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Virginia voters have their say on Election Day

November 7, 2018
Elaine Luria speaks to a room full of supporters after upsetting incumbent Scott Taylor to win Virginia's 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, night in Virginia Beach. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
Elaine Luria speaks to a room full of supporters after upsetting incumbent Scott Taylor to win Virginia's 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, night in Virginia Beach. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia voters made their picks Tuesday in several competitive congressional races, flipping Virginia’s congressional delegation from a Republican to a Democratic majority. Voters also cast ballots in a special state House election that kept Republicans in control in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Here’s a look at some key races:



The only statewide contest this year saw Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine easily defeat Republican Corey Stewart, a firebrand supporter of President Donald Trump.

Kaine was the heavy favorite to win and had large leads in most polls. He also enjoyed a massive cash advantage to finance advertising and get out the vote efforts.

Stewart was all but abandoned by national Republicans and the White House. Best known for his outspoken support of Confederate monuments and hardline views on immigration, Stewart focused heavily on attacking Kaine personally.

Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate during her unsuccessful 2016 presidential run, emphasized inclusivity in his campaign and centered his message on a “Virginia that works for all.”



Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, who represents this northern Virginia district, was long considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in Congress — the district includes many wealthy suburban voters who dislike Trump. Hillary Clinton won the district by 10 percentage points, and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam won by 11.

Democratic state senator Jennifer Wexton took advantage of Comstock’s vulnerability and cruised to a double-digit victory on Tuesday.

Comstock tried hard to emphasis her independence from Trump. She won re-election in 2016 when her district went for Clinton.



This Hampton Roads-area seat, a swing district, also flipped from Republican to Democratic control. U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor sought a second term in a district Northam won by four percentage points. But the former Navy SEAL lost narrowly to Democrat Elaine Luria, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who spent 20 years on active duty.

The race was marked by a ballot-fraud scandal that tainted Taylor’s campaign. Some of Taylor’s staff members were accused of forging voters’ signatures to help place a third-party “spoiler candidate” on the ballot.



Democrat Abigail Spanberger has defeated two-term Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Brat in Virginia’s 7th District Congressional race.

The former CIA officer and political newcomer scored a dramatic win Tuesday for Democrats in a district that has been held by Republicans since 1971.

The 39-year-old Spanberger cast herself as a moderate during the race and slammed Brat for being out of touch with voters in the district covering suburbs west of Richmond and large rural areas.

Brat, a former economics professor, touted the strong economy and tax cuts under Republican President Donald Trump. He portrayed Spanberger as a radical liberal and often compared her to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

But it wasn’t enough to carry Brat to victory in a district where suburban Democrats appeared to be energized by their disdain for Trump.



Of the GOP districts targeted by Republicans, the GOP performed best in this district, which stretches from northern Virginia hunt country through Charlottesville down to southside Virginia and the North Carolina line.

The seat is currently held by first-term Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett, who ended his re-election bid in May after announcing he planned to seek treatment for alcoholism.

Distillery owner and Air Force veteran Denver Riggleman, a Republican, won handily over Democrat Leslie Cockburn, a former investigative journalist and producer for “60 Minutes.”



Virginia state House elections are normally held on off years, but the retirement of Del. Greg Habeeb led to a special election in this Roanoke-area seat.

Republican Joe McNamara defeated Democrat Carter Turner in a race Republicans needed to win to hold onto their narrow 51-49 advantage in the state house.


For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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