The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported yesterday that Democratic State Sen. Jennifer Wexton will challenge Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock for Comstock’s northern Virginia seat – the VA 10th.
Democrats feel they have a reasonable chance of picking this one up in 2018 as Hillary Clinton carried the district by 10 points in 2016. But it won’t be easy.
Comstock, who worked to distance herself from President Donald Trump, was re-elected last year with 53 percent of the vote. She beat Democrat LuAnn Bennett — a real estate executive and ex-wife of former Rep. Jim Moran, D-8th — despite a strong tide in Northern Virginia against the Republican presidential nominee.
Wexton is a former prosecutor, elected to the state Senate in January 2014 and re-elected in 2015. A few of other Democrats have announced or are thinking about persuing the nomination, but Wexton is the highest profile contender so far.
The Washington Post notes that Wexton spent about $472,000 in her 2015 reelection to the state legislature but that she will have to up her game considerably, by millions. They call Comstock a “fundraising powerhouse and relentless campaigner” and point to the fact that “outside groups will likely pour resources into campaigns on both sides.”
In other words, of the 24 seats the Democrats will need to flip to form a majority, this one will not be gimme, nor are many likely to be.