House of Delegates District 82 is one of two seats in Hampton Roads in which there is no incumbent running. Long represented by Bob Purkey, freshman delegate Bill DeSteph vacated the seat to run for the open state senate seat in district 8.
The 82nd district is located entirely within the City of Virginia Beach. 83% of the districts inhabitants are white, while 10% are black, 3% are Asian and 3% another race.
The district, according to VPAP, became slightly more Democratic after the 2011 redistricting, based on the share of the vote Bob McDonnell obtained in 2009. Don’t let that fool you: this district is solidly Republican, as the recent elections show.
Note that the only Democrat to win this district in recent years is Ralph Northam. Given the Republican margins in the other contests, that Northam won the district should remind you of just how bad a candidate E.W. Jackson was. Northam, though, underperformed his statewide totals, in which he received more than 55% of the vote.
Even so, I have this race listed only as Leans Republican because of the candidates. The Republican candidate, Jason Miyares, is making his first run for elected office. That he is well known within Republican circles does not necessarily mean he is well known within the electorate of the district. Democratic candidate Bill Fleming is making his second run for the seat, which should mean the voters in the district have some familiarity with him.
Fleming, though, entered the race late and hasn’t raised any money. If this continues, expect this race to be a repeat of 2013, when Fleming lost by almost 20 points.