Virginia’s 10th district includes a few inner and many outer suburbs in Northern Virginia, including all of Loudon County, Faquier County, Manassas City, Manassas Park City, Rappahannock County, and parts of Prince William County and Fairfax County. Though the district voted for Clinton in 2016, the congressional seat did not flip until Wexton won in 2018 with 56% of the vote. The 10th District is considered one of the more competitive districts in the Commonwealth.
This congressional election will be held on November 8, 2022. Incumbent congresswoman, lawyer Jennifer Wexton (D), who has held the District 10 seat since 2019, is running for re-election against Hung Cao (R), a retired Navy Captain who served in Special Operations.
Incumbent Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D) has served in the House of Representatives since 2019. Previously, she served in the Virginia State Senate, representing the 33rd District. As a lawyer, she served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Loudoun County. She has spent years advocating for abused and neglected children, both through her work in the courtroom and in the legislature. During her first term in Congress, she introduced 17 pieces of legislation and passed four bipartisan bills in the House.
Wexton recognizes the failings of the criminal justice system. She passed legislation at the state level to promote alternatives to suspension to combat Virginia’s school-to-prison pipeline. She also recognizes the injustices toward Black Americans and co-sponsored the Justice of Policing Act of 2020, which put forth sweeping reforms to address discriminatory and excessive policing practices. Wexton supports reforming mandatory minimums, ending use of for-profit private prisons, reentry programs, voting rights restoration, and decriminalizing possession of marijuana.
Wexton advocates for gun violence prevention. As a state legislator, she pushed for universal background checks, banning bump stocks, extreme risk protection order laws, and other methods of reform. In Congress, Wexton sustained her support for gun reform through legislation to expand mandatory background checks, bans on sales of military-style assault weapons, and studies on gun violence as a public health issue. She co-sponsored the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 and introduced the Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act. She voted to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.
Wexton advocates for fairness and equal opportunity for all. She introduced the Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019, a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing. She cosponsored legislation to prohibit discrimination in public employment. Wexton supported bills aimed at removing the same-sex marriage ban in the Virginia Constitution, expanding Virginia’s hate crimes statute to include the LGBTQ community, and end conversion therapy. She is a member of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus and the Transgender Equality Task Force. She supported H.R. 124, which rejected the Trump-Pence administration’s transgender military ban.
Wexton recognizes the importance of immigration reform and rights. She consistently spoke out against Republican attacks on immigrant communities. She supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship. Additionally, she supports legislation that protects DREAMers and shuts down private detention centers. She voted for the bipartisan American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. Wexton opposed building a border wall, instead urging the funds be used to defend national security.
Wexton is facing Republican Hung Cao, a retired Navy Captain who served in Special Operations. He claims that masks and lockdowns have done little to halt the spread of COVID-19 and pushes the use of off-label alternatives for treatment. He condemns the Mar-a-Lago raid. Cao opposes gun reform and abortion access.
Due to her commitment to criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention, and immigration and equality advocacy, Jennifer Wexton is the more progressive candidate in the race for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.