Local Commentary

Editorial: Virginia’s Historic Election Outcome

Virginia deserves enormous credit for its role in this week’s electoral outcome nationally, epitomizing the much wider trend to repudiate all the excessive misogyny, discrimination and attacks on core U.S. institutions, such as the media, that the current Republican leadership across the Potomac represents, and nobody deserves more credit for this than Sen. Tim Kaine.

The relentless progress to convert this commonwealth from “red” (GOP) to “blue” (Democratic) over the last 35 years, to reject the extreme anti-women posture of its Republican lawmakers that made it a laughing stock of the nation only a few years ago (remember the call for government-mandated pre-abortion transvaginal ultrasounds just six years ago?), has now deepened in extraordinary ways. Three Democratic women, two running for public office for the first time ever, ousted Republicans in Virginia on Tuesday, flipping the state’s Congressional delegation from seven Republicans and four Democrats to seven Democrats and four Republicans.

Virginia’s U.S. Democratic congressional delegation, led by two U.S. senators, Kaine, re-elected by a landslide, and Mark Warner, and its veteran congressmen, all re-elected handily Tuesday, Rep. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, Bobby Scott and Donald McEachin, has now been joined by newcomers Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria, added to the all-Democratic statewide office holders, Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax, to ensure that the next step in 2019 will be to win control of the State Legislature. In fact, the race was on as of yesterday, when Del. Danica Roem formally announced her bid for reelection and Del. Jennifer Boysko her campaign to fill the state senate seat vacated by Wexton.

This wave will position Virginia to be solidly in the Democratic camp for the 2020 presidential election and to draw fair lines for the redistricting of all the state and national electoral representation over the subsequent decade.

Virginia will be an even more welcoming place for everyone, including for major corporations bringing tens of thousands of new, well-paying jobs, reflecting an enormous reversal of the state’s history of racial violence and repression, and setting a shining example for all the shrinking and aging residual “red zones” across the country.

No one deserves more credit Sen. Kaine, who brushed off the bitter loss of his campaign for vice-president in 2016 to pull out all the stops for a tireless and impassioned campaign, not just for himself, but for all Democrats on the ticket in this election statewide.

Kaine’s passion was nowhere more evident than in his victory speech. He put front and center the “the kind of people we are, and the kind of people we aren’t” in contrast to Trump and the GOP leadership’s support for him.