By Karen Kirk:
“With Donald Trump in the White House, Scott Pruitt heading the EPA, Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education and Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, I am very concerned about how much damage is going to be done to our country in the next couple of years and the only way we’re going to stop it is to take back the House,” said Jennifer Wexton at a breakfast Monday sponsored by Dulles Area Democrats.
And there’s a good chance that Virginia State Sen. Wexton, the Democratic candidate will defeat U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock in CD-10 this November.
According to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday, Wexton is leading Comstock by 10 points — 49 to 39, with 12 percent undecided or supporting someone else — even though most voters said they had no opinion of Wexton. Comstock’s prospects are weighted down by voters’ negative views of President Trump – 53% disapprove of the job he has done compared to 42% who approve in the latest poll.
Wexton drew stark contrasts with her opponent on the issues.
“I have been fighting down in Richmond for gun violence prevention legislation for years,” said Wexton. “I never received a dime from the NRA nor will I. I have received failing grades from them every time. Barbara Comstock has an A rating from the NRA. Despite her relatively short tenure in Congress, she is one of the top recipients of funding from them.”
“She is terrible on the environment. She has a zero from the League of conservation voters, and I have 100%,” Wexton said. “On women’s health, the same thing. She is zero, she’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood. I am a NARAL champion and have been supported by them and have fought in Richmond to eliminate unconstitutional restrictions on a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion.”
“So there are great contrasts here and the stakes are pretty high and I need your help because she is not going to be an easy person to beat, said Wexton, who beat five other Democratic candidates by a wide margin in the Democratic Primary June 10.
Wexton answered questions from the audience at the Amphora Diner in Herndon about her chances of winning in November. She said the day she announced her candidacy, the Cook Report moved its rating for the CD-10 race from lean Republican to a toss-up, citing her entry in the race as their reason.
She said there are a lot of people in CD-10 who are uncomfortable with Trump as president and with Comstock’s unwillingness to stand up to him in any way. “There are going to be a lot of folks who feel that they need an alternative and that I am an acceptable alternative,” she said.
“I’m a known quantity to a lot of people because I’ve been such a fixture in the community for a long time,” Wexton said. “I think a lot of people just want a balance and Barbara Comstock is not doing herself any favors because she runs away from her own voters. People really want a representative who is accessible, who is open, who is authentic and she is none of those things. She hasn’t had a single town hall. She refuses to take a position on issues.”
“I have no illusions. This is going to be a nasty, awful race on Barbara Comstock’s part,” Wexton said. “That’s how she operates. But you can’t let them always win. You have to push forward and keep up the positive message.”
Wexton said she loves working in the Virginia Senate for her District 33 constituents, fixing problems and making our government work better. “Despite having been a minority during my the entire time in the assembly, I managed to pass over 40 pieces of legislation by working across the aisle on every one of them. Every single one of them is bipartisan,” she said.
When asked which committees she’s most interested in and would like to serve on, Wexton said that if she wins, she would like to serve on Judiciary because of her background as a prosecutor and Transportation, which “is so important in this area and it’s an area that been given short shrift for too long.”
Karen Kirk is the Deputy Editor / Photo Editor of The Blue View and a retired journalist.