The search for quality candidates for 2025 is already underway
Democratic candidates won in competitive races across Virginia this year, thanks in part to the debate over abortion rights. But, candidate recruitment might have also played a role.
Elections aren't won or lost by political parties. They’re won and lost by specific candidates, which is why party leaders spend so much time and effort trying to recruit the best candidates possible.
Danica Roem is a delegate from Northern Virginia who will be moving over to the Senate, and she helped recruit several women candidates through a program called Emerge.
"The new generation of Emerge elected officials who are heading into the House of Delegates and heading into the state Senate is going to only allow us to continue recruiting more Democratic women from more walks of life and encourage everyone to step and win because of who they are, not despite it," says Roem.
Former Republican Delegate David Ramadan is now a professor at George Mason University's Schar School, and he says Republicans have a recruitment problem.
"Candidates matter, and we saw that in the example of the Senate candidates in the 31st District in Loudoun County," Ramadan says. "Republicans did not recruit a local, community-connected person, but they allowed for an implant from Georgetown."
The final votes are still being counted in the 2023 election, and yet leaders in both parties are already hard at work recruiting new candidates for 2025.