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Analysts: Voters reject extremism, experience in some Senate primaries

Virginia Department of Elections

Republican Senator Amanda Chase of Chesterfield and Democratic Senator Joe Morrissey of Petersburg will not be returning to the Virginia state Senate now that voters have unseated them in favor of former Senator Glen Sturtevant and former Delegate Lashrecse Aird.

J. Miles Coleman at the University of Virginia said voters rejected extremism in some cases. “It’s going to be quite a shakeup between these two primaries if you look at the delegation in the Senate from the Richmond area. Two of the more unorthodox members are shown the doors by voters.”

Complete primary results from the Va. Dept. of Elections

In Northern Virginia, two senior Democratic senators were unseated by progressive challengers: George Barker was defeated by Stella Pekarsky and Chap Petersen was defeated by Saddam Azlan Salim.

Mark Rozell at George Mason University’s Schar School says voters will end up losing experience and seniority. “What they have decided in a number of races is to unseat a lot of seniority, a lot of institutional knowledge and replace that with people who are untested and will have to spend some time just to get to know where all the offices are and where the work gets done.”

In races that featured incumbents against incumbents because of new court drawn maps, voters unseated Senator Lionell Spruill of Chesapeake and Delegate Marie March of Floyd County.

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.