Women won a hefty number of House primary races in Virginia on Tuesday, creating a historic opportunity for female political representation in the state.
Democrats Vangie Williams (1st district), Elaine Luria (2nd district), Abigail Spanberger (7th district), and Jennifer Wexton (10th district) all won in their districts and will join Leslie Cockburn (5th district) and Jennifer Lewis (6th district) on the midterm election ballots this fall. These victories mean that the state’s Democratic party has nominated six women to fill 11 House seats, all but one of which are currently occupied by men.
The sole female House representative in the state, Barbara Comstock (R), also won the Republican primary in the 10th district, meaning she’ll face off against Wexton.
“Women have been leading the resistance, leading in activism and come November they will lead the way in Democrats taking back the House,” Christina Reynolds, top strategist for EMILY’s List, told CNN. “Virginia is a key part of that effort and EMILY’s List is proud to stand with the women running in these targeted races.”
These female victories reflect the momentum that’s propelled an unprecedented number of women to run for public office. More than 500 women have so far filed to run in primaries this year, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. That number represents a 67 percent jump from 2016. More than 110 of those women have won their races, 30 of them in California alone. Most of the women running are Democrats, although one-third of Republican women running have also won their races.