VIRGINIA'S YEAR OF THE WOMAN
After Election Day, Rep.-elect Jennifer T. Wexton sent a message to her soon-to-be colleagues, telling them that the back of Virginia’s state seal is inscribed with a word that means “persevering” — and the images of three goddesses.
“Virginia elected three badass women to Congress last night,” she tweeted to Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria, who, like her, had flipped congressional districts from red to blue. “Can’t wait to serve with you!”
“All of us are moms,” Wexton said of the trio. “All of us are career women, all of us know how important it is that we just put on our big-girl pants and do our jobs — and maybe more people in
Congress need to do that, too.”
Virginia Democrats can thank women for the party’s success in picking up three congressional seats here in the midterm elections. Women candidates carried the Democratic banner in six of the 11 Virginia House races. They competed for districts that many observers said were un-winnable. On election day, they ousted three GOP incumbents, two of whom hail from Republican-leaning districts.
And it was women voters who powered these Democratic victories. Although we do not have district-by-district exit poll breakdowns, statewide, in a U.S. Senate race in Virginia that was a huge landslide for Democrat Tim Kaine over Republican Corey Stewart, a slim majority of men voted for Stewart whereas women voted nearly 2-1 for Kaine (64-35 percent). With such a huge gender gap, there is no doubt that women voters carried the elections of Democrats Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger, in the 2nd and 7th Districts, respectively. In the 10th District, Democrat Jennifer Wexton prevailed by a comfortable 12 percent over incumbent Barbara Comstock.
After soundly defeating Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th District, Democratic Rep.-elect Jennifer Wexton is looking forward to her move from the state Senate in Richmond to the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill.
Wexton wants to work on issues that have a positive impact on residents of the 10th District, she said in a post-victory news conference at her campaign headquarters Wednesday night.
“I think we need to — first and foremost — deliver positive results for our constituents and pass legislation that makes their lives better,” Wexton said.
“My message to people who didn’t vote for me is I want to represent them. I want to be accountable to them. I am going to do what’s best for the district and what’s best for this country,” she said.
“I know I can’t make everyone happy all the time. That includes people who voted for me. But what I can do is ... listen to people and be transparent about what it is that I am doing, and why. And do the things that I said I was going to do.”
“I’m grateful for people putting their trust in me,” she said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to represent this district.”
Sipping her third cup of coffee Wednesday morning, Congresswoman-elect Elaine Luria was getting by on a few hours' sleep but already thinking about what's next after winning Tuesday's 2nd Congressional District election.
"I ran for Congress because I wanted to tell my daughter that I stepped forward once again when my country needed me," the retired Navy commander and first-time candidate told cheering supporters Tuesday night after she beat freshman Republican Rep. Scott Taylor.
"The overall tone nationally is that people were very concerned with the rhetoric and what they feel to be a divisiveness in our country. And they just don’t want it to continue," she said. "People want some kind of hope for someone who will bridge this divide rather than fuel the fire. I think they saw that in our campaign.”