The race is on for seats in the Virginia House of Delegates

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The deadline has come and gone for candidates to file for the June primary. Virginia is electing a new governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Thursday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for partisan candidates to file.

On Friday afternoon, the Republican Party of Virginia announced its finalized list of candidates for the primary ballot. The party certified Ed Gillespie, Corey Stewart and Frank Wagner for the gubernatorial race. Bryce Reeves, Glen Davis and Jill Vogel will compete for the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor. John Adams was the only GOP attorney general candidate to qualify. Therefore, he’ll bypass the primary and land on the ballot for the November election.

The Democratic Party of Virginia has not released its finalized June primary ballot.

This year, all 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are also up for grabs.

“We do have some record number of primaries this year which, to me, that’s great. It shows passion. It shows excitement,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Campaigning is heating up.

“Some people will say, ‘My gosh. Another election?'” said Del. Kirk Cox (R – Colonial Heights).

But the House Majority Leader says this is a big year.

The House of Delegates is made up of 100 people. Right now, it’s 66 republicans and 34 democrats.

House Minority Leader Del. David Toscano (D – Charlottesville) says his party is ready to try and scoop up some of those seats.

“It’s raining candidates for us. We’ve got a lot of people who are on the field, ready to compete against republican incumbents,” he said.

Of the 66 republicans currently holding house seats, Toscano says they have 48 candidates ready to challenge them.

“We’re very pleased with where we are right now,” said Toscano.

Cox says, though it’s still too early to determine what the balance will be, he doesn’t anticipate much of a shift.

“I don’t see great changes coming because most elections in Virginia come down to, what have you done for the state of Virginia?” said Cox. “I’m anxious to make that case with the democrats.”

Cox says recent major initiatives in the last four years have come from republicans, not democrats.

“If you look at issues people care about, whether it be transportation or fixing the Virginia Retirement System…republicans have done that,” he said. “So we have a great record to run on.”

Both Cox and Toscano agree that the races in Northern Virginia will be interesting to watch.

“We have 17 districts that are held by Republicans right now that were won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 — some of them by pretty wide margins,” said Toscano.

Cox says Northern Virginia is always tough for republicans, but he says they’re feeling good about it.

“We have extremely strong candidates,” he said. “People like Jim LeMunyon and Tag Greason.”

Toscano says eyes will be on the Northern Virginia seats.

“You have to look at those seats very carefully. Watch those races because those will be some of the top tier races we’ll be competing in,” he said.

The primary is June 13, followed by the general election November 7.

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