Home 2023 Elections Currently, There Are Just Nine Women in the VA Senate. After November,...

Currently, There Are Just Nine Women in the VA Senate. After November, There Could Be As Few as 4-5 Or As Many As 20 Female VA Senators

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With women’s reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy under vicious attack by Republicans, it seems like – all else being equal – we’d want MORE women, not FEWER, in state government. Of course, just being female doesn’t mean you can’t be a right-wing extremist; for instance, here in Virginia, a classic case is VA Sen. Amanda Chase (R), who is 100% anti-reproductive-freedom despite being a woman (and there are several right-wing/anti-reproductive-freedom women in the House of Delegates). Still…it’s striking when you consider stories like this one, about “how South Carolina got its all-male Supreme Court – and the consequences in a state that often ranks at the bottom of lists about women’s well-being.”

So how about here in Virginia? Looking at the Virginia Senate, currently there are just nine women (Senators Jennifer Boysko, Amanda Chase, Siobhan Dunnavant, Barbara Favola, Ghazala Hashmi, Janet Howell, Mamie Locke, Louise Lucas, Jill Vogel) out of 40 members. Of those nine women, note that six are Democrats (of whom one – Janet Howell – has announced her retirement, and another – Louise Lucas – is in a primary with a male colleague, Lionell Spruill) while just three are Republicans (Amanda Chase, who could lose primary to Glen Sturtevant; Dunnavant, who could lose in November to Democrat Schuyler VanValkenburg) and Jill Vogel (who has announced her retirement and could be replaced by either Republican Juan Pablo Segura or either Democrat Russet Perry or Zach Cummings).

So…depending how June 20 primaries and the November 7 general elections turn out, there could be as few as four women (yikes!)…or, realistically (looking at districts that are likely to be competitive and aren’t solid-blue or solid-red), as many as 20 women in the State Senate starting next January. Here’s a rundown of the possibilities:

  • Del. Sally Hudson (D) could win solid-blue SD11 or Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) could hold on.
  • Sen. Amanda Chase (R) could hang on in solid-red SD12, or Tina Ramirez (R) could win  – but more likely, Glen Sturtevant (R) will win the Republican primary and also in November.
  • Lashrecse Aird (D) could win solid-blue SD13 or Sen. Joe Morrissey (D) could hold on – hopefully not.
  • Katie Gooch (D) theoretically could win solid-blue SD14, but most likely Sen. Lamont Bagby (D) will win the Democratic primary on June 20 and then in November.
  • Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D) will win solid-blue SD15.
  • Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R) could hang on in blue-leaning SD16, but hopefully will lose in November to Schuyler VanValkenburg (D).
  • Emily Brewer (R) could win deep-red SD17…or she could lose to her Republican primary opponent, Hermie Sadler.
  • Sen. Louise Lucas (D) could hold on in solid-blue SD18  – or she could lose her primary to Sen. Lionell Spruill (D).
  • Republican Cristie Craig could win solid-red SD19…or one of her male Republican opponents (Tim Anderson or Jeff Bruzzesi) could win.
  • Either Andria McClellan (D) or Angelia Williams Graves (D) will win solid-blue SD21.
  • Sen. Mamie Locke (D) will win solid-blue S23.
  • Republican Tara Durant or Independent Monica Gary could win “purple” SD27  – but hopefully either Democrat Joel Griffin or Ben Litchfield will win in November.
  • Del. Elizabeth Guzman could win solid-blue SD29  –  or Sen. Jeremy McPike could hold on.
  • Del. Danica Roem will probably win blue-leaning SD30 (although obviously, don’t take it for granted).
  • Russet Perry hopefully will win “purple” SD31 over Republican Juan Pablo Segura.
  • Hala Ayala (D) or Jennifer Carroll Foy (D) will win solid-blue SD33.
  • Heidi Drauschak (D) could win solid-blue SD35  – or Sen. Dave Marsden (D) could hold on.
  • Stella Pekarsky (D) could win solid-blue SD36  – or Sen. George Barker (D) could hold on.
  • Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D) will win solid-blue SD38
  • Sen. Barbara Favola (D) will almost certainly win her solid-blue SD40 Democratic primary against James DeVita (D)…and then win in November.

So, at the bare minimum, there could be just four women (Sen. Jennifer Boysko, Sen. Mamie Locke, Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, either Jennifer Carroll Foy or Hala Ayala) in the VA Senate in January 2024, plus highly likely five minimum (given that Sen. Barbara Favola is 99%+ likely to win). Or, there could be as many as 20 women out of 40 senators. More likely, it will be somewhere in the middle…

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