Transgender Virginia candidate could make history and other races to watch

Transgender Virginia candidate could make history and other races to watch

Elections at the state and local levels are being held across the country, with a number of notable candidates in the races.

Among them is Danica Roem, who would be Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official if she manages to unseat 13-term Virginia House of Delegates incumbent Bob Marshall.

Here are a few to keep an eye on:

Virginia House of Delegates

All 100 seats in the House of Delegates are up for election. Republicans hold 66 out of 100 seats in the chamber and Democrats are not expected to be able to take back the legislature, but there are a number of higher-profile races that garnered national attention. The exact number of seats that Democrats are able to pick up could be a good indicator of the strength of the party’s brand in different parts of a swing state like Virginia. Forty-three of the 88 Democratic candidates running for the House of Delegates are women.

Virginia races of note:

13th district – Roem (D) v. Marshall (R): Roem would be the state’s first openly transgender elected official if she wins, and Democrats have been gunning hard to unseat 13-term incumbent Marshall. Marshall is a hardline conservative that entered politics as an anti-abortion activist.

12th district – Hurst (D) v. Yost (R): Chris Hurst’s life was flipped upside down after his girlfriend Allison Parker, a journalist at WDBJ, was murdered on live television in 2015 by a former co-worker. Now Hurst is running for political office and hoping to unseat Joseph Yost, who has held this district since 2011.

31st District – Guzman (D) v. Lingamfelter (R): If elected, Elizabeth Guzman would be the first Latina elected to the Virginia statehouse, and this district in suburban Prince William County outside of Washington, D.C., is another competitive race that Democrats are hoping to pull out.

Washington State Senate district 45

If Democrat Manka Dhingra is able to defeat Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund, it would give the Democrats control of the Washington State Senate, which would mean complete Democratic control of the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington) in every state legislative body and governor’s seat.

The suburban and wealthy district east of Seattle was won handily by Hillary Clinton during the general election, and a win there has Democrats in the state eager to begin enacting an even more progressive agenda in the state, spearheaded by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Kentucky Rowan County clerk election

Kim Davis, who was sent to prison in 2015 when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, is running for re-election for the first time since she was jailed.

Utah’s 3rd congressional district

The race for Utah’s 3rd congressional district is not expected to be competitive with the Republican nominee, Provo Mayor John Curtis, primed to take over the seat after Jason Chaffetz resigned from Congress back in May. The district is reliably red, and even with some pushback in the state, President Donald Trump won it in 2016 by 18 points. Chaffetz cruised to re-election by almost 50 points in 2016.

Curtis is taking on Democrat and physician Kathie Allen, who has not attracted much support from national Democrats, as well as Jim Bennett, a third-party candidate and son of former U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett, and grandson of former U.S. Sen. Wallace Bennett.

New York City mayoral election

Incumbent Democrat Bill de Blasio is poised to sail toward re-election as the mayor of New York City, despite the fact that his approval ratings dipped to as low as 50 percent in a July 2017 poll from Quinnipiac.

De Blasio did not face any major resistance in the Democratic primary over the summer, and none of his challengers in the general election appear to have made much headway. The Republican candidate is state assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.


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