Democratic State Senator Emerges From Nasty House Primary in Virginia

Suhas Subramanyam, a state senator in suburban Loudoun County, Va., narrowly won the Democratic primary in a House district in Northern Virginia on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, after perhaps the ugliest primary of the 2024 election season so far.

Mr. Subramanyam’s victory over 11 other Democratic candidates in the contest to succeed a retiring Democratic representative, Jennifer Wexton, is likely to be a relief for national Democrats who had watched anxiously as another front-runner in the race, State Representative Dan Helmer, faced calls to drop out over an accusation of sexual harassment.

The district had been trending away from Republicans since 2018, when Ms. Wexton flipped it to her party after nearly 40 years of Republican control. Neither party had considered Virginia’s 10th District to be part of the 2024 battlefield until an anonymous Democratic official in the district, speaking through her lawyer, accused Mr. Helmer of groping her and later making sexually crude remarks.

Mr. Helmer refused to depart the race and denounced the “baseless charges” leveled “a week before an election by people who have endorsed my opponents.”

Mr. Subramanyam tried to stay above the fray, banking on his name recognition, record as a state senator, and the endorsement of Ms. Wexton, who announced her retirement last year after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, progressive supranuclear palsy, for which there is no effective treatment.

But in a primary marked by mudslinging and late attacks, he had to beat back a report that he had improperly put employees of his State Senate staff on his campaign payroll, an accusation he says is categorically false.

A House Republican leadership aide had said officials at the National Republican Congressional Committee would assess the district if Mr. Helmer was the Democrats’ candidate. Mr. Subramanyam’s victory could keep the district off the battlefield this fall.

He will face Republican Mike Clancy, a lawyer and business executive.

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