Decision 2024

16 candidates competing for Virginia's 10th district seat to replace Wexton

Political analysts say it could mean the victor could emerge with a relatively small portion of the vote

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Some voters will see a lot of names on the ballot Tuesday in certain Northern Virginia primaries.

The Democratic contest in the 10th congressional district features a dozen candidates, with four on the GOP ballot. The district covers all of Loudoun, cuts through Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier and out to Rappahannock County.

Here's a look at both fields and their frontrunners.

The Democratic field is filled with elected leaders past and present, all jumping in after Rep. Jennifer Wexton announced she was diagnosed with a degenerative brain condition that would prevent her from seeking a fourth term.

Among those on the ballot: former Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, state Sen. Jennifer Boysko, state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam, and delegates Michelle Maldonado, David Reid and Dan Helmer.

Political analysts say it could mean the victor could emerge with a relatively small portion of the vote.

"These open seats don’t come around very often, and so it makes a lot of sense for you as a candidate to jump in. Particularly in a big field like this, you may be able to win with 25%, maybe even less than that," said Stephen Farnsworth, a political analyst at the University of Mary Washington.

On the Republican side, there's a less well-known group of contenders, although Mike Clancy and Alicia Andrews have both sought the nomination in the past but failed to win. Clancy, a lawyer and business executive, is seen as the GOP frontrunner.

"We’ll have to see whether either of these two candidates [Clancy or Andrew] can raise the kind of money that would enable them to win against what is going to be a seasoned Democratic candidate," political analyst Robert Holsworth said.

For the Democrats, there's stiff competition in a crowded field.

Del. Dan Helmer, a veteran, has been building a fundraising edge. But most of the voters in the 10th district live in Loudoun County, and Helmer lives in Fairfax.

Current state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam does live in Loudoun, and his campaign got a boost in mid-May when incumbent Wexton endorsed him.

"I think it's going to be helpful to Subramanyam to have that endorsement. It's clearly an effective environment for Helmer, who is an experienced fundraiser and campaigner," Farnsworth said. "But you also have the former speaker of the House of Delegates [Filler-Corn], who has a huge network of her own that's also being leveraged in this race."

Political observers also are including state Sen. Jennifer Boysko in the top tier of candidates in this race.

CORRECTION (June 18, 2024, 8:28 p.m.): An earlier version of this article said Jennifer Wexton would not seek a third term. However, she is currently serving her third term and will not seek a fourth.

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