Virginia’s 10th Congressional District has attracted 11 candidates for the GOP nomination canvass, scheduled to be held on May 21. After redistricting, Republicans see an opportunity to defeat incumbent Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10).
“We think we’ve got a really good shot at winning this, and I think that’s why we have 11 candidates running,” 10th district GOP Chairman Geary Higgins told The Virginia Star.
A canvass is like a party-run primary.
In 2020, Wexton defeated Republican Aliscia Andrews 56.51 percent to 43.37 percent. However, according to estimates from the Virginia Public Access Project, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe carried the district by a much closer margin against now-Governor Glenn Youngkin; McAuliffe would have carried 50.5 percent of the district, with Youngkin taking 48.9 percent. Politically, Democrats seem weaker nationally and Republicans hope to make gains in the 2022 congressional midterm; that may also help flip the district.
Higgins said, “If you look at all the prognosticators, I think they still call it a D plus five or some such thing, I don’t know, D plus two, depending on who you want to talk to. But I would say that it’s a lot from a Republican perspective. It’s a lot better than it was, with the Democrats feeding us the issues and doing whatever they can to help us.”
Among the candidates are Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson, who tops early fundraising numbers with $535,118 receipts; former Navy lawyer and corporate lawyer Mike Clancy has reported $211,915; Manassas City Council Member Theresa Coates Ellis has reported $60,148, and Loudoun County School Board Member John Beatty has reported $53,741. Other candidates don’t have fundraising listed on VPAP yet.
In 2021, Loudoun County Public Schools became a proving ground for new Republican education messaging, and that messaging motivated parents who powered Youngkin’s victory. Beatty isn’t the only candidate hoping to capture that energy to win the nomination. Over a year ago, LCPS parent Brandon Michon went viral after a speech criticizing COVID-19 school closures; he’s now seeking the nomination. Dave Beckwith, Hung Cao, John Henley, Paul Lott, Caleb Max, and Brooke Taylor are also seeking the nomination.
“Some have more experience than others, so you know, time and experience, I think, helps a candidate, but they’re all good,” Higgins said.
He said he’s had a chance to sit down with some of the candidates.
“I’ve told them that, you know, unfortunately, we’re only going to have one person win this race. But I hope that you stay involved because we’ve got a lot of elections coming up in the next year or so, and we need good candidates like the ones that are running for congress,” Higgins said.