The Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit organization that focuses on Virginia politics, has identified three House districts as the most competitive in the upcoming General Assembly general election: districts 82, 21, and 57. These districts have shown the narrowest partisan advantage based on the past two elections, according to the organization’s ranking methodology.
Top three competitive House races in the General Assembly election https://t.co/XodNxReGVU
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District 82, which includes the city of Petersburg, as well as Dinwiddie and Prince George counties, is currently represented by Republican candidate Kim Taylor. Taylor, who took office in January 2022, is facing a challenge from Democrat Kimberly Pope Adams. Despite historically being strongly Democratic and facing financial difficulties, the district has shown some support for Republicans in recent years. In 2021, Republican Glenn Youngkin won the district by a narrow margin of 2.1%. Taylor has promised to bring state resources to improve Petersburg’s economy, education, and public safety, but it remains to be seen whether the Republican presence will hold in this district.
In District 21, which covers Prince William County, Republican John Stirrup is competing against Democrat Josh Thomas. Both candidates have experience in public service, with Stirrup serving as the Gainesville District Supervisor and Thomas serving in the Marine Corps. Stirrup has focused his campaign on public safety, taxes, education, and concerns over data center developers. Thomas, on the other hand, has pledged to advocate for veterans, the LGBTA+ community, and Afghani refugees. Stirrup faced some controversy when he expressed support for a total abortion ban, but the issue has not been a major focus of his campaign.
The third competitive district is District 57, where Republican David Owen is running against Democrat Susanna Gibson. Owen, following in his father’s footsteps, has been active in local and state building associations and is now seeking public office. Gibson, a nurse practitioner, has experience in the medical field and aims to use her insights into health-related issues to shape public policy. However, Republicans have been drawing attention to Gibson’s past behavior, specifically her and her husband’s streaming of explicit content online, which could impact her chances of success in the election.
These three districts will be closely watched in the upcoming election as they have demonstrated a relatively equal divide between the two major parties. How voters in these districts decide will play a role in determining the direction of the General Assembly.