SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — In the race for State Senate in the 17th District, Republican Emily Brewer finished the night with a 4,100-vote lead over Democrat Clinton Jenkins. Both were sitting delegates trying to win a seat in the newly formed district.
“My day one agenda is unchanged from where my heart has been since I started this journey,” Brewer said. “Making sure I work on workforce development, skilled trades, and making sure I create a future hopefully for my kids to grow up here.”
Abortion and the economy were the two big issues for Suffolk voters.
“I know the federal economy is one thing, but I have to live here,” said Frank Duffy. “I think they’re doing a good job, maintaining the economy here to make it livable.”
“Women’s rights,” are what brought a woman who gave only her first name, Nicole, to vote Tuesday at Temple Beth El. “I believe a woman has a choice in her, choosing whatever she needs to do for her body. Whether it’s good or bad, that’s up to that individual.”
“How we’re spending our money,” was top of mind for Michael French. “More than anything else, I think getting prices down, you know you’re going to a grocery store and it’s shocking sometimes.”
Jenkins said he would fight for reproductive rights, while Brewer supports Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s 15-week ban on abortion plan with exceptions.
Both candidates told us they were satisfied with the way they ran their campaigns, even though there was plenty of negative messaging to go around.
“We tried to stick with the issues,” Jenkins said. “The issues that were important to voters, we tried to stay out of the weeds and Deal with life issues, and things that impact them as a whole.”
Brewer was strongest in Isle of Wight County, where she outperformed Jenkins by nearly 5,000 votes.
“We talked to voters at their doors, in their communities, their events,” Brewer said, “and I feel really, really confident about how we always connected prior to this race, and how we’ve connected since.”
Said Jenkins: “As of right now, things are going very well. There are no surprises. In the past, my elections have always come down to the wire. The early vote count has always made a difference, so that’s what we’re waiting on now.