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Is A Generational Fight Brewing Among Virginia Democrats?

The Republican Party is sharply divided over its controversial candidate for U. S. Senate.

But the Democrats are also divided.  Political observers say some Democrats in the House of Delegates are staging an insurgency.

In the next few weeks, lawmakers will be back in Richmond to vote on judges. But when they get behind closed doors, Democrats may launch a revolt against House Democratic Leader David Toscano of Charlottesville.

Geoff Skelley at the University of Virginia Center for Politics says several members of the House Democratic Caucus want new leadership. “My understanding is that there is dissatisfaction within the Democratic caucus regarding Toscano and the Democratic leadership’s take on the elections in 2017 and how they approached investing in certain races,” Skelley says.

But Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says Delegate Jennifer Boysko of Herndon is unlikely to unseat him as minority leader. At least not yet.  "If Democrats take control of the House after 2019, then I would expect there to be a really big leadership fight," Kidd predicts. "And that’s where you might see Delegate Toscano lose if there is enough energy on the progressive side.”

Kidd says that fight is in some ways a generational one. Now that Democrats have a large group of newly elected young members, they want to elect one of their own instead of taking direction from the old guard establishment.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
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