State Elections

Published — June 8, 2015 Updated — Today at 11:54 am EST

11 things to know about Virginia’s legislative primary

Virginia State Capitol in 2003 Anderskev/Wikipedia

Candidates spent more than $30 million ahead of June 9 primary


Correction, June 8, 11:53 a.m.: This story has been corrected to update the margin that Democrats need to effectively have a majority in the Virginia Senate. The party currently needs just one seat to win control because the lieutenant governor, now a Democrat, serves as tie breaker under the state constitution.

Virginia Democrats are hoping to win at least one additional Senate seat in the commonwealth’s legislative elections this year to regain the majority, with Tuesday’s primary setting the stage for the bigger battle ahead.

All 140 seats of the state legislature are on the ballot in November, however only 18 of those seats — 10 in the House and eight in the Senate — face contested primaries on June 9.

The most expensive fight so far this year is a Republican primary in the Richmond area, where House Speaker William Howell, a 14-term incumbent, faces a challenge from his former protégé and tea party darling, Susan Stimpson.

Here are 11 things to know about the money behind Virginia’s legislative races:

Sources: Center for Public Integrity analysis of TV ad data from Kantar Media/CMAG through June 1, Virginia Public Access Project and Virginia campaign finance reports through May 27, Federal Election Commission, The Washington Post, PoliticsPA and the Associated Press.

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