It's a whole new world in Virginia politics, and we have our first look at how the state's auto dealers may fare come November.
Because of redistricting in 2022 and legislator retirements this year, Virginia will see the most crucial General Assembly election in recent history with every seat in the House of Delegates and Senate up for grabs.
Last week, Virginia held a primary to determine the candidates who will be on the ballot in November. The primary showed its teeth, as the General Assembly will continue the trend of having unprecedented turnover due to a combination of Virginia's first redistricting maps, retirements — and now, primary defeats.
In the 40-member Senate, there will be at least 16 new members.
In the 100-member House, at least 32 new members.
Generally speaking, Republicans fared well on Tuesday as they were able to defeat some of their more controversial far-right candidates. Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield), who is not part of the Senate Republican Caucus, lost her primary race to former state senator Glen Sturtevant. Del. Tara Durant (R-Fredericksburg), in a swing district around Fredericksburg, defeated Matt Strickland for the Senate Republican nomination. In a wildly provocative race in southwest/southside Virginia, Del. Wren Williams (R-Stuart) took out Del. Marie March (R-Floyd) as she has attacked House Speaker Todd Gilbert, Governor Youngkin, and other Republicans throughout her first term.
The D side moved left in their primary races. They ousted four incumbent state senators on primary night, including Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond), who lost to former House of Delegates member Lashrecse Aird; Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax), who lost to newcomer Saddam Salim; and Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria), who lost to Fairfax School Board member Stella Pekarsky. All winners were heavily funded by Clean Virginia, a group founded by Charlottesville millionaire Michael Bills and targeting Dominion Energy influence. Longtime car dealer advocate Sen. Lionel Spruill (D-Chesapeake) lost in a battle royale as Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) defeated him in a new Hampton Roads seat.
Jennifer Carroll Foy, who ran for Governor on the Democrat ticket in 2021, defeated former Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Hala Ayala in Prince William County. Car dealer advocate Sen. Jeremy McPike (D-Prince William) was able to narrowly defeat Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William). Also, Senate Transportation Committee Chair Dave Marsden (D-Burke) knocked out his challenger in a highly contested matchup in Fairfax County.
Bottom line: Republicans appear to be more united, and Democrats are searching for their identity.
However, the interesting primaries on either side were generally not in districts that will be competitive this fall. This still leaves everyone wondering where the voters will go in November.
So give to the PAC!
The VADA PAC plays a vital role in determining the future. To elect pro-dealer, pro-business candidates and succeed in our legislation requires funding. We do that through the Virginia Auto and Truck Dealers Political Action Committee. You decide Virginia's future, so give to the PAC now!