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Jennifer Lynn Wexton (née Tosini; born May 27, 1968) is an American lawyer and politician from the Commonwealth of Virginia who has served as the United States House of Representative for Virginia's 10th congressional district since 2019. The district is anchored in some inner and most outer suburbs of Northern Virginia. It includes all of Clarke, Frederick, and Loudoun counties; Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester cities; and parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties. Wexton represented the 33rd district in the Virginia Senate from 2014 to 2019. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Jennifer Wexton
Jennifer Wexton, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byBarbara Comstock
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 33rd district
In office
January 24, 2014 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byMark Herring
Succeeded byJennifer Boysko
Personal details
Born
Jennifer Lynn Tosini

(1968-05-27) May 27, 1968 (age 51)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Andrew Wexton (m. 2001)
Children2
EducationUniversity of Maryland, College Park (BA)
College of William & Mary (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

In the 2018 election, Wexton defeated Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock with 206,356 votes to Comstock's 160,841, a 12-point margin (56–44%). Despite running as a moderate in 2018,[1][2][3] according to FiveThirtyEight's congressional vote tracker she has amassed one of the most progressive records in Congress—voting with President Donald Trump only 4.3% of the time—about half of the expected tally when factoring in the district's partisan leaning and general partisanship in Congress.[4]

Although she voted to table an effort to impeach Donald Trump on July 17, 2019,[5] Wexton announced her support for removing Trump through an "impeachment inquiry" on July 30.[6][7][8][9] In 2018, when asked about Nancy Pelosi's potential speakership, Wexton responded: "I think that we do need fresh eyes and leadership that is going to unite and inspire the caucus going forward."[10] But a couple weeks after her victory, she chose to support Pelosi, saying: "Pelosi has been an amazing leader for many, many years and accomplished many things."[11] On August 23, 2019, Wexton formed a new congressional caucus to examine and promote agritourism, which she believes could bring economic and social benefits to areas like Loudoun Valley.[12][13] While maintaining ambivalence about DC statehood during her 2018 campaign, she has put it at the forefront of her agenda in Congress.

Early life and educationEdit

Wexton is from Leesburg, Virginia. Her father and mother were senior economists at the United States Department of the Treasury and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, respectively.[14]

Wexton received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. She then enrolled at the College of William & Mary's Law School and received a Juris Doctor (JD) in 1995.[14][15] At William & Mary, she was a member of Phi Delta Phi, a legal honor society.[16]

Early careerEdit

Wexton was a partner in the Laurel Brigade Law Group.[17] She served as a substitute judge in Loudoun County, Virginia, and from 2001 to 2005 as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney.[18][19]

Wexton successfully prosecuted Clara Jane Schwartz for the murder of Schwartz's father, Robert Schwartz.[20] She ran for Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney in 2011, narrowly losing to Republican incumbent Jim Plowman.[21][22] She was elected to the Virginia Senate in 2014.[17][19]

Virginia SenateEdit

After Mark Herring, who represented the 33rd district in the Virginia Senate, won the 2013 election for attorney general of Virginia, Wexton declared her candidacy in the special election to fill the seat. The district includes northeastern Loudoun County and northwestern Fairfax County.[21] In the Democratic primary, Wexton defeated Herndon Town Councilor Sheila Olem.[23] In a campaign ad Wexton spoke of her experience defending victims of rape and assault and said she would "fight just as hard against tea party Republicans who would take away a woman's health care and her right to choose, even in cases of rape and incest." The Republican Party of Virginia criticized the ad, saying it compared Tea Party activists to rapists; Wexton's campaign denied the comparison.[24] She faced Republican John Whitbeck and Republican-turned-Independent Joe T. May in the January 2014 special election, and won 53%–38%–10%.[25] She took office on January 24, 2014,[26] and was reelected in the November 2015 general election. After being elected to the United States House of Representatives, Wexton resigned her Virginia Senate seat on January 3, 2019.

United States House of RepresentativesEdit

ElectionsEdit

In April 2017 Wexton announced that she would run in the Democratic primary for the 10th District.[27] Her state senate district included much of the eastern portion of the congressional district, wrapping around Leesburg and Sterling. In June 2018 she won a six-way primary to become the Democratic nominee.[28] In the November general election she defeated Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock[29] with 56% of the vote to Comstock's 44%.[30]

Wexton is only the fifth person to represent the district since its creation in 1953, and the second Democrat. The first was Joe Fisher, who served from 1975 to 1981.

TenureEdit

Shortly after defeating Comstock, Wexton declared her support for DC statehood, saying, "the fact that D.C. residents pay taxes and don't get any representation is absurd, and I think that we should make sure they get voting representation." DC's non-voting Congressional Delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, thanked Wexton for her comments.[31]

In January 2019 Wexton hung a transgender pride flag outside her office to show her support for the transgender community, saying, "The trans community has been under attack. I wanted to show my solidarity because we are talking about my friends and family."[32][33]

In May 2019 Wexton called for HUD Secretary Ben Carson's resignation after his House testimony that month. She tweeted, "As a former prosecutor, I take Congressional testimony very seriously. This week, Secretary Carson lied to me and to Congress. He lied again when he called me to 'clarify' his testimony. He’s proven himself to be deceitful & inept as HUD Secretary. He should resign."[34]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Wexton married Andrew Wexton in 2001, at the age of 33.[14] They have two sons.[23] Wexton is the aunt of a transgender child.[33]

Electoral historyEdit

Date Election Candidate Party Votes %
Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney
November 8, 2011[35] General James E. "Jim" Plowman Republican 26,050 51.83
Jennifer T. Wexton Democratic 24,104 47.96
Write Ins 101 0.20
Republican incumbent reelected
Virginia Senate, 33rd District
January 21, 2014[36] General Special Jennifer T. Wexton Democratic 11,431 52.72
John C. L. Whitbeck, Jr. Republican 8,133 37.51
Joe T. May Independent 2,117 9.76
Write Ins 3 0.01
Mark Herring resigned; seat remained Democratic
November 3, 2015[37] General Jennifer T. Wexton Democratic 18,577 56.60
Stephen B. Hollingshead Republican 14,190 43.23
Write Ins 54 0.16


Virginia's 10th congressional district Democratic primary results, 2018[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jennifer Wexton 22,405 41.89
Democratic Alison Friedman 12,283 22.96
Democratic Lindsey Davis Stover 8,567 16.02
Democratic Dan Helmer 6,712 12.55
Democratic Paul Pelletier 2,010 3.76
Democratic Julia Biggins 1,513 2.83
Total votes 53,490 100.0
Virginia's 10th congressional district general election results, 2018[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jennifer Wexton 206,356 56.1
Republican Barbara Comstock (incumbent) 160,841 43.7
n/a Write-ins 598 0.2
Total votes 367,795 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Barakat, Matthew (June 1, 2018). "Race to take on Comstock focuses on resume, not ideology". Associated Press. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  2. ^ Pope, Michael (June 13, 2018). "Democrats Didn't Always Pick The Most Progressive Candidate And That Might Help Them In November". WVTF. NPR. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  3. ^ Gambino, Lauren (July 20, 2019). "The moderate squad: swing-state Democrats wary of leftward path". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  4. ^ "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. ABC News. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "H.Res.498 – Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, of high misdemeanors". 116th United States Congress, United States House of Representatives. United States Congress. July 17, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  6. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (July 30, 2019). "Rep. