Polls have opened today in the 24th House District special election to select a replacement legislator following the midterm election victory of Congressman-elect Ben Cline (VA-6). Voters in the western Virginia district that encompasses Amherst, Bath, Rockbridge, and southern Augusta counties and the cities of Buena Vista and Lexington will decide between Republican Rockbridge County supervisor Ronnie Campbell and Democratic political activist Christian Worth.
According to accelerated campaign finance reporting from the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), Campbell received a big financial bump less than 24 hours ago from two conservative representatives in the House of Delegates.
Pre-election campaign finance reports submitted last Tuesday show that Campbell has the fundraising lead with $50,757 put into his campaign before the latest funding increase. Democratic challenger Worth has raised $36,268 during the same time period, receiving a large portion of her funding from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) and the Democratic Party of Virginia, VPAP shows.
Although Democrats are eyeing vulnerable Republican districts following their “Blue Wave” in the 2017 statewide elections, the district is unlikely to be lost by the GOP majority.
In the 2018 Senate race featuring incumbent Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Republican challenger and Chairman of the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart, constituents in the 24th House District voted between 59 and 69 percent for Stewart in all areas but Lexington, which voted 71 percent for Kaine, according to the Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT). Since the mid-1990s, the district’s Republican performance in state and national general elections has been at least 56 percent. Cline, who will succeed retiring 13-term Congressman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6), won with 60 percent of the vote on November 7.
Nevertheless, Republican voters will look to protect the one-member GOP majority in the House, with Democrats looking to make it a 50-50 split going into the 2019 General Assembly session in Richmond starting January 9.