Expert analyzes primary election results, makes predictions about future of Virginia politics

Expert analyzes primary election results, makes predictions about future of Virginia politics

The results of Virginia’s primary election are in, setting the stage for general election.

This year, every seat in the General Assembly is up for reelection. Now that we know which candidates are moving forward, political analyst Dr. Eric Claville sat down with News 3 anchors Jessica Larché and Erin Miller to break down the results.

Louise Lucas comes out on top in 18th Senate District

State Senator Louise Lucas beat State Senator Lionell Spruill in the Democratic primary in the 18th Senate District, which includes parts of Portsmouth and Chesapeake. The race was a heated one, and both candidates ran attack ads against one another. Dr Claville said the following about Lucas’ victory:

“[Her victory] means a lot as it relates to the power structure in the Senate, and also in the General Assembly itself. So that means that Senator Luis Lucas is the most senior Senator in the state now. That is a very important position: it has the ability to assign committees [and] the ability to do quite a bit it through the legislature itself,” said Dr. Claville.

He also commented on Sen. Spruill’s loss.

“Unfortunately, we are losing longtime public servant Senator Spruill. But redistricting played a large part in this particular race itself. It pitted two incumbents, two long-term public servants, against each other in a new Senate district,” said Dr. Claville.

What changed after redistricting occurred?

Dr. Claville elaborated on the impact redistricting has had in the Commonwealth, and how it could change the political landscape in the future.

“Since 2016, we’ve had over 100 seats actually change. And because of redistricting, we’re going to see more of that. So, with that, we see where a lot of legislators decided to resign, retire or run for a different office,” said Dr. Claville. “We saw it here also in the City of Norfolk as well, where now former Delegate Angelia Williams Graves, ran for the Senate seat here in Norfolk, which is a newly created seat itself.”

Will Democrats flip the House? Will Republicans flip the Senate?

Dr. Claville predicts that the Democrats will come out on top in the fall.

“We will probably see the Democrats retake the House. We’ll probably see the Democrats continue to keep the Senate,” Dr. Claville said.

He also emphasized how many influential political leaders are from Hampton Roads, and the impact the region has on the state’s political matters.

“We still have the executive offices that are based out of Virginia Beach here in Hampton Roads: the governor [lived in] Virginia Beach, the lieutenant governor resides in Virginia Beach, and also the attorney general,” said Dr. Claville. “So, when we take a look at the history of the legislature, when we take a look at the power structure of government. Hampton Roads is the center of power for that.”

Which issues will be highly debated among lawmakers?

Dr. Claville says he expects that there will be fights over the following major issues: reproductive freedom and rights for women, gun safety, education, and voting rights. He said lawmakers could clash over climate mitigation measures as well.

Click on the video player about to hear Dr. Claville’s full conversation with Jessica and Erin.

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