Tue, Jun 21, 2022 9:34 AM
By By Tyler Arnold | The Center Square, The Center Square
(The Center Square) – Republicans and Democrats in key Virginia Congressional races that could affect control of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold their primary elections today.
In-person voting will be available from until 7 p.m. A person can turn in absentee ballots at drop-off locations until 7 p.m. and mail-in ballots are accepted as long as they are postmarked by June 21 and arrive by June 24. The commonwealth does not have same-day voter registration, but eligible voters can still register for the November general election by Oct. 17.
Democrats have yet to hold any primaries, but some incumbents do not have a challenger. Republicans have held either early conventions or firehouse primaries in four Congressional races, but will hold the primaries for the remaining races on Tuesday. Virginia has 11 Congressional seats.
With President Joe Biden’s rising unpopularity and Republican success in last year’s gubernatorial election, the GOP is strongly targeting two districts for which they have the highest chance to flip control: the second Congressional district and the seventh Congressional district.
The second Congressional district is currently represented by Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria who is not facing a primary challenger. Republicans have four candidates running to challenge Luria in November: Tony Altman, Andy Baan, Jarome Bell and Jennifer Kiggans.
Democratic incumbent Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, who represents the seventh Congressional District, will also not face a primary challenger. The Republican pool is even larger in this race, with six Republicans vying to represent their party in the general election: Derrick Anderson, Gina Ciarcia, Bryce Reeves, David Ross, Crystal Vanuch and Yesli Vega.
Some incumbents are facing challengers within their own party.
In the 8th district, Democratic incumbent Congressman Don Beyer is being challenged by a more progressive candidate, Victoria Virasingh. Republicans nominated Karina Lipsman in an early convention. In the 6th district, incumbent Republican Ben Cline is facing political newcomer Merritt Hale. The winner will face Democratic challenger Jennifer Lewis who is not opposed in the Democratic primary.
Two Republicans are running in the primary to face off against incumbent Democrat Robert Scott: Theodore Engquist and Terry Namkung.
In each of the other districts, the party either chose their nominee early or the primary was canceled because there was only one candidate.