For Democrats trying to retake Virginia legislature, fiery primaries are first hurdle

Virginia Democrats face internal challenges in expensive primary races before attempting to retake the state legislature.

Redistricting’s impact: The redrawing of Virginia’s legislative voting maps has resulted in over two dozen retirements and several combative primary races.
* The new boundaries were drawn from scratch by independent experts, leading to incumbent politicians losing their old districts.

Shift in Democratic demographics: Veteran, white, male Democratic state senators are facing primary challenges from younger, more diverse candidates running to their left.
* Women now outnumber men in the House caucus, and some argue it’s time for the state Senate to undergo similar changes.

Costly primary battles: These intraparty fights come with considerable expenses, with some candidates spending over $1 million on their campaigns since April 1.
* Some activists worry that these costly battles could fracture the party when unity is needed to face Republican opponents.

Future outlook: Democrats work to address past shortcomings and evolve with fresh voices, as some races are driven by personal ambitions while others highlight the need for new perspectives.

View original article on NPR

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