters suggests that Democratic state legislative candidates lead in the "generic ballot" by 46 percent to 42 percent, and a January 2013 poll by the same firm yielded similar results.[2][3] However, political analyst Geoffrey Skelley of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics wrote in August 2013 that Republicans were "certain to retain control of Virginia House of Delegates."[4]

Skelley also noted that state Democrats have effectively yielded a seat to the Republican caucus already, as District 4 Delegate Joe Johnson (D) is retiring from a district that has trended very Republican since he first took office in 1990, and only A. Benton Chafin (R) is running to replace him. This projected defeat for Democrats suggests that they would need to have a net gain of 20 seats to take over the chamber, and Skelley says that they may win five or six seats from Republicans.[4]

Ballotpedia's own Competitiveness Index suggests that the 2013 Virginia House of Delegates races may be somewhat more competitive than the last cycle, with more delegates challenged overall and more balance between Republican and Democratic incumbents going unchallenged than in the 2011 House of Delegates elections.

Skelley suggested that the level of success Democratic candidates for the House of Delegates have depends substantially on the electoral performance of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. A close gubernatorial race, according to Skelley, will likely keep the number of seats that switch control between parties relatively small.[4]

Virginia House of Delegates
Party As of November 4, 2013 After the 2013 Election
     Democratic Party 32 33
     Republican Party 65 67
     Independent 1 0
     Vacancy 2 0
Total 100 100

Competitive races

Most competitive races

Skelley, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics analyst, has identified three races that he considered the most competitive in the state.[4]

Potentially competitive races

Skelley also highlighted 16 other races that he considers potentially competitive.[4]

Races to watch

The list below highlights all of the races that may result in party-switches, surprises, or indications of other electoral trends on election night. The list and associated descriptions have been compiled based on the analysis of Geoffrey Skelley, the races targeted by national pro-Democratic PAC Democracy for America, election results data and information collected by the left-leaning blog Daily Kos, data from the Virginia Public Access Project, and information from other news sources about individual races.

District 2

Democratic Party Michael Futrell
Republican Party Mark Dudenhefer (inc.)

Incumbent Dudenhefer faces political newcomer Futrell in this new and fast-growing exurban and suburban district south of Washington, DC. The district gave Governor Bob McDonnell (R) 58 percent of the vote in 2009, but Democrats hope to replicate the results of 2012, when President Barack Obama (D) earned 58 percent of the vote in this district. Dudenhefer was elected in the 2011 cycle, so he has not been in office long. However, Futrell did post information copied from another candidate's website on his own page, reportedly mistakenly, which some have interpreted as indicating a lack of organization in his campaign.[5][6][7]

District 6

Democratic Party Jonathan McGrady
Republican Party Jeffrey L. Campbell
Independent Barbara T. Hall

Incumbent Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R) is not seeking re-election, leaving the race in this usually Republican district an open seat. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R) won 66 percent of the vote in this district in 2012, and McDonnell won 72 percent in 2009. Despite the uphill climb, Democrats are apparently making a strong bid for this seat with McGrady, a candidate who has a concealed weapons permit, an aversion to tax increases, and a door-knocking campaign despite the occasional unfriendly dog. The addition of a third-party challenger could complicate the race more for Republican candidate Campbell, but Democratic candidates may likely win elsewhere before they score a victory in this district.[8][4]

District 10

Democratic Party Monte Johnson
Republican Party Randall Minchew (inc.)

If Democrats are having a very good night, Johnson might defeat first-term incumbent Minchew in this district, which is mostly in the politically-mixed Loudoun County. However, Romney still edged Obama with 51 percent of the vote here in 2012, and McDonnell won with a comfortable 62 percent in 2009.[9][7][10]

District 12

Democratic Party James Harder
Republican Party Joseph Yost (inc.)

