Republicans in Virginia’s 5th, 8th, and 10th Congressional Districts met Saturday, nominating Hung Cao to challenge Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10). Republicans also nominated Representative Bob Good (R-VA-05) for re-election and nominating Karina Lipsman to challenge Representative Don Beyer (D-VA-08).
“Hey Virginia, we did it! Thank you to my campaign team, my volunteers, the donors, all my friends, and you the electorate. We did it, and now we’re going forward to the general election. We’re going to unite this district like it’s never been united before,” Cao said in a Sunday video.
Cao defeated ten other candidates with 7,729 votes and 52.8 percent of the vote after nine rounds of ranked-choice vote counting; Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson came in second with 5,000 votes in that round.
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) citizen reporter Julie Sisson told The Virginia Star, “Most knew it was going to end up being a contest between Cao and Lawson. Both great candidates – Lawson has the more traditional track record, being an elected official with experience, but Cao styled himself as an outsider which is very popular in parts of the GOP. His immigration story, his military commitment, his personal life as a family man shows he actually lives the values he professes. He’s also a dynamic speaker and a seems like a good person.”
Brandon Michon, an LCPS parent who went viral in 2020 for a passionate speech about closed schools to the school board, came in third, with 2,052 votes. However, school board member John Beatty came in ninth, eliminated in the third round with just 237 votes.
Sisson said that GOP voters remembered Beatty’s 2021 vote to shut down a June school board meeting.
“People felt betrayed. They no longer felt they would trust he would stand up to Dems at the Federal level,” she said.
Still, Sisson said Beatty’s record as a lone conservative voice will probably protect him if he runs for reelection.
With VA-05 expected to stay red and VA-08 expected to stay blue in November, VA-10 is probably the most important of Saturday’s nominations, since Republicans have a chance to defeat Wexton in the midterm congressional elections that are expected to favor the GOP nationally.
Eleven candidates sought the nomination. Tenth District GOP Chairman Geary Higgins said Saturday that the nomination race had an unusually high number of candidate forums.
He explained why there were so many GOP candidates for the nomination: “This newly-drawn district Youngkin only lost by a couple of points and all the issues that brought people out to vote in November, those issues are still on the table. If anything, Democrats have all doubled down on those issues, so I believe we’re going to have more converts to the Republican Party.”
Sisson said, “Initially, the cynic in me says we had so many candidates (when some years/seats we have trouble finding ONE) because of all the national attention on Loudoun – people saw an opportunity for themselves. Now that it’s down to one, I can say that most of them were in it because they genuinely care about what they see happening and want to make it better for all of us. I guess time will tell if the rest drift back into anonymity or stick around to do the hard unglamorous work with the rest of us.”
“‘Loudoun’ is internationally known now,” she said.
Higgins said that turnout for the firehouse primary was high, rivaling the 14,000 votes cast in the 2014 firehouse primary. That’s another marker of Republican enthusiasm.
“We got wind at our backs, it’s getting people out to vote,” Higgins said.
Sisson said Sunday, “I was the Deputy Chief Teller for VA-10 in charge of the results calculations last night and we were at HQ until two a.m. It was a party in there. No one left. People are excited to get behind Cao and oust Wexton!”
Rep. Good Renominated
Good won in a convention, a familiar process for him that helped him primary then-Representative Denver Riggleman in 2020. In a victory press release, Good added freedom to a list of concerns he had in 2020 including illegal immigration, the national debt, and “indoctrination of children.”
“Little did I know at the time that our rights would be trampled on by government in the name of the China virus. Government tried to take away our freedom of religion, our freedom of assembly, our freedom to open our businesses, and our freedom over our own healthcare choices,” Good said in the release.
Good will face Democrat Joshua Throneburg, a minister and small business owner who was the only Democrat to get enough signatures to qualify for the primary after Andy Parker’s campaign imploded at the last minute.
Air Force veteran Dan Moy sought to primary Good, but Good won with 84.45 percent of the vote. Moy promptly conceded and endorsed Good.
Lipsman in VA-08
After winning with 61.5 percent of the ranked-choice votes in a convention, Lipsman will face Beyer, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2015. The district is Democratic – in 2021, 2018, 2017, and 2016 major Democratic candidates won their races with more than 70 percent of the vote, according to The Virginia Public Access Project.
In a press release, Lipsman said she was humbled and grateful for the nomination.
“I am completely humbled by this opportunity and so incredibly thankful to the delegates who supported me to win this nomination. It’s truly a testament to the American dream that I speak about often that an immigrant girl from Ukraine can succeed in this country and is now the nominee for the United States House of Representatives,” Lipsman said. “I want to secure that American dream for everyone in the District. I promise to be a representative for all, not just those who are registered Republican.”
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