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Democrats Now Reign Supreme in Northern Virginia

AP Photo / Matthew Barakat

Tuesday’s election swept Democrats into power in both chambers of the General Assembly. But, it also wiped Republicans off the map in Northern Virginia.

Fairfax County has the largest delegation in the General Assembly, and it’s been a bipartisan delegation. Until now. Voters unseated the last remaining Republican in the county, and flipped a Republican-controlled Senate seat in Loudoun County. That means Democrats will have unrivaled influence across Northern Virginia, and the state Senate is about to be led by Fairfax Senator Dick Saslaw, the longest serving senator in the chamber. He was first elected in 1979.

“Thomas Jefferson told me there’d be days like this if I hung around long enough,” Saslaw said on Election Night.

Fairfax County is also home to House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn, who is trying to become the speaker of the House although she'll face some competition for that spot.

Caucus Chairwoman Charniele Herring is from neighboring Alexandria, and she’s running for Majority Leader. She says Republicans simply lost touch with their constituents in Northern Virginia. 

“It’s guns. It’s years of trying to make it harder to vote. It’s restrictions on women’s healthcare," explains Herring. "Their privacy and reproductive health care.”

Although Republicans have no remaining members of the General Assembly from Northern Virginia, the GOP still holds Board of Supervisor seats in Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties.

***Editor's Note: Republican Delegate Dave LaRock represents the 33rd House District.  Though this district includes some areas west of Leesburg, it also includes includes significant areas of the Shenandoah Valley around Winchester.

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.