Virginia Update: 2018 Midterm Election Recap

November 15, 2018

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On Tuesday, November 8, 2018, Virginians in the 8th district selected a new member of the House of Delegates to replace the retiring Greg Habeeb. The district, which includes the City of Salem, Craig County, and parts of Roanoke and Montgomery Counties, elected Republican Joe McNamara at a margin of 61% to 38% over Democratic challenger Carter Turner. 

While this race was the only contested Virginia General Assembly election this November, Election Day had other effects on the Virginia legislature. With the election of Republican Delegate Ben Cline of Rockbridge County to fill the seat held by Congressman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) and Democratic State Senator Jennifer Wexton defeating Congressman Barbara Comstock (VA-11), two special elections will be called to fill those seats before the start of the 2019 Session. The special election to replace Ben Cline has been set for December 18th

On the federal side, incumbents Congressman Rob Wittman (R,VA-1), Bobby Scott (D, VA-3), Donald McEachin (D, VA-4), Don Beyer (D, VA-8), Morgan Griffith (D, VA-9) and Gerry Connolly (D, VA-11) all easily won reelection. In the 2nd Congressional district one term Republican Congressman Scott Taylor lost to Democratic challenger Elaine Luria. Republican Denver Riggleman defeated Leslie Cockburn (D) to fill the seat of retiring Congressman Tom Garrett (R) in the Virginia 5th district. In the Virginia 7th, Congressman Dave Brat (R) was denied a third term by Democrat Abigail Spanberger. In Northern Virginia, incumbent Congressman Barbara Comstock (R) was defeated by State Senator Jennifer Wexton (D) in the Virginia 11th. Finally, Senator Tim Kaine easily won a second term, defeating challenger Corey Stewart (R) in the Commonwealth’s one contested Senate race. 

Additionally, Virginia voters widely supported two constitutional amendments related to tax exemptions. One amendment empowers the state legislature to authorize local governments to provide a partial local property tax exemption for real estate subject to recurrent flooding that undertook improvements to prevent flooding or long-term damage from flooding. The other removes a restriction on where the surviving spouse of a disabled military veteran may have his or her principal place of residence in order to receive a property tax exemption.