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Magnificent 7: A New Look Virginia Senate is Coming in 2024 with a Record Number of Black Lawmakers
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👨🏽💻 Vote turnout numbers in Virginia
21-19: Historic Group of Virginia Dems Will Control Virginia Senate in 2024
SEVEN BLACK SENATORS. A record number of Black Virginia State Senators will serve in the Virginia Senate in 2024. Overall, Virginia’s Black Caucus will be the largest in Virginia’s history and both houses of the General Assembly are set to feature Black leadership.
Due to competitiveness, retirements, redistricting and June primary surprises the Virginia Senate will have a historic number of African Americans serving next year. There will also be a historic number of women in the Senate and the General Assembly overall.
The history includes the incredible political return to elected office of former Delegates Jennifer Carroll Foy and Lashrecse Aird. Former Delegate Foy ran an inspired campaign for Governor in 2021 and Aird was barely defeated in 2021 in the Youngkin wave. Now both Foy and Aird will serve in a historic and diverse Virginia Senate in 2024. Both women had competitive primaries. Foy beat back the establishment to win in Senate District 33 and Aird defeated incumbent Senator Joe Morrissey in the June 2023 primary in Senate District 13.
Additionally, for the first time, both money committees in the Virginia legislature are set to be controlled by Black lawmakers as State Senator L. Louise Lucas is primed to Chair the Senate Finance Committee and Del. Luke Torian will likely head House Appropriations.
LEADER LOCKE. SPEAKER SCOTT. With a Republican Governor holding the mansion for at least the next two years, there will be a divided government in Virginia. Who will lead the Democratic Party in opposition in a year when democracy will hang in the balance as Donald Trump runs against President Biden in an attempt to re-enter the White House will be key.
The historic number of Black candidates on the ballot was no accident. Fergie Reid, Jr., the son of the first Black lawmaker in the Virginia General Assembly after Reconstruction — first to serve since 1890, a 77 year wait — recruited many of the Black candidates who ran in the 2023 cycle.
Another story of the 2023 cycle is that redistricting advocates turned out to be correct — after loads of pushback — when they claimed more diversity would be the result of their efforts. Redistricting was clearly one of the factors that created more diversity in the Virginia General Assembly.
Several other historic markers were met in 2023. The youngest person ever to run in the modern era in Virginia, Jason Ford, 24, lost his bid against incumbent Republican Senator Bryce Reeves, but he received over 23,000 votes.
Ford was part of a group of several candidates under 30 who ran or attempted to run in 2023 — sometimes receiving a great deal of resistance from the party establishment.
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