Harder is a Ph.D. student and former Congressional staffer running in a district held by Democrats for years until 2011, when incumbent Yost won the district with just under 52 percent of the vote. Obama won 51 percent of the vote within this district's borders in 2012, and McDonnell captured 51 percent of the vote here in 2009, suggesting this is truly a swing district. However, Yost's moderate views and record have won him the endorsement of LGBT rights group Equality Virginia PAC, which did not endorse any other Republicans this election cycle, and the award "2013 Legislative Champion of the Year" from the Virginia Education Association. Harder's campaign has been endorsed by the pro-Democratic group Democracy for America.[11][12][13][4][14]

District 13

Democratic Party Atif Qarni
Republican Party Bob Marshall (inc.)

Incumbent Marshall, who ran for the Republican nomination to the United States Senate in both 2008 and 2012, authored the amendment to the Virginia Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman and has faced a petition for his resignation after he made comments critical of women who undergo abortions. Although District 13 did yield 61 percent of the vote for McDonnell in 2009, Obama won 55 percent of the vote in 2012 from this district on the edge of Washington, DC's exurban area. Marhsall's Democratic opponent, military veteran and mathematics teacher Qarni, has won the support and resources of Democracy for America and opened a campaign office in the district in early August 2013. However, despite occasionally controversial comments, Marshall's base of support in the district is reportedly quite strong.[15][16][4][17][18]

District 14

Democratic Party Gary P. Miller
Republican Party Danny Marshall, III (inc.)
Independent Mary S. Martin

Incumbent Marshall was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2001, but this district bordering North Carolina split evenly between Obama and Romney in 2012, causing some to speculate about Marshall's chances for re-election. Marshall faces cardiologist and Danville Vice Mayor Miller and self-described conservative and former local school board member Martin, who is criticizing Marshall for voting to increase taxes.[4][7][19]

District 17

Democratic Party Freeda Cathcart
Republican Party Chris Head (inc.)

Cathcart is running a second time against incumbent Head after losing to him 66 percent to 34 percent in the 2011 election. Romney won 59 percent of the vote in this district that wraps around Roanoke in 2012, and McDonnell won with 67 percent of the vote in 2009. Given this uphill climb, Democrats may have little chance of winning this seat, but Cathcart has been endorsed by Democracy for America, which indicates that some on the political left believe this race is worth an investment of resources.[4][7][20][21]

District 21

Democratic Party Susan Bates Hippen
Republican Party Ronald Villanueva (inc.)

Incumbent Villanueva is running for his third-term in this district between Virginia Beach and Norfolk. The district gave McDonnell 61 percent of the vote in 2009, but Obama won it with 52 percent of the vote in 2012, making this district a potential Democratic target and one Democrats would likely have to win if they want to have a majority in the Virginia House of Delegates with the current district map. However, observers have not rated this district as likely to flip.[4][7][22]

District 30

Democratic Party Traci Dippert
Republican Party Ed Scott (inc.)

Incumbent Scott first took office about a decade ago, and may be relatively safe in this rural district that gave Romney 56 percent of the vote in 2012 and McDonnell 68 percent of the vote in 2009. Scott ran unopposed in 2011, and only had third-party opposition in 2009. Democrats, including the group Democracy for America, appear to be rallying around teacher and Democratic activist Dippert, who matched Scott's fundraising through mid-September 2013. However, Dippert's fundraising base is relatively narrow, and this district may be beyond the reach of Democrats.[23][24][25]

District 31

Democratic Party Jeremy McPike
Republican Party Scott Lingamfelter (inc.)

Despite being in a district that gave Obama 53 percent of the vote in 2012, incumbent Lingamfelter's history of defeating challengers works in favor of the Republicans holding this seat. Lingamfelter won in 2011 with 59 percent of the vote after his uncontested re-election bid in 2009. Democrats, including the Democracy for America PAC, have been pushing City of Alexandria general services director and volunteer fire fighter McPike as an alternative, but observers suggest this race, while worth watching, may likely result in victory for the Republicans.[4][7][26]

District 32

Democratic Party Elizabeth A. Miller
Republican Party Thomas Greason (inc.)

Incumbent Greason is seeking his third term in this Loudoun County district of Northern Virginia. Loudoun County is a key battleground between Democrats and Republicans in the state, and this race is one of several in the county attracting attention from outside groups. Greason had no opposition in 2011 and McDonnell did quite well here in 2009, but Obama won 52 percent of the vote out of this district in 2012.[4][7][27][10][28]

District 34

Democratic Party Kathleen Murphy
Republican Party Barbara Comstock (inc.)

