The Election for Congress

We lost here, but others won. The GOP’s Denver Riggleman is the new Congressman from the 5th District. He won by about 20,000 votes but carried our Nelson County by only 15 votes.

In Nelson County Leslie Cockburn won Rockfish, Faber and Nellysford and tied in Schuyler. The 5th seems to remain solidly Republican and the question might be asked that even if every self-identified Democrat in the district voted would it be enough. Is Perriello’s narrow victory in 2008 is almost impossible to reproduce?

As disheartening as the results here might be, if you look a little east your spirits would be lifted by Abagail Spannbarger’s win over David Brat. Further in Virginia, we can celebrate Elaine Luria’s victory in the 2nd and Jennifer Wexton in the 10th. These three women are changing Virginia’s political makeup and show that Democrats can win in formerly Republican strongholds.  

The Democrats will control the US House of Representatives. Our majority is slim but might grow as there are still 16 races that are too close to call. A Democratic House is seen as a check on President Trump and undoubtedly there will be investigations. Perhaps we will see Trump’s tax returns. The Democrats do have a legislative agenda and it consists of raising the minimum wage, repairing the damage done to the ACA, a DACA fix and infrastructure legislation. But with the outcome in the Senate getting any legislation into to law is going to be difficult.

The Republicans gained in the Senate. They did because of a very large rural Republican vote. The urban-rural split grows wider and Democrats are going to have to find away to appeal and sway rural voters.

The 2018 midterms show that we Democrats are heading in the right direction, but there still is a long way to go. Nelson Democrats are committed to finding a way forward.


Louis Harpster