It’s not a competition – nah! – but U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) garnered the largest majority of the vote among all Democrats on the Virginia congressional ballot Nov. 8.
Beyer picked up 73.3 percent of the vote in the 8th District, based on mostly complete yet unofficial tabulations.
That’s a better winning percentage than the other five Virginia Democratic congressional candidates who won victories. But it was lower than the 73.7 percent of the vote picked up by Republican incumbent Morgan Griffith in the 9th Congressional District, which despite being adjacent (numerically-speaking) to the 8th is located at the opposite end of the commonwealth, comprising a large swath of southwestern Virginia – a region that was heavily Republican even when Democrats held a near-monopoly on Virginia elections from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Beyer, 72, saw strong margins across the 8th District, which includes all of Arlington County and the cities of Falls Church and Alexandria, plus portions of Fairfax County.
“I will never stop fighting . . . for every single thing that Virginians value, and it’s not lost of me that you are the reason I get to continue that fight,” Beyer said in a post-Election Day e-mail to supporters. “I could not have done this without your support every step of the way.”
The victory came despite a spirited challenge from Republican Karina Lipsman. Independent Teddy Fikre also was in the race, but neither was expected to be able to make a dent in the final result of a district that is as Democratic-leaning as they come.
Lipsman said her campaign “has been about the people in this district who feel like they don’t have a voice – their costs have skyrocketed, crime is out of control and parents are furious about the education system’s failings. I will continue to give voice to those issues.”
Lipsman thanked her campaign supporters, and also thanked Beyer for his service to the district. “Public service is an endeavor that deserves so much respect,” she said.
Beyer in 2014 won a crowded Democratic primary and moved on to the general election in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, who retired after more than two decades in office. Previously, Beyer had served two terms as Virginia’s lieutenant governor and was U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein (never forget Liechtenstein . . .) during the Obama administration.
Earlier this year, Beyer fended off a challenge from Victoria Virasingh, who attempted to run to his right in the Democratic primary but only managed 22 percent of the vote.
Statewide, two of three embattled Democratic incumbents survived, including Abigail Spanberger in the 7th District and Jennifer Wexton in the 10th. But in the 2nd District, Democrat Elaine Luria fell to a Republican challenger, the lone flip of the night among the 11-member Virginia delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives.