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Democrats Pick Up Congressional Seats, Republicans Maintain Control in House of Delegates

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Democrats appear to have picked up three out of four hotly contested Congressional Districts in Virginia.

7th District

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.


2nd District

Democrat Elaine Luria has unseated Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor in Virginia's 2nd Congressional District.

Luria's win on Tuesday marked a swift change of heart in this traditionally Republican district on Virginia's coast. The freshman congressman had won by nearly 23 percentage points in 2016.

Luria's victory was likely boosted by antipathy toward President Donald Trump and 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.

National Democrats backed Luria. And she had a military background vital for running in a district that's home to the world's largest Navy base and many veterans.

Luria is a former Navy commander. Taylor is a former Navy SEAL.


8th House of Delegates District

Virginia Republicans have held onto their slim advantage in the state House.

Republican Joe McNamara defeated Democrat Carter Turner Tuesday in a Roanoke-area House district.

McNamara is a Roanoke County supervisor and ice cream shop owner.

With the win, Republicans retained a 51-49 majority.

The special election for the state House seat was called earlier this year after former GOP Del. Greg Habeeb resigned.

The district is heavily Republican. President Donald Trump won it by 30 percentage points in 2016.

Democrats won 15 seats and nearly took control of the state House in a blue wave election last year powered by voter antipathy toward the president.

All 100 House seats will be up for election next year.


Democratic Incumbents

Virginia's incumbent Democratic congressmen have all won re-election.

U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott, Don McEachin, Don Beyer and Gerry Connolly cruised to victory on Tuesday.

Each represent Democrat-friendly districts and faced only token opposition or ran unopposed.

Scott and McEachin represent districts that stretch from Hampton Roads to the west, while Beyer and Connolly represent Northern Virginia districts.

Democrats are hoping voter unhappiness with President Donald Trump will help them to flip several GOP-held seats and erode the GOP majority in Virginia's congressional delegation.


6th District

A Republican state lawmaker has defeated his Democratic challenger to maintain GOP control of Virginia's 6th Congressional District.

GOP Del. Ben Cline defeated Democrat Jennifer Lewis Tuesday in the U.S. House race. The seat was open because U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte did not seek re-election after more than two decades in office.

Cline out-fundraised Lewis in the heavily Republican-leaning district where President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by nearly 25 points in the 2016 election.

Cline is an attorney from Rockbridge County who was first elected in 2002 to the Virginia House of Delegates, where he leads the Conservative Caucus.

Lewis is a mental health worker from Waynesboro who handily won a four-way Democratic primary to challenge Cline.


5th District

Republican Denver Riggleman has defeated Democrat Leslie Cockburn to keep a closely watched Virginia congressional seat in the hands of the GOP.

Riggleman, an Air Force veteran and distillery owner, announced his candidacy after incumbent Republican Tom Garrett announced he is an alcoholic and ended his re-election bid.

He narrowly won a closely divided nominating convention and was outspent in the race by Cockburn, a journalist and former "60 Minutes" producer.

He also overcame skepticism from cultural conservatives in his own party who disliked his acceptance of gay marriage and other variations from GOP orthodoxy on social issues.

The 5th District stretches from the outskirts of northern Virginia hunt country through Charlottesville down to southside Virginia and the North Carolina line.


10th District

Democrat Jennifer Wexton has defeated two-term Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock in a northern Virginia congressional race that drew national attention.

The race was long seen as a prime opportunity for Democrats to pick up one of the 23 seats they need to gain to take control of the House of Representatives.

The 10th District stretches from wealthy precincts in McLean inside the Capital Beltway west through suburban Loudoun County and out to rural parts of the state including Winchester.

The district has a high number of federal workers and is one of the wealthiest districts in the country. It also has large numbers of independent, highly educated female voters who have been particularly opposed to President Donald Trump.

Wexton, a state senator and former prosecutor, sought to link Comstock's voting record to Trump.


9th District

Republican U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith has been re-elected in one of Virginia's most reliably right-leaning districts.

Griffith defeated Democratic challenger Anthony Flaccavento Tuesday in the 9th Congressional District, which stretches to the westernmost corner of the state.

Most political observers had not considered the race competitive. Griffith won his previous election in 2016 with more than 70 percent of the vote.

This year was Flaccavento's second time challenging Griffith. The farmer and small-business owner ran against the congressman in 2012, capturing about 39 percent of the vote.

Griffith was first elected to Congress in 2010. He is an attorney and previously served as majority leader in the Virginia House of Delegates.


1st District

Republican Rob Wittman has been re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Wittman defeated Democratic challenger Vangie Williams in Tuesday's race in Virginia's sprawling 1st Congressional District, which runs from east of Richmond into Fredericksburg and Prince William County and includes the Northern Neck.

Wittman served in local government and in the Virginia House of Delegates before he was first elected to Congress in 2007.

Williams is a strategic planner for a government contractor.

The district is heavily Republican-leaning, and Wittman had a large cash-on-hand advantage.

7:55 p.m.

Virginia Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine has dispatched a die-hard supporter of President Donald Trump to win re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Kaine defeated Republican Corey Stewart Tuesday.

The victory was widely expected as Kaine enjoyed large leads in most public polls and had a huge cash advantage.

Kaine is a former governor who was first elected to the Senate in 2012. He was Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016.

Stewart is a conservative provocateur best known for his outspoken support of Confederate imagery and hardline views on immigration. He struggled to raise money and was ignored by national GOP groups.

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