Meet the Candidates: Virginia’s 2018 Congressional Races

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Every two years, people go the polls and vote on all 435 Congressional seats in the House of Representatives. With seven seats currently vacant, Republicans have a 235 to 193 advantage in the House. 

Virginia has 11 congressional districts represented by seven Republicans and four Democrats. Click here for a view of Virginia’s congressional district map.

On Nov. 6, voters will decide which party takes control of the House until 2020. 8News has provided a brief overview of each congressional race in Virginia: 


Va. 1st- Rob Wittman (R) vs. Vangie Williams (D) 

The race for Virginia’s 1st Congressional District is between Republican Congressman Rob Wittman, the district’s representative since 2007, against Democratic challenger Vangie Williams. 

Rep. Wittman considers reforming how Congress works as a top priority to his campaign. Wittman’s views on responsible budgeting and his top priorities can be found here. 

Vangie Williams received nearly 40 percent of the vote during the Democratic primaries in June. Williams, a strategic planner and senior project control principal for a government contractor, does not come from a political background. Her views on the issues, including her INVEST tax initiative proposal, can be found on her campaign website. 

You can watch their debate on C-Span’s website. 

Va. 2nd- Scott Taylor (R) vs Elaine Luria (D)

Virginia’s 2nd district race is between Scott Taylor, a former member of the Navy SEALs, and Elaine Luria, a former Naval commander.

Taylor was appointed in 2017 after winning the Republican primary following Rep. Scott Rigell decision to not seek re-election in 2016. Taylor was one of the GOP candidates Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for in Virginia.

In June, Elaine Luria won the Democratic primary with 62.3 percent of the vote. Luria, who joined the Navy at age 17, operates a small family business based in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

Luria’s campaign site lists the reasons why she’s running. 

Va. 3rd- Bobby Scott (D)

Congressman Bobby Scott has represented Virginia’s 3rd district since 1993. He is running unopposed on Election Day. To learn more about Rep. Scott’s views on the issues, you can click here. 

Va. 4th- Donald McEachin (D) vs Ryan McAdams (R) vs Pete Wells (L)

Congressman Donald McEachin, a former attorney, won the 4th district seat with 57 percent of the vote, beating Republican nominee Mike Wade in 2016. 

Ryan McAdams, a pastor who became the volunteer State Director for the Virginia Prayer Caucus in 2016, won 72 percent of the vote in the primary. 

Vice President Mike Pence came to Richmond to support McAdams’ campaign. 

Pete Wells, the Libertarian candidate in the race, formerly served in the Navy and went to VCU. To take a look at Wells’ view on issues, click here. 


Va. 5th- Leslie Cockburn (D) vs Denver Riggleman (R) vs John Hargis (I)

After Congressman Tom Garrett resigned in May, the race for Virginia’s 5th district will see three new faces. Before deciding on running, the Democratic nominee Leslie Cockburn worked as a journalist for ABC, CBS and NBC. Cockburn ran unopposed in the primaries.

Known for his business prowess, Denver Riggleman is a local distillery owner who won the nomination after Rep. Garrett’s resignation. Riggleman’s campaign site says the Air Force veteran would bring, “a steadfast conservative who will focus on a pro-business agenda, while working tirelessly for a federal government that is more efficient, less intrusive, and accountable to its citizens.”

Leslie Cockburn, a former producer on “60 Minutes” and two-time Emmy winner, focuses her message on fixing the health care system and fighting the opioid crisis. According to her campaign’s site, Cockburn, “wants to address the opioid epidemic that is ravaging the 5th District by making the opioid pushers feel the pain.”

John Hargis is the Independent write-in candidate.

Va. 6th- Ben Cline (R) vs Jennifer Lewis (D)

The Republican candidate for Virginia’s 6th Congressional seat, Ben Cline, takes over for longtime Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who was the district’s representative since 1993. During the district convention in May, Cline received 52 percent of the first vote.

In June, Jennifer Lewis won the Democratic primary with 47.6 percent of the vote.

Lewis calls health care “a human right and that it’s our moral obligation to create a nation in which nobody dies – or goes bankrupt.” 

Va. 7th- Dave Brat (R) vs Abigail Spanberger (D) vs Joe Walton (L)

The race for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, between Dave Brat (R), Abigail Spanberger (D) and Joe Walton (I), is one of the most talked about races in the country.

Brat, a former economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, has represented the district since 2014 when he shook the political landscape in the House by upsetting incumbent and majority leader, Eric Cantor.

Brat has been backed by President Donald J. Trump. 

A former CIA and federal law enforcement agent, Abigail Spanberger won 72 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary in June. Spanberger has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Reports show Spanberger’s campaign raised more than half of what Brat raised from Oct. 1 and Oct. 17.

Libertarian candidate Joe Walton served on the County of Powhatan Board of Supervisors from 2008 until 2011. According to Walton’s campaign website, his political views center on “limiting government’s size and scope while maximizing personal freedoms.”

Va. 8th- Donald Beyer (D) vs Thomas Oh (R)

The incumbent in this race, Congressman Donald Beyer, has won the past two elections with more than 60 percent of the vote. Beyer, who owns multiple car dealerships in Virginia, is the Vice-Ranking Member of the Science, Space and Technology Committee. 

Thomas Oh, a 26-year old graduate of George Mason University, is a political newcomer from Northern Virginia. To learn Oh’s views on issues, you can read more on his campaign site. 

Va. 9th- Morgan Griffith (R) vs Anthony Flaccavento (D)

Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith has represented the 9th district since being elected in 2010, serving on the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee. 

Anthony Flaccavento is an organic farmer and small-business owner running for office for the second time. 

We’ve actually seen this race before. In 2012, Griffith and Flaccavento went head to head to represent the 9th district, with Griffith winning 61 percent of the vote. 

Va. 10th- Barbara Comstock (R) vs Jennifer Wexton (D)

With expectations of a tight race, voters in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District will pick between Barbara Comstock and Jennifer Wexton.

Congresswoman Comstock has served on several committees, including the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, since assuming office in 2015. 

Wexton, a Virginia State Senator since 2014, was a former prosecutor who formerly worked as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Loudoun County.

WATCH: Rep. Comstock and Democratic candidate Wexton debate.

Va. 11th- Gerald Connolly (D) vs Jeff Dove (R) vs Stevan Porter (L)

Congressman Gerald Connolly was elected to represent Virginia’s 11th Congressional District in 2008. Before joining the House, Connolly served in Fairfax County as a chair of the Board of Supervisors. In 2016, after winning 56.9 percent of the vote two years before, Connolly ran unopposed in the general election. 

Jeff Dove, an Army veteran, has worked for the Naval Research Lab Federal Credit Union and the National Association of City and County Health Officials. Dove, who ran unopposed in the primary, is another first-time politician running against a popular incumbent.

Libertarian candidate Stevan Porter’s platform pushes for government reform, including calls for limited government and transparency. Porter’s site details his views on the issues. 

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