Sally Hudson - watch party

Sally Hudson (right), who won the Democratic nomination for the 57th District seat in the House of Delegates, speaks to supporters during a watch party at Champion Brewing Company on Tuesday.

University of Virginia professor Sally Hudson easily trounced Charlottesville City Councilor Kathy Galvin on Tuesday, securing the Democratic nomination for the 57th District seat in the House of Delegates.

With 20 of the 21 precincts having reported by 9 p.m. Tuesday, Hudson received about twice as many votes as did Galvin.

Hudson, who announced her candidacy in December, has campaigned on a progressive platform, painting herself as the further-left candidate.

Galvin, who opted to run for the 57th instead of another council term, had received the endorsement of the district’s current representative, Del. David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, who did not seek re-election.

Tuesday night, Hudson met with supporters at Champion Brewing Company at a party to celebrate her victory. The jovial scene was a mixture of supporters, their children and dogs. Among Hudson’s supporters was Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker.

Hudson said she is thankful for all of the help that got her to this point and spoke on the importance of gaining a Democratic majority in the state General Assembly.

“I think the most important thing is that Democrats come together and give everything we’ve got to flipping the House and Senate,” she said. “So much of what we want to do in the 57th District can’t happen until we take back Richmond.”

Galvin threw a private election party and did not respond to a request for comment. However, at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Galvin’s field manager said they had not conceded yet and were waiting for absentee ballots to be counted, but, regardless, would be happy to see a strong feminist like Hudson in office.

The 57th District seat covers Charlottesville and parts of Albemarle County.

No Republican, unaffiliated or third-party candidates have announced a campaign, so Hudson likely will win the seat in the general election in November.

20th House District

In the 20th District, former Staunton Mayor John Avoli defeated Dave Bourne, securing approximately 60 percent of the votes. Avoli and Bourne were running to replace five-term Del. Richard P. “Dickie” Bell, R-Staunton, who opted not to seek re-election.

Avoli said he was relieved the primary was over and thanked the “tremendous” efforts of his campaign volunteers.

“We’re going to take a bit of a breather and then come back and ensure this district stays Republican,” he said.

Avoli will face Democrat Jennifer Lewis in the November general election.

The district covers Staunton, Waynesboro, Highland County and parts of Augusta and Nelson counties.

17th Senate District

Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, has again secured the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 17th Senate District, defeating newcomer Rich Breeden.

Reeves received more than 80 percent of the vote, according to preliminary data from the Virginia Department of Elections. Reeves has held the seat for two terms.

In a written statement following his victory, Reeves said he was thankful for the “overwhelming” support he had received and outlined his priorities moving forward.

“We’ve got a lot to accomplish: Ensuring those with pre-existing conditions are covered while providing access to better, more affordable health care; protecting our most vulnerable children; defending rights; lowering taxes; helping our veterans, military and law enforcement,” he wrote. “I am more energized and motivated than ever to represent YOU and keep the 17th District the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

Breeden said he was proud of those who campaigned for him and that he had called Reeves to concede the election.

“We’re going to support Reeves 100% to ensure the seat remains Republican,” he said.

On the Democratic side, former Charlottesville School Board member Amy Laufer handily defeated Ben Hixon to obtain the nomination.

Laufer received 78.6 percent of the votes compared with Hixon’s 21.4 percent.

Also proud of the work it took to secure the nomination, Laufer said she would now turn her attention toward the next step: securing a seat in the state Senate.

“I am going to be working to give the people of the 17th District a representative that will listen to them, be responsive to their needs and do what is right,” she said.

Hixon conceded to Laufer in a written release and pledged to support her in the general election.

“Amy is an incredible candidate who will be a strong advocate for education, health care and infrastructure in Richmond,” he wrote. “I plan to work nonstop until November 5th to make sure that she is my next senator.”

24th Senate District

In the 24th Senate District, incumbent Emmett W. Hanger, R-Mount Solon, held onto his party’s nomination, defeating challenger Tina Freitas.

Hanger, who has represented the area since 1996, received approximately 57 percent of the vote. Freitas, a community volunteer who is married to Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, received 43 percent of the vote.

Hanger, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee,  will face Democrat Annette Hyde, a yoga teacher from Madison County, in the general election.

Freitas, whose husband, Nick, is a Republican delegate from Culpeper and a former U.S. Senate candidate, had criticized Hanger over his support of Medicaid expansion and asserted that he is not conservative enough on abortion and gun issues.

Hanger, who disputed those concerns, publicized endorsements late in the contest from some prominent Virginia Republicans, including former Gov. and U.S. Sen. George Allen, and from former Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-6th, who was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

“This campaign has been unusual and uncomfortable for me,” Hanger wrote in a newsletter to voters this month. “I have never in the past run a campaign where I even mention my opponent by name, but with the advent of social media and the current absence of constraint in politics on saying things that are absolutely false, I have allowed my campaign to push back more directly when my character was under assault.”

The 24th District includes Waynesboro, Staunton, Augusta County and parts of Culpeper, Greene, Madison and Rockingham counties.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch contributed to this story.​


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Tyler is a reporter for the Daily Progress. You can reach him at (434) 978-7268

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