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.
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