While the outcome of Tuesday’s midterm elections nationally remain clouded, it was clearly not the “red tsunami” that many pundits predicted, in line with historical trends, and in Virginia the Democrats held onto two of the three critical and heavily contested congressional seats.
Democrats Jennifer Wexton in the 10th District to the west of Falls Church and Abigail Spanberger in the 7th District to the south held onto their seats through brutally-contested races, while Elaine Luria was toppled in the Tidewater area 2nd district.
In Northern Virginia’s 8th District that includes the City of Falls Church, veteran incumbent Rep. Don Beyer Jr. won handily in what was the only item on the ballot here. Similarly Rep. Gerry Connolly won handily in the 11th district to the west in Fairfax County.
Running against first-time candidates Karina Lipsman, the Republican nominee, and Teddy Fikre, an independent, Beyer prevailed with a whopping 73.4 percent of the vote.
His margin was even greater in Falls Church as of yesterday, with still some provisional ballots to be assessed, where of the total of 6,365 votes cast (57 percent of total registered voters), he captured an even 5,000 for 78.6 percent of the total.
Considered a Falls Church “Favorite Son” because of his family’s long involvement in the City beginning with his father’s founding of Don Beyer Volvo here and Don Jr.’s period as president of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce before being elected in an upset to two terms as Virginia’s lieutenant governor in the 1990s, Don Jr.’s offspring attended City of Falls Church schools, and his brother Mike, his artist wife June, and their family lived for years in the City as Mike ran the Beyer Automotive business.
Beyer was unsuccessful in a run for Virginia governor in 1996 but played a key role in President Barack Obama’s rise to prominence in the Democratic Party in the early 2000s. He was named U.S. ambassador to Switzerland in 2009, and was elected to his first term as the U.S. congressman from the 8th District in 2012 upon the retirement of Rep. Jim Moran, being reelected every time since and now chairing the powerful Joint Economic Committee in Congress.
In a letter to supporters posted on social media late Tuesday, Beyer expressed his thanks. He wrote, “I will never stop fighting for reproductive freedom, environmental protection and every single thing that Virginians value,” adding, “It is not lost on me that you (his supporters—ed.) are the reason I get to continue that fight.”
He added that “as of right now, control of the House is still too close to call [and] we need to make sure every vote is counted and every voice is heard as results are determined in the next few hours or days.”
Virginia’s U.S. Senator Mark Warner also took to social media yesterday to thank “the service of election workers that kept yesterday’s elections free, open and fair,” adding that “the next couple days and weeks could still be subject to subversion or bogus legal obstruction, so I’m continuing to monitor the certification of these races.”
Meanwhile, Virginia Democratic Party Chairwoman, Susan Swecker, released the following statement on this week’s midterms:
“After a difficult redistricting, our Congressional Democrats ran hard-fought campaigns across the state, defeated Glenn Youngkin-style Republican extremism, and showed that Democratic values win.
“I want to congratulate our Democratic Representatives Abigail Spanberger, Jennifer Wexton, Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, Bobby Scott, and Don McEachin on their incredible victories tonight. In Congress, they will continue to deliver for Virginians by lowering healthcare and prescription drug costs, protecting Social Security and Medicare, making an economy that works for everyone, and defending Virginians’ reproductive rights.”