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Virginia Democrats Seek To Chip Away At Republican Majority In House of Delegates

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Thirteen first-time Democratic candidates are hoping to chip away at the Republican majority in the House of Delegates, taking aim at Northern Virginia Republicans.
WAMU/Michael Pope
Thirteen first-time Democratic candidates are hoping to chip away at the Republican majority in the House of Delegates, taking aim at Northern Virginia Republicans.

In Virginia, Democrats are eager to take the fight to Republicans this fall.

In order to gain the majority in the House of Delegates, Democrats would have to pick up 19 seats—a goal nobody believes is realistic. But Arlington Delegate Alfonso Lopez said if Democrats just pick up four Republican seats, that add one member to every committee.

"What that means is that we have one more seat on Appropriations, one more seat on Commerce and Labor, one more seat on Natural Resources. And we are able to actually make it easier for us to stop the bad legislation from coming out and get the good legislation coming out," he said.

At a press conference in Clarendon on Tuesday, Delegate Mark Sickles introduced 13 first-time candidates, ready to challenge Northern Virginia's Republicans. He acknowledged many will have a tough time this fall. But, he said, the Democrats are in it for the long haul.

"Society is changing. Younger people are more very open, more open to our messages, and they will not countenance the kind of governing we've had here in the last few years," he said.

The entire House of Delegates is up for election this year, along with the offices of governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

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