Democrats set forum for 10th District candidates

Area Democrats plan to host a forum for the seven candidates seeking the party’s nod to run for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District in November.

The Winchester-Frederick County Democratic Committee, the Clarke County Democratic Caucus and Indivisible Winchester have scheduled the free event to run from 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday at James Wood Middle School, 1313 Amherst St., Winchester. Jeff Coker, Shenandoah University Dean of Arts and Sciences, will moderate the forum. Audience members can submit written questions to the moderator.

Candidates planning to attend the forum are  Julia Biggins, Alison Kiehl Friedman, Daniel Helmer, Paul Pelletier, Deep Sran, Lindsey Davis Stover and Jennifer Wexton.

Dave Shore, the first vice chairman for Winchester with the Winchester-Frederick County Democratic Committee, said Monday he doesn’t recall seeing this many people interested in vying for the party’s nomination in a congressional race.

Shore attributed the increased interest to a “blue wave” occurring across the country with some legislative districts and statewide elected offices switching from Republican to Democrat in the last year.  The interest appears to come in response to President Donald Trump’s administration and with the eventual goal of switching political power in Congress from Republicans to Democrats, Shore said.

The 10th District, according to Shore, has started to swing in favor of the Democrats, as indicated by voters in Loudoun and Fairfax counties who supported the Democratic Party’s statewide candidates in the November election. Clarke and Frederick counties remain mostly Republican while Winchester voters supported the Democratic candidates, Shore said.

Voters in the June 12 Democratic Party primary for the district will decide who runs in the Nov. 6 general election against U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-McLean, who plans to seek a third term representing the district. Shak Hill is fundraising ahead of a bid to challenge Comstock for the Republican Party nomination.

Campaign fundraising continues among the eight potential Democratic Party candidates with Friedman in the lead and the first to break the $1 million mark, according to information reported by the Virginia Public Access Project. Friedman had raised $1.06 million as of early this month. The following numbers were also reported: Helmer, $688,329; Wexton, $660,516; Stover, $620,472; Sran, $239,902; Pelletier, $207,044; Modica, $98.