Incumbent Comstock has been in the House of Delegates for two terms, but first won election by only a little over 400 votes and held on to her seat with just shy of 55 percent of the vote in 2011. This suburban and exurban district split evenly between Obama and Romney in 2012, and Democrats are making a bid to win it again with consulting firm president and former federal employee Murphy. However, Comstock's fundraising abilities may make her difficult to beat; she raised nearly $900,000 for her re-election bid in 2011. Democracy for America is supporting Murphy, and had donated $8,000 as of early September.[4][7][10][29]

District 35

Democratic Party Mark Keam (inc.)
Republican Party Leiann Leppin Luse

After running unopposed in 2011 but only winning his seat by a margin of less than 400 votes in 2009, Keam will face a Republican challenger in 2013. Luse, a project manager and analyst, hopes to unseat this two-term Democratic incumbent, but the district awarded Obama with 59 percent of the vote in 2012 and McDonnell with 49 percent in 2009. Republicans will likely be having a very good night if they capture this seat.[4][30]

District 37

Democratic Party David Bulova (inc.)
Republican Party Patrice Winter

Incumbent Bulova defeated a Republican lobbyist opponent in 2011 with almost 60 percent of the vote, but observers think that Winter, a former Fairfax City Council member and a professor, may make this seat competitive. Obama won 60 percent of the vote in this district in 2012, but McDonnell won this district with 53 percent of the vote in 2009, which was a year when Bulova faced only third-party opposition.[4][31]

District 41

Democratic Party Eileen Filler-Corn (inc.)
Republican Party Fredy Burgos
Independent Christopher DeCarlo

Incumbent Filler-Corn was first elected to the chamber in a 2010 special election, and she won by only 37 votes. Despite that narrow victory, her only opposition after redistricting in 2011 was a Libertarian candidate who managed to garner over 30 percent of the vote. This cycle, Filler-Corn faces Republican challenger Burgos and anti-corruption activist and rap video producer DeCarlo in a race for this district that gave Obama 57 percent of the vote in 2012 and McDonnell 53 percent in 2009. DeCarlo's presence in the race may complicate matters for Filler-Corn, and he is an experienced candidate after frequent runs for office, but he has not raised any money for his campaign.[32][33][4]

District 50

Democratic Party Richard Cabellos
Republican Party Jackson H. Miller (inc.)

Incumbent Miller ran unopposed in 2011 and easily defeated a Democratic challenger in 2009. However, this district swung from giving McDonnell 63 percent of the vote in 2009 to giving Obama 54 percent of the vote in 2012, catching the eye of some political observers.[34][4]

District 51

Democratic Party Reed Heddleston
Republican Party Richard Anderson (inc.)

Incumbent Anderson first won election in 2009 with a 299 vote margin, but ran uncontested after redistricting in 2011. The district on the southwestern fringes of the Washington, DC, urban area, however, is still arguably quite competitive. Obama won 51 percent of the vote there in 2012 after McDonnell earned 62 percent from the district in 2009. Heddleston, Anderson's opponent, is an Air Force veteran focusing on transportation issues.[4][35][7]

District 60

Democratic Party Jasper Hendricks, III
Republican Party James Edmunds, II (inc.)

Incumbent Edmunds is seeking his third term and ran unopposed in 2009 and 2011, but this rural district only gave a slim margin of victory, about 51 percent of the vote, to Republican Romney in the 2012 election. Hendricks, an activist, has run for office before and appears to have attracted a fair amount of attention to his candidacy, including an endorsement from Democracy for America. However, Democrats remain at a significant disadvantage in this rural southwestern district.[36][7]

District 67

Democratic Party Hung Nguyen
Republican Party James LeMunyon (inc.)

