Come. Voters decide key congressional primaries that could tip the balance of power

Voters in Virginia have just finished casting primary ballots in races that could contribute to a drastic shift in the balance of power in Congress.

Visit WTOP’s Election 2024 page for our comprehensive coverage.

In a closely watched Democratic primary in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District on Tuesday night, Democratic Rep. Eugene Windman topped the race for the seat that opened after Abigail Spanberger stepped down to run for governor next year.

Windman will face Derrick Anderson, a former Army Green Beret who won the Republican nomination.

Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton is stepping down from her seat in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District due to health issues. There, the state senate. Suhas Subramaniam topped a crowded field and will replace Wexton in the heavily blue district in November.

In the Republican Senate primary, Hung Gao scored his first victory in Virginia’s primary Tuesday night, besting four other candidates and earning a chance to challenge Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in November.

Races decided by Virginia voters on Tuesday could contribute to a drastic shift in the balance of power in Congress in the fall.

Polls for these important races and local contests across the state ended at 7 p.m

Here’s what you need to know:

Windman won the Democratic endorsement in Va.’s 7th District, facing the GOP’s Anderson

Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Prince William, Stafford, Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties, is up for grabs following Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s decision to run for governor next year. The district is considered lean blue, but Republicans believe they have a shot at flipping the seat.

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Seven Democrats ran for the nomination Tuesday, none of which Spanberger endorsed. In terms of fundraising, career military officer Eugene Windman raised more than $5 million for his campaign. Virginia Public Access Program. No other candidate has raised more than $400,000. The Associated Press called the race for Windman after 8 p.m. with 51.5% of the vote at call time.

According to political analyst Chas Nutticombe, Windman’s primary opposition was state Del. Brianna Sewell and former state Del. Elizabeth Guzman.

Other Democratic candidates include Prince William County Supervisor Andrea Bailey, attorney and military veteran Carl Bedell, Prince William County Supervisor Margaret Angela Franklin and military veteran and former US State Department official Cliff Heinzer.

On the Republican side, Derrick Anderson, a former Army Green Beret, is the favorite among a field of six candidates, Nutticombe said. The Associated Press called the race in Anderson’s favor at 9 p.m., at which point he had 46.1% for Navy SEAL veteran and Homeland Security officer Cameron Hamilton’s 36.6%.

Minister-appointed and White House appointee Terris Todd, businessman John Prabudas, retired Marine Jonathan Paul Myers, and entrepreneur and author Maria Martin have also been appointed in the field.

Hung Kao won the Republican Senate primary in a landslide

Republicans in the commonwealth must make an important choice about which candidate will challenge Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in November.

Virginia hasn’t elected a Republican U.S. senator since 2002, but with Young’s win in 2021, it’s the most recent Republican victory in a statewide election.

Five Republican candidates ran against Kaine, with Navy veteran Hung Gao winning a decisive victory. The Associated Press called the race in favor of Gao less than 30 minutes after polls closed on Tuesday.

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When the race was called, Gao had 65.6% of the vote. Army veteran Eddie Garcia was next with 10.8% of the vote.

Other hopefuls include former DeSantis congressional staffer Scott Parkinson, attorney Jonathan Emord and Marine veteran and attorney Chuck Smith.

Subramaniam won on behalf of the Democratic Party in 10 populous districts

A change is also coming in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, which includes Fauquier and Loudoun counties, parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

There, Democratic Rep. Jennifer Wexton announced her resignation due to ill health. The district is decidedly blue, but Wexton is replaced by a competitive and deep field of 12 Democrats:

  • Jennifer Boysko – Virginia State Senator
  • Marion DeVoe Sr. – Former Chief Operating Officer of the White House Executive Office
  • Elaine Filler-Corn – Former Speaker of the Virginia House of Representatives
  • Don Helmer, Virginia Rep
  • Krystle Kaul — Academician and former senior security officer
  • Mark Leighton – Librarian and Managing Editor at the George Mason Law Library
  • Michelle Maldonado – Virginia Representative
  • Travis Nembhardt – Attorney and former Assistant Attorney General
  • Atif Gurney – Marine Corps veteran and former Virginia Secretary of Education
  • David Reed – Virginia Representative
  • Suhas Subramaniam – Virginia State Senator
  • Adrian Pockarel – Retired Army Captain and former NSA and CIA intelligence officer

The Associated Press found Subramaniam with 30.3% of the vote to helmer’s 26.6% at 9:15 p.m. Gurney was the next candidate with 10.7%.

Republicans in Virginia’s 10th District chose between four candidates — government contractor Manga Ananthamula, retired Army officer Alex Isaac, attorney and business executive Mike Clancy, and Marine Corps veteran and executive officer for Gov. Glenn Young, Alicia Andrews.

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The Associated Press called the GOP District 10 race at 7:41 p.m. in favor of Clancy, who had 61.4% of the vote at the time of the call.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.

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