State Sen. Jennifer Wexton, D-33rd District, just picked up an endorsement from Gov. Ralph Northam in her bid to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-10th District, this fall.
Wexton is the lone elected official in the crowded Democratic primary to challenge Comstock, and while she’s lagged behind some of her competitors in fundraising, she’s notched endorsements from a whole host of elected officials. The new Democratic governor became the latest to add his name to the list, citing his experience working with Wexton during his days as a state senator.
“I saw her tenacity on the Senate floor where we fought together to expand Medicaid and stood up to the gun lobby,” Northam wrote in a statement. “From the Virginia Senate to my campaign for governor, Jennifer Wexton has always had my back and I know she will fight even harder for Northern Virginia families."
Wexton wrote in a statement of her own that she looks forward to working with Northam and “continuing our partnership to better serve Virginia families when I am in Congress.”
Before she makes it to Washington, however, the former Loudoun County prosecutor will need to best seven other Democratic hopefuls in perhaps the most closely watched congressional race in the state. The 10th District includes all of Loudoun, Clarke and Frederick counties, along with parts of Prince William and Fairfax.
Former Obama administration staffers Alison Friedman and Lindsey Davis Stover have wracked sizable campaign war chests in the run-up to the June 12 primary, as have Army veteran Dan Helmer and former federal prosecutor Paul Pelletier.
Navy veterans Dave Hanson and Julien Modica are also in the running, as are scientist Julia Biggins and physician Shadi Ayyas. Educator Kimberly Adams and private school founder Deep Sran both mounted bids, but have dropped out of the race.
Comstock, who’s seeking her third term in office, is widely seen by political observers as a formidable incumbent, but Democrats are increasingly optimistic about their chances in the district.
Not only did Northam carry the district by a 56 percent to 43 percent margin in his successful gubernatorial bid, but polls also continue to show a substantial Democratic lean in the suburban district.
Comstock has often out-performed other Republicans at the top of the ticket. In 2016 she bested President Donald Trump’s performance in the district by about 10 points.
She’s also facing a long-shot primary challenge from Shak Hill, who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in the 2014 race for U.S. Senate.