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Election Day: Congressional Outcomes in Virginia

Kelsea Pieters


We've got this overview of the state's most competitive Congressional races, plus a quick glance at results from the rest of the state. 

The 10th District

Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock will be returning to Congress next year, despite a hotly contested race in Northern Virginia. 


Democrats were hopeful that LuAnn Bennett would be able to ride the wave of support for Hillary Clinton, or at least capitalize on the problems Donald Trump had with Republicans. As it turns out, neither was the case.

Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says Bennett ended up suffering from the same problem as most Democratic candidates in Virginia. 

“Hillary Clinton simply didn’t have coattails enough to bring LuAnn Bennett close to Barbara Comstock, certainly not like people were thinking. The reality is that’s the most competitive congressional district in Virginia. So that just says Virginia doesn’t have really competitive congressional districts," says Kidd.

Democrats say they remain hopeful that the rapidly changing demographics of Loudoun County will help them in the future. Democratic state Senator Adam Ebbin. 

“We’re got more, for the first time, more members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors are Democratic," says Ebbin. "We have a Democratic Board of Supervisors chair. The people are moving for Loudoun every day are moderate suburban characteristic not far right."


Credit Kelsea Pieters / WVTF
Newly drawn lines opened up this seat for Democrats.

The 4th District 

Democrats were able to pick up one congressional seat in Virginia, but only after a lawsuit prompted the boundaries of the congressional districts to be redrawn. 


Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

Democrat Donald McEachin, currently a state lawmaker, will now be moving on to the national legislature. He won in Virginia’s 4th congressional district. 

"It's surreal still, I'm still pinching myself, this is an absolute dream come true," McEachin said. "We had a great staff, we put it all together. It's been a long long time since March and I'm ready for some sleep." 

The 4th district was represented by Republican Randy Forbes. But district lines were redrawn, and Forbes decided not to run for re-election. When asked whether victory was that much sweeter for having taken a Republican seat, McEachin said yes.

"But even more than that, I am humbled by the fact that this is the seat that John Mercer Langston held, the first African American congressman from Virginia," McEachin said. "And to be sitting in his seat is special to me."

McEachin beat Republican Mike Wade, a sheriff from Henrico County.  


Credit Kelsea Pieters
Another state lawmaker will be heading to the national legislature to represent the 5th.

The 5th District 

It was a difficult night for Democrats in the 5th Congressional District, where Republican Tom Garrett scored an impressive win over Jane Dittmar.

Sandy Hausman reports on that race and others of regional interest.

Jane Dittmar seemed near tears as she stood before an enthusiastic crowd.  She had all but lost her voice during the final hours of the campaign and was forced to turn her concession speech over to her husband.

“I prepared some remarks that will come from my heart, but from my husband’s voice,” she said.

It was a job he accepted with grace and humor.

“First, I would like to thank my husband – handsome, intelligent …” laughed Dittmar's husband.

Tom Garrett’s win was decisive -- 59-percent to Dittmar’s 41-percent, and chief of staff Kevin Reynolds gave credit to large turnouts in Republican strongholds.

 “We did very well in southside," Reynolds said.  "I know Franklin County, we’ve got some great allies down there in Senator Bill Stanley and some other folks who came out for us there, and I know Bedford we did very well, and we did very well in places where Republicans traditionally don’t do well.  We only lost by 12 in Albemarle County.  That’s a big win for us.”

When she called to congratulate Garrett, Dittmar asked him to abandon partisan politics.  His chief of staff said he would.

“Tom has a record of working with Democrats in the State Senate," Reynold said. " You can look at a litany of bills that he has co-sponsored with Barbara Favola and Adam Ebbin – great Virginians like that who are on the other side of the aisle.”

In other races of regional interest.  Nelson County chose Republican Daniel Rutherford to be its next commonwealth’s attorney.  Albemarle County okayed a $35 million bond issue for its schools, and Augusta County said no to moving its courthouse to the new government center in Verona at a cost of $45 million.

Other Results

In less competitive districts, the state's races played out as expected -- with victors winning by large margins. Results are below. Full details can be seen here.

District 1 - Robb Wittman (R) beat Matt Rowe (D) 

District 2 - Scott Taylor (R) beat Shaun Brown (D) 

District  3 - Bobby Scott (D) beat Marty Williams (R)

District 6 - Bob Goodlatte (R) beat Kai Degner (D) 

District 7- Dave Brat (R) beat Eileen Bedell (D)

District 8 - Don Beyer (D) beat Charles Hernick (R)

District 9 - Morgan Griffith (R) beat Derek Kitts (D)

District 11- Gerry Connolly won