Retired educator Kimberly Anne Tucker scores big victory in District 81 Democratic primary for Virginia House of Delegates campaign.
Retired Educator, a cancer survivor, a military wife and mother, and a grassroots organizer won the District 81 Democratic primary to challenge the seat currently held by Republican Barry Knight. A Green party candidate contested this race last cycle. No Democrat ran. The Republican won by 3,062 votes. That said, the Republican only drew 5,429 votes in that last election. For some context, Kimberly Anne drew 2,309 votes in just a primary last Tuesday. That means the district is not well organized for the Republican and ought to be a prime target for flipping if we rally around Kimberly Anne's campaign.
CONNECT WITH KIMBERLY ANNE TUCKER"S CAMPAIGN:
DISTRICT 81 FAST FACTS
- Residents = 80,010
- Active Registered Voters = 44,350
- Percent Registered = 55%
- Total Vote in Last District 81 Race = 7,796
- Participation Rate = 18%
- Total Vote for Republican last Race = 5,429
- Total Vote for Democrat last Race = 0
- Total Vote for Green Party last Race = 2,367
- Localities = Chesapeake City, Virginia Beach City
There are two localities in the district; ten precincts in Chesapeake City and ten precincts in Virginia Beach City. The low participation rate and the narrow margin for going against a minor party are great signs there is a good deal of opportunity here. Looking at the data a little closer reveals opportunity in both localities.
Let's take a look!
Active Voter Share by Locality
The precinct count being even it is not surprising to find that the Active Voter distribution is relatively even as well. Virginia Beach would draw a little more attention based on this pie chart, but certainly not to the exclusion of Chesapeake City at all.
Here is the partisan vote share by locality:
The above bar chart illustrates that while there are in fact more active voters in Virginia Beach, the opportunity with voters that did not vote the last cycle is about even in either locality. It is going to take digging down into precinct-level data to begin to be able to sort out priorities.
Partisan Vote Share by Precinct:
The precinct-level detail begins to bring more clarity to the picture. Based on this data a campaign in this district would prioritize Bells Mill in Chesapeake City as well as Culver and Corporate Landing in Virginia Beach. That said, there is plenty of opportunity in this district. It appears to be one of the ripest to turn this fall.
The final chart is a scatterplot showing the partisan vote set against the total of active registered voters by precinct. I would target the precincts that fall below the red line. The further right and below the line the weaker the support for the Republican and the more opportunity for a Democratic campaign. Given that a Green Party candidate won several precincts in this district, there is obviously a lot of room to maneuver for a candidate like Kimberly.
District 81 will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination. That said, no Democrat has challenged for this seat since 2003 in a regular election and Kimberly got more votes in a primary than that candidate did in the general election. This race presents an exciting opportunity to flip a seat that no one expects us to flip. It is vitally important to rally around Kimberly Anne's campaign and help her compete for this seat. If we can take down a seat held by Republican's since 1999 that would be a major shot across the bow moving into the 2018 election cycle. It will definitely reverberate across Virginia politics for sure.
Here are more reasons why we should support the full slate of candidates.
The best way, for a political party, to connect with voters is to ask for their vote. Last cycle, Democrats did not contest 44 out 100 House of Delegates seat in Virginia. Those 44 seats represent roughly 3,520,000 Virginians. It does not matter your view on the issues, if a party does not run candidates in your district, it is less likely you will support that party consistently. If Democrats do not ask for these votes, the message to Virginians living in these mostly rural districts is the Democratic Party is not interested in their concerns.
This issue is not unique to Virginia either. In the last cycle, Democrats did not compete in 1,479 state legislative races nationwide. The districts we did not compete in represent more that 117,000,000 people. We often ask how people in "red America" can so consistently vote against their interests.
They are not voting against their interests at all; they are simply voting for those showing an interest in them.
As noted above, it is of critical importance we try to field candidates in as many districts as possible. If you can run, please do. These state legislative races are vital to our Democracy. They are the most local seats with enumerated powers in our Constitution. The power to change our Constitution rests in the state legislatures hands, and Republicans only need 24 more seats to control the number of states they need to do just that.
Virginia is leading the way. They are doing well contesting 88 of 100 districts this cycle. That said, if we want to start to bridge the rural and urban divide, if we want to represent all people across the state, heck across the nation, we need to step up and support the full slate of Democrats running this cycle, tough district or not. Let's work together to support Democrats across the map in Virginia like Kimberly Anne. Let's support the Full Slate TM.