Home 2018 Elections Every Virginia Congressional Democratic Committee Opts for a Primary…Except for VA-05

Every Virginia Congressional Democratic Committee Opts for a Primary…Except for VA-05


A few minutes ago, the 7th CD Virginia Democratic committee voted to hold a primary to choose its nominee to take on Rep. Dave Brat (R) in the general election. With that, we now know all the Democratic congressional committees’ selections for method of nomination.

VA-01: Primary
VA-02: Primary
VA-05: Party-run caucus and convention
VA-06: Primary
VA-07: Primary
VA-09: Primary
VA-10: Primary

My general view is that there’s no perfect method of nomination, especially in a state with no party registration or ranked/range voting for state-run primaries, but all else being equal I prefer primaries. Which means that all the Virginia Democratic committees, with the exception of VA-05, made the “right” decision from my point of view, although I understand why a committee might opt for a method of nomination other than a primary. With that, let the best candidates win…and then go on to oust the Republican currently misrepresenting their district!

P.S. As far as I’m aware, the Democratic incumbents in VA-03 (Bobby Scott), VA-04 (Donald McEachin), VA-08 (Don Beyer) and VA-11 (Gerry Connolly) are uncontested…

  • linda1pebv

    a grand total of 250 people will decide who the candidate will be in the 5th district. Ridiculous!

    • More people than that will be involved in the caucuses leading up to the convention, no? Still, I agree with you that a primary would have been far preferable here.

      • linda1pebv

        To be sure! There is tremendous interest in learning about the caucus process.

        • Jason Peterson

          Convention frees up 5CD Dems (along with those in the 3rd, 4th, 8th, and 11th) to take part in ‘strategic voting’ should there be a Republican Senate primary.

          • linda1pebv

            Could you define ‘strategic voting’? I would think that there is a great liklihood that there would be a GOP Senate Primary. Does that mean that the 5th could roll over into a Congressional Democratic Primary?

  • dave schutz

    Nomination by first past the post precinct primaries can lead to the Donald Trump problem, or more locally the Corey Stewart problem – if you have a large number of candidates, and one of them is …. different …. from the others, backers of the …. different … candidate can prevail even though most primary voters would prefer almost anyone else. This is a worry for me in the 10th. In Arlington, Dems have recently addressed that potential problem with caucuses in which they use ranked choice voting, but with a greatly diminished number of voters taking part, and we have just elected an ACDC chair who made a strong stance against caucuses for that reason.
    The best mechanism to address this, in my view, is to enable primaries to be run with a ranked choice system – the reader who is interested could look for history on the Quan-Perata race for mayor of Oakland California to see how it works, or at the discussions right here in the pixellated archives of BlueVa of the Arlington caucuses which nominated Erik Gutshall and Alan Howze.
    Delegate Patrick Hope has introduced a bill this year to enable ranked choice nominations within Arlington, and Delegate Freitas (the Republican running for Senate) has introduced for the second year a ranked choice elections bill for a wide variety of Virginia offices, showing interest on both sides of the political spectrum.

    • Agreed – first past the post in a race with 10 candidates or whatever, like in VA-10, is VERY problematic. For races with that many candidates, we badly need ranked/range voting.