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Congressional hopefuls are almost out of time to get their paperwork in

Thursday is a key deadline for primary elections this summer.

The retirement of incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton is attracting the largest number of candidates in any race this year. So far, 13 Democrats are running in the Democratic primary and more might enter the race before the deadline this week. The list includes a former Speaker of the House of Delegates, three incumbent delegates and two incumbent senators.

Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says they’ve got nothing to lose.

"If you're currently a member of the House of Delegates or the Senate of Virginia, you're not on the same electoral timetable as a congressional race," says Farnsworth. "So, you basically can get a roll of the dice without having to give anything up in terms of your own seat or not running for reelection because your contest would be in a different cycle in a different year."

Three congressional incumbents have no opposition at all, at least not yet: Bobby Scott, Gerry Connolly and Jennifer McClellan. And the only incumbent member to face a primary from his own party is Republican Congressman Bob Good. That's a race J. Miles Coleman at the University of Virginia says is one to watch.

"It seems like a lot of Republicans, or at least a lot of Trumpy Republicans, here haven't really forgiven Good for backing DeSantis over Trump," Coleman says. "If he loses, that could be definitely one of the key factors here."

The primary is June 18th.

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.