Democrat Jennifer Wexton defeats GOP’s Barbara Comstock

Democrat Jennifer Wexton is projected to defeat two-term Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockLive coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings Gun debate raises stakes in battle for Virginia legislature Progressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats MORE (R-Va.) marking the first House seat of the night that Democrats have flipped.

Comstock had been one of the Democrats’ top targets of the 2018 cycle. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic debates are magnet for lobbyists NYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders MORE prevailed over President Trump by 10 percentage points in 2016 in Virginia's 10th District, an affluent, well-educated suburb just outside of Washington, D.C.


Wexton, a state senator and former prosecutor, had been leading Comstock in the polls in recent weeks, prompting House Majority PAC, the largest outside group backing Democrats, to cancel an ad buy amid growing confidence they would flip the seat. 

"Jennifer Wexton has shown through her time as a prosecutor and state senator that she can bring people together to solve tough challenges, and that’s the experience she is going to bring across the river to Congress," Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (N.M.), the House Democrats' campaign chief, said in a statement.

The daughter of economists who worked for the federal government, Wexton, 50, lost her bid to become Loudoun County’s top prosecutor in 2011, but won a state senate seat in 2014.


Throughout the campaign, Wexton hammered her opponent as a Trump foot soldier who voted in lockstep with the president. In ads, she referred to Comstock as “Barbara Trump-stock.”

Meanwhile, Comstock unsuccessfully sought to distance herself from the president to win over independents and moderate Democrats in a district that has been getting more diverse and trending bluer in recent years. 

While she voted for the Trump tax cuts, Comstock voted against the ObamaCare repeal. During a White House meeting earlier this year, she pushed back on Trump for threatening to shut down the government over his immigration demands.

—Updated at 8:48 p.m.