(The Center Square) — In yesterday’s General Assembly primaries, competition was fierce among Democrats for unclaimed Senate districts newly defined in Virginia’s last redistricting in 2021.
Incumbents represented a little more than one-third of the commonwealth’s senatorial candidates. Ten Democratic Senators returned to contend for their seats, with eight competing against newcomers and two squaring off against each other for the up-for-grabs 18th District. Four of the eight incumbent-challenger Democratic races went to the current Senators.
The three closest races also involved incumbents. Sen. Creigh Deeds bested opponent Del. Sally Hudson with 51-49% for the 11th District; Stella Pekarsky came out ahead of Sen.George Barker for the 36th District with 52-48%. With 94% of the vote counted, Sen. Jeremy McPike is ahead of Del. Elizabeth Guzman for the 29th District by just 0.2%. If the race ends with neither of them more than one percentage point ahead of the other, it will be eligible for a recount.
“Democracy is worth waiting for,” Guzman’s campaign adviser told Northern Virginia news website InsideNoVa. “We look forward to allowing the process to play out, including the canvassing of the votes and the counting of provisional and outstanding absentee ballots.”
Deeds posted on his Twitter account this afternoon, saying, “This victory belongs to all of us and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of so many volunteers, voters, and loved ones… Together we will create meaningful change across not just SD 11, but the entire Commonwealth.”
Pekarsky, a former teacher, recently served as chair of the Fairfax County school board and has been actively involved in education and school groups in her area for years. According to the Washington Post, Pekarsky challenged Barker’s stance on “some core Democratic issues,” claiming that he has been “inconsistent.”
Other results from Democrat contests include the incumbent match-up between longtime Sens. Louise Lucas and Lionell Spruill for the 18th District, in which Lucas beat Spruill 53-47%. Sens. Barbara Favola, Lamont Bagby and David Marsden each won by significant margins for districts 40, 14 and 35, respectively, but Lashrecse Aird beat out incumbent Joe Morrissey for the 13th District and Saddam Salim ousted Sen. Chap Petersen for the 37th District.