With just 37 days until Election Day, most Democrats are heavily focused – as we should be – on the crucial midterm elections, including making sure we reelect Reps. Elaine Luria (D-VA02), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07) and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA10) here in Virginia. For that reason, I haven’t been posting much about possibilities for 2023, when the entire Virginia General Assembly will be up for election. However, this morning, I saw the following tweet from Sam Shirazi about a Democratic candidate, Russet Perry, filing to run in the 31s State Senate District, which – as Shirazi points out – “will be crucial in next year’s state [Senate] elections.” Why is that? Because:
- Democrats only have a slim, 21-19 majority in the State Senate;
- With Glenn Youngkin as governor and with Republicans with the House of Delegates majority (which hopefully we’ll change next year), it’s crucial that we maintain the Democratic hold on the State Senate, to deny these right-wing Republicans a governing “trifecta,” which they’d use to reverse much of the progress (including on LGBTQ equality, gun violence prevention, criminal justice reform, women’s reproductive freedom, clean energy and environment, you name it) we made during the Democratic “trifecta” of 2020-2021;
- The 31st State Senate district is a VERY competitive, “purple” district that is most definitely winnable by Democrats next year;
- If Democrats are able to win the 31st State Senate district next year, it would go a long way towards guaranteeing that Democrats keep control of the State Senate
- There are rumors that incumbent, Republican State Senator Jill Vogel either might not run for reelection or might get primaried from her right (also note that Vogel barely raised any money in the first half of 2022). Without Vogel as the candidate, Democrats would have an even better chance of taking back SD31.
Of course, for Democrats to win this seat, we’re going to need a super-strong candidate. Which is why I was glad to see that Russet Perry has filed her paperwork for a possible run next year. For some more information on Russet Perry, see here. A few things that really jumped out at me were:
- She lives in Loudoun County, which is by far the heart of SD31. Also, she worked in the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, “serving on the office’s domestic violence and sexual assault prosecution team” where she “successfully prosecuted all manner of charges, including domestic assault, rape, child exploitation, and murder.” That reminds me a bit of another highly successful, Loudoun-based Democrat – namely Jennifer Wexton, who served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney before she was elected to the Virginia State Senate in 2014, then to the US House of Representatives in 2018.
- In 2015, Perry “left the Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and served for two years at the Central Intelligence Agency,” where she “gained not only invaluable experience but was able to aide in ensuring the safety of our county.” That background is excellent, and also reminds me of another Democrat who was elected to the US House in 2018 – Abigail Spanberger, who worked at the CIA as well.
Anyway, we’ll see how it goes assuming Russet Perry announces for this seat, but for now, I just wanted her to be on everyone’s radar screen as a potentially very strong candidate in what is likely to be one of the top-tier races of 2023 here in Virginia.
P.S. One other Democrat has filed for this seat – Leesburg Councilman Zach Cummings. Also note that this district’s boundaries changed with redistricting, and now is overwhelmingly in Loudoun County, whereas previously it had parts of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Winchester, Culpeper and Stafford…