Democrats across the country have been tacking left in their selections for political nominees this primary season. Whether that’s a strategy that pays off in November will be determined . . . well, in November.

In the 10th Congressional District Democratic primary, the six contenders often seem more or less indistinguishable from one another – except when they are, singly or in groups, trying to undercut state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Loudoun), who early in the race emerged as the favorite of the local Democratic establishment.

Democrats on June 12 have a not-insignificant decision to make, as the winner will have a fair shot at defeating two-term Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock. The district is trending Democratic, and Comstock (see below) has had her share of trouble with the right wing of her party.

Wexton’s legislative track record tends to be a little to the left of where we’d like it to be, but she also has proved herself an adept legislator in Richmond who is willing to compromise when needed.

Given her legislative record, and the inability of any of the others in the race to break from the pack, our view is that Wexton has earned the nomination.

Comstock has proved to be a tenacious competitor, able to hold on to her office even when political winds are shifting. If Democrats want to snatch the seat away from her, they need a pro. Jennifer Wexton would seem to be it.

• • •

U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10th) has been endorsed by the Sun Gazette in her two campaigns for Congress. At the same time, we have pointed out on this page that we agree with critics who contend she too often is AWOL from interacting with constituents.

And we have pointed out that, like other Republicans holding on in districts that are trending Democratic, she on occasion has had to twist her political positions with pretzel-like permutations in an effort to stay in the good graces of both the 10th District electorate and the House Republican leadership.

We’ll take all that into consideration down the road. For now, the focus is on the June 12 primary, where Comstock is being challenged from her right by Shak Hill in a race few are paying attention to. (Although Comstock is, apparently, because we’ve seen campaign ads starting to sprout, touting her candidacy.)

Hill is the darling of an extremely small sub-section of Virginia’s Republicans, but he is not ready for prime time, and his nomination would all but guarantee that Democrats take over the seat.

We’ll see what voters in the Republican primary say, but this one should be a no-brainer: Barbara Comstock is the clear option on June 12.

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