BATTLE GROUND VIRGINIA: Wexton Beats Comstock
By Beverly Banks and Kietryn Zychal
DULLES, Va. — State Sen. Jennifer Wexton easily beat Republican incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock 57 percent to 42 on Tuesday in a formerly reliable GOP district whose voters had become disenchanted with President Donald Trump.
“We demand a better nation,” Wexton said in her victory speech, “a nation where we treat each other with dignity and with respect.”
Wexton, a Democrat who currently represents the 33rd state Senate District of Virginia, ran her campaign on policies in opposition to those of the Trump’s administration.
Voters at the polls shared their admiration for Wexton and the platform she touted during the campaign. She supports universal health care and expansion of mandatory background checks for gun purchases.
Comstock based her platform on support of Trump’s tax cuts, tough talk on border security and repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, though she voted against repeal in 2017.
As Wexton cast her ballot at Loudoun County High School Tuesday morning, she said she felt confident that voters in the 10th Congressional District wanted a representative in Congress who would fight Trump’s agenda.
“The values that he has been espousing and the things he’s been saying are not what we are as Americans,” she said.
Charlie Hagan, 68, of Winchester, supported Wexton because he wants the people of the 10th District to have a congresswoman who understands the reality of what climate change will mean in Virginia.
“I’ve met Barbara Comstock, she’s a lovely lady but Barbara came up far short in her interest in protecting the environment,” Hagan said.
At her election night party,
Lance Simon and his son, Ben, were overjoyed with Wexton’s win after having spent the day knocking on doors of 100 voters.
Jeniffer Green, of Manassas and a long-time supporter of Wexton, said, To have a Democrat in this seat, I’m very happy.”
Nicholas Johnston, 30, a transgender man of Fairfax County, cast his vote for Wexton early Tuesday.
“Based on Donald Trump’s attacks on the trans community and several prominent Republicans’ refusal to condemn that, including Comstock’s, I just can’t bring myself to vote Republican, maybe not ever again” Johnston said.
Business owner Tyler Dashner, 35, of Berryville, voted for Wexton to take a stand against Trump.
“I’m not a big fan of Trump and anyone who stands up to Trump gets my vote,” Dashner said.
Pam Kirschner, a 52-year-old farm worker in Stephens City, voted for Democrat Jennifer Wexton in the 10th Congressional District as a statement against President Donald Trump.“I think we have got to get these people out who are supporting everything he is,” she said. Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock, fighting to keep her seat, has been closely aligned with Trump’s policies.
Kirschner especially noted the she opposes the Trump administration’s environmental policies.
Another Stephens City resident, 74-year-old Carol Casey, said she was upset that many of the GOP statements about Wexton were “lies.”“She did not make it so that the tolls increased like they said and she is for Planned Parenthood.” Casey said.
She also said Comstock’s support for Trump was a reason not to vote for her.
“Honestly, he’s trying to run this country like a company and if you disagree with him he complains and whines,” she said.
Michael Rogers, a 60-year-old Washington firefighters who lives in Berryville, voted for embattled incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock because of “her strong voice and her professionalism behind the desk and just everything she stands for.”
Rogers, a Republican, said he supports President Donald Trump. “I’m approving up pretty much everything he’s doing as far as the border, and legal and illegal immigrants, and trying to put a stop to that.”
Like Rogers, 64-year-old Toni Horn of Berryville, voted for Comstock and usually votes Republican. She said she supports Trump “to a degree.”
Amy Sarch, 52, also voted for Wexton.
“I’m really liberal and I live in a pretty conservative area, and we need some change,” she said.
Winchester resident Gregory Wooddell, 48, said his vote was “against Comstock” because “she won’t speak out against Trump for his “bigotry and the racism against our fellow citizens.”
Tyler Dashner, a 35-year-old small businessman in Berryville, said that “anyone who stands up to Trump gets my vote.”“I just feel like it’s a culture of racism and bigotry in the Trump administration, that I just don’t, can’t agree with.”
He voted for Comstock’s Democratic opponent, Jennifer Wexton.
“I feel like Republican voters just tend to support the party because that’s what their pastors tells them to and they don’t really think about it too much because they have to vote for the pro-life candidate and that’s the only thing they care about really.”
In Berryville, Martha Howard and her son, Billy Martins, voted for Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock because they support Republicans, especially President Donald Trump.Howard, 57, said that “we should have the rights of our amendments, of our constitution” especially the right to own guns.“I believe everything Trump has done is wonderful,” she said “I knew he should be president the minute he came up and said he might be. … Something very different that the United States really needed.”
Martins, a 35-year-old teacher, said he was voting for the first time because he has lived in Brazil for years.
Like his mother, he is concerned about ensuring “the right to bear arms.”
He said it’s time for new ideas rather than dynasty politics and that why he supports Trump.
“It just opens up the range for different style of politics.”
In Berryville, Elizabeth Powers and Tom Miller voted for Rep. Barbara Comstock, the northern Virginia Republican who’s in a tight race to stop Democrat Jennifer Wexton from taking her seat.Both said they feared a Democratic return to power in the House.
“I do believe that if Democrats were to take office, all they would be doing is trying to get Donald Trump impeached and (Supreme Court Justice Brett) Kavanaugh impeached and I think that’s wrong” said Powers, 68.
“I agree with the way the resident is working hard for us,” she said. “He’s brought jobs into the country. He’s brought jobs back from different countries. He’s had tax reductions.
Miller, 67, said if Wexton wins, “she’s going to vote for Nancy Pelosi to be speaker of the House. I don’t see anything positive there.”
“She’s interested in spending more tax money to give more things to the people,” he said.
“I like what she stands for, I like her reasoning,” Jaffee said of Wexton. “I like especially the fact that she is willing to reach across the aisle to get things done.”
The 85-year-old retired journalist and public relations professional said he and his wife contact Comstock’s office several times, but got “the usual nonresponse responses. ‘Thank you for giving us your thoughts, be assured that we will take them into consideration,’ but no response to the specifics.”
Wexton, a state senator, “responded, course that’s easy to say because she’s running but she did a good job in the state also so that’s the principle reason.”
Jaffee said of President Donald Trump: “I think like the great majority of Americans, of either party, we wish he were more prudent, more judicious in his comments, and give up with the tweets.”
Nicholas Johnston, a 30-year-old transgender man, said that, “based on Donald Trump’s attacks on the trans community and several prominent Republicans ‘refusal to condemn that, including (Barbara) Comstock, I just can’t bring myself to vote Republican, maybe not ever again.”The Fairfax resident said re voted for state Sen. Jennifer Wexton in her bid to unseat the Republican Comstock.
When asked if he had voted for Republicans in the past, he said, ““Not that I’d be willing to.”
Another Winchester voter, Chris Ritz, said he voted for Democrat Jennifer Wexton to unseat Republican Rep. Barbaral Comstock because he wants the district to be “back in the Democratic hands.”
Another Wexton voter, 68-year-old Charlie Hagan of: Winchester, said he couldn’t support Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock’s re-election bid because she “came up far short in her interest in protecting the environment.”“Comstock and the Republicans have been reluctant to take the kind of urgent action that we need to protect the environment.”
He said the Trump administration “has been an environmental nightmare.”