With 2019 Session Around the Corner, State Lawmakers Already Looking Ahead

Dec 7, 2018

Credit AP Photo / Steve Helber

Lawmakers are about to assemble in Richmond for the next session of the General Assembly. But, many of them are already thinking ahead to the next election.

2019 is a big election year in Virginia. Every seat in the House of Delegates will be up for election. That happens every two years. But in addition to that, all 40 seats in the Virginia state Senate will also be up for election. That only happens once every four years. And Democrats are clearly planning to seize the majority next year.

Here’s Senator Dave Marsden of Fairfax County explaining a gun control bill he admits won’t get out of subcommittee this year.

“2020 could be a very different session in the Virginia General Assembly, and I’m trying to allow for introducing different approaches to solving problems so that they have time to generate some questions and interest.”

Republican strategist Dan Scandling says Republicans are also are going to spend the upcoming session planning for what’s next.

“If I’m a rural legislator and our numbers are going to shrink and we’re going to be in the minority then why am I going to moderate because then I’m going to get taken out in a primary because I’m going to try to save a seat in Northern Virginia or save a seat in Hampton Roads? I’m not going to do that.”

Republicans and Democrats will both be facing primary elections only a few weeks after the session ends.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.