This week our thoughts are with Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), who announced she will not seek re-election next year because of health issues. She’s been a leader on foreign policy, LGBTQ rights and protecting democracy—and as a former judge, state attorney and state senator, an inspiration to women thinking of climbing the political ladder.
She was first elected during the 2018 Democratic wave, flipping a seat that had been held by Republicans since the 1980s. That wave sent two other new Democratic women to Congress from Virginia, Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria. The following year, women set a new record for representation when Democrats won back the Virginia House of Delegates—a majority that then elected the first female speaker of the Virginia House, state Rep. Eileen Filler-Corn.
But Virginia has never elected a woman as governor or US Senator. And losing the state Senate or failing to win back the House of Delegates could further erode the pipeline of strong women vying for higher office in Virginia.
Although she’s not running for re-election, former Speaker Filler-Corn is working to make sure other women hold and win state House and Senate seats in Virginia’s off-year elections this November, including:
- Susanna Gibson, State Assembly District 57: This seat, which Democrats need to hold, went 51 percent for Youngkin in 2021.
- Jessica Anderson, State Assembly District 71: This seat leans Republican—barely. Before redistricting, it was solidly red, so the incumbent is vulnerable.
- Kimberly Adams, State Assembly District 82: This is a flippable seat that went 50.6 percent for Youngkin in 2021, but 50.5 percent for the Democrats in the 2022 midterms.
- Russet Perry, State Senate District 31: This is a flippable, open seat that went 50 percent for Youngkin in 2021 but 52.7 percent for Democrats in 2022.
- Danica Roem, State Senate District 30: You know Danica as the first out transgender person elected to the Virginia General Assembly. Now she’s hoping to move from House to Senate.