- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock on Tuesday turned aside a primary challenge from retired Air Force pilot Shak Hill in Virginia’s closely-watched 10th congressional district race, setting up a general election contest with state Sen. Jennifer Wexton.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Ms. Comstock led Mr. Hill, 61 percent to 39 percent.

Her campaign touted her record of cutting taxes, funding the military, and helping pass recent anti-gang legislation — while noting her past history of turning aside challengers supported by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Congresswoman Comstock gets results for the constituents she serves,” said Comstock campaign manager Susan Falconer. “As one of the Democrat candidates noted, Barbara Comstock has beaten the DCCC picked candidates time and again.”

In the run-up to Tuesday’s election, Ms. Comstock had indeed highlighted her support for the Republican tax cuts, increased military funding, and efforts to combat violent gangs — all important initiatives for the president.

“She, the majority of the time, will vote with our president, which I’m keen on,” said Trish Baracat, 58, of Sterling.

While dismissing Mr. Hill as a “perennial failed candidate,” Ms. Comstock also emphasized her work on more local issues like human trafficking, the opioid epidemic, and the region’s burgeoning technology and health care sectors.

Mr. Hill tried to run as the true pro-Trump candidate in the race, though that message was blunted somewhat when Vice President Mike Pence recently stepped in to encourage voters to support Ms. Comstock.

The district has been represented by a Republican in the House for decades, but Democrats are hoping that an anti-Trump wave, combined with Northern Virginia’s shifting demographics and a more diverse population, can help them break through in 2018.

Ms. Comstock will now square off against Ms. Wexton, who won a six-way Democratic primary contest on Tuesday.

“With the support of one of the most engaged and organized grassroots efforts in the country, Jennifer Wexton is in a strong position to flip this key district,” said Rep. Ben Ray Luján, New Mexico Democrat and chairman of the DCCC.

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