WASHINGTON - Democrat Jennifer Wexton won her reelection bid to the U.S. House in Virginia's 10th Congressional District by defeating political newcomer Hung Cao in a race in which she was favored.
Wexton was first elected in 2018 when she ended 40 years of GOP control of the district by unseating Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock. She won re-election in 2020 by defeating Marine Corps veteran Aliscia Andrews.
Wexton and Cao squared off in an October debate that brought their differences on Ukrainian aid and infrastructure spending to the forefront.
Wexton, for her part, supports efforts to back Ukraine's defense against the Russian invasion. When asked about the Ukraine war's effect on the U.S. economy and the proper U.S. response, Cao said, "My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people. ... But right now we're borrowing $55 billion from China to pay for the war in Ukraine. Not only that, we're depleting our national strategic reserves."
A $40 billion aid package for Ukraine passed the House earlier this year on a 368-57 vote, with a majority of Republicans in support.
Regarding the infrastructure bill, which provided $1 trillion for roads, bridges, ports and other spending, Cao dismissed it as a sop to labor unions.
"The infrastructure bill, all it's done is allowed for unions to get priority onto infrastructure and reconstruction. We all want safer roads but we also want the right to work," he said.
Wexton said the infrastructure bill was exactly the kind of legislation that Virginia business groups had been demanding of Congress for years. "I'm so proud of this bill, I cannot even tell you," she said.
The infrastructure bill passed Congress with the support of 13 House Republicans and 19 Senate Republicans.
At October's debate, Cao also sought to question Wexton about a bill proposed by a Democratic state legislator that would make it a crime to bully or abuse a child based on their LGBTQ status. The bill has become a Republican talking point, and some Republicans have said they fear it could be used to prosecute parents who don't support their child's efforts to transition genders.
Wexton said after the debate that she does not believe the bill would do what Republicans claim, but that she does not support it, and she said parents should not be criminalized for disagreeing with their kids if they express a desire to change gender.
Following the debate, Wexton labeled Cao - a Vietnamese refugee and retired Navy captain - an extremist citing comments he made about the Jan. 6 attacks during the primary. Cao argued that the label was unfair saying Wexton wrongly tied him to the attacks in a campaign mailer, when in reality he had just landed back in the U.S. from his final combat deployment on Jan. 6 and was nowhere near the Capitol.
Wexton will begin her third term in January.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.