This exurban Washington, DC, district re-elected incumbent LeMunyon with a comfortable 59 percent of the vote in 2011, and McDonnell won 58 percent of the vote here in 2009. However, Obama earned 53 percent of the vote here in 2012, suggesting that the district could elect a Democratic candidate. Nguyen is making a specific pitch for high turnout among the local Vietnamese-American community, but LeMunyon won in a tough race as recently as 2009.[37]

District 75

Democratic Party Roz Tyler (inc.)
Republican Party Alvin Peschke

Incumbent Tyler is facing a rematch against Peschke, but he only won 34 percent of the vote in their 2011 match-up. Although Obama won 62 percent of the vote in this district in 2012, McDonnell nearly won a bare majority of the vote in 2009 in this rural district, and depending on voter turnout, Peschke could make this race more competitive than the 2011 cycle. Although some observers have pointed to this race as one where Republicans might win an additional seat, a Republican victory remains unlikely.[38][4]

District 82

Democratic Party Bill Fleming
Republican Party Bill R. DeSteph, Jr

This Virginia Beach-area open seat rests on a Republican-heavy district currently held by the retiring Bob Purkey (R), but Democratic candidate Fleming, a physicist and a small business investor, has been selected by Democracy for America as a good investment. Both candidates are new to state legislative races, but Republican DeSteph was elected to the Virginia Beach City Council in 2006. This seat, though on the radar of possible switches and in a part of the state that is becoming increasingly favorable to Democrats, is likely going to stay in Republican hands.[39][7][40]

District 84

Democratic Party Brent McKenzie
Republican Party Glenn Davis

Another Virginia Beach-area seat left open by the departure of Salvatore Iaquinto (R), this district gave McDonnell 64 percent of the vote in 2009 but Obama fought Romney to a near draw in this district in 2012. Davis was elected to the Virginia Beach City Council in 2008, and McKenzie served on the Virginia Beach School Board from 2008 to 2012. The district's Republican leanings suggest that this seat will not change parties, but if the Democrats are having a very good night, this seat may be quite contestable.[41][7]

District 85

Democratic Party Bill Dale
Republican Party Scott W. Taylor (Virginia)

Incumbent Bob Tata (R), who has held this seat since 1984, is not seeking re-election. After an active Republican primary, the perceived establishment choice did not win the nomination for this district east of Norfolk. Although McDonnell won handily here in 2009 with 64 percent of the vote, Obama and Romney tied in 2012. If Taylor is deemed too extreme by a significant portion of the electorate, Dale may win this open seat for the Democrats.[42][7][4]

District 86

Democratic Party Jennifer B. Boysko
Republican Party Tom Rust (inc.)

This suburban Washington, DC, district awarded McDonnell with 53 percent of the vote in 2009 before swinging heavily to grant Obama 60 percent of the vote in 2012. Rust, the Republican incumbent since 2002, ran unopposed in 2011 but faces Democracy for America-supported challenger Boysko in 2013. Rust is a moderate, but a spirited campaign by Boysko and her Democratic supporters may put this seat in the Democrat's column on election night. Based on the 2012 presidential vote, this seat is currently the most Democratic seat held by a Republican officeholder.[4][43][44]

District 87

Democratic Party John Bell
Republican Party David Ramadan (inc.)

Incumbent Ramadan won this seat in 2011 by only 51 votes, and donors have poured money into both sides of the race as Ramadan runs for a second-term in this district on the western fringes of the Washington, DC, urban area. Bell, an Air Force veteran who ran for the House of Delegates in 2009, has been endorsed by Democracy for America and hopes to win in this district that Obama won with 56 percent of the vote in 2012. However, McDonnell carried this district with 59 percent of the vote in 2009, and although both candidates had raised substantial sums of money, Ramadan had a significant fundraising advantage as of early September. Bell was the first of the two candidates to run a television advertisement, which went on the air in mid-September.[45][7][4][46][47]

District 93

Democratic Party T. Monty Mason
Republican Party Michael Watson (inc.)

Incumbent Watson, who is running for his second term, won less than 52 percent of the vote in his first election in a district that Obama carried with 57 percent of the vote in 2012 and McDonnell won with 55 percent of the vote in 2009. Mason, his Democratic challenger, is a first-time candidate and a director at Visa who has earned the support of Democracy for America. Some observers consider this race one of the most competitive in the state. Both candidates had television advertisements running by late September.[48][7][4][49][50]

District 94

Democratic Party Robert Farinholt, Jr.
Republican Party David Yancey (inc.)

Freshman incumbent Yancey sits in a district that Obama won with 52 percent of the vote in 2012 but McDonnell won comfortably with 61 percent in 2009. His opponent, Farinholt, comes from a long family tradition of firefighters and public safety workers in the area, and is mounting his first run for office. This district may be quite competitive, and Farinholt attracted Democracy for America's endorsement and the national resources that may come with it.[51][4][52]

See also

External links


  1. Hampton University, "A Survey of 800 Likely Voters, Virginia Statewide," September 2013
  2. Public Policy Polling, "Democrats Lead Republicans in Upcoming Virginia Races," January 10, 2013
  3. Public Policy Polling, "Tight races brewing in Virginia, though Dems have the edge," July 16, 2013
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "Republicans Certain to Retain Control of Virginia House of Delegates," August 8, 2013
  5. The Free Lance-Star, "Political website a copy?" March 12, 2013
  6. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 2," accessed October 2, 2013
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 Daily Kos, "A look at the 2013 Virginia House of Delegates Elections," April 11, 2013
  8. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 6," accessed October 2, 2013
  9. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 10," accessed October 2, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Leesburg Today, "Loudoun Again Cited As Key Battleground For State Races," September 9, 2013
  11. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 12," accessed October 2, 2013
  12. WSLS, "Delegate Joseph Yost dubbed Legislative Champion of the Year"
  13. MetroWeekly, "Equality Virginia PAC releases first wave of state delegate endorsements," September 25, 2013
  14. Democracy for America, "Harder for the House," accessed October 2, 2013
  15. Manassas Patch, "Bob Marshall Challenger Atif Qarni Opens Campaign Office in Manassas," August 6, 2013
  16. Democracy for America, "Qarni for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  17. Politico, "Robert Marshall: ‘Sodomy not a civil right’," May 17, 2012
  18. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 13," accessed October 3, 2013
  19. The Martinsville Bulletin, "Martin announces for House," June 13, 2013
  20. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 17," accessed October 3, 2013
  21. Democracy for America, "Freeda for the House of Delegates," accessed October 3, 2013
  22. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 21," accessed October 3, 2013
  23. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 30," accessed October 3, 2013
  24. Culpeper Star Exponent, "Campaign donations close in District 30 race,' September 18, 2013
  25. Democracy for America, "Dippert for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  26. Democracy for America, "Jeremy McPike for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  27. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 32," accessed October 3, 2013
  28. Democracy for America, "Elizabeth Miller for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  29. Democracy for America, "Kathleen Murphy for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  30. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 35," accessed October 3, 2013
  31. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 37," accessed October 3, 2013
  32. Lorton Patch, "Not Your Everyday Q&A with Chris DeCarlo," November 4, 2012
  33. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 41," accessed October 3, 2013
  34. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 50," accessed October 3, 2013
  35. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 51," accessed October 3, 2013
  36. Democracy for America, "Hendricks for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  37. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 67," accessed October 3, 2013
  38. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 75," accessed October 3, 2013
  39. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 75," accessed October 3, 2013
  40. Democracy for America, "Bill Fleming for VA House of Delegates," accessed October 3, 2013
  41. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 84," accessed October 3, 2013
  42. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 85," accessed October 3, 2013
  43. VPAP, "House of Delegates District 86," accessed October 3, 2013
  44. Democracy for America, "Boysko for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  45. Democracy for America, "Bell for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  46. Virginia Public Access Project, "House of Delegates District 87," accessed October 4, 2013
  47. The Loudoun Times, "Ramadan opponent, Bell, hits the airwaves," September 23, 2013
  48. Democracy for America, "Monty Mason for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  49. Daily Press, "Mason, Watson both on TV in 93rd Delegate District race," September 24, 2013
  50. Virginia Public Access Project, "House of Delegates District 93," accessed October 4, 2013
  51. Democracy for America, "Rob Farinholt for Delegate," accessed October 3, 2013
  52. Virginia Public Access Project, "House of Delegates District 94," accessed October 4, 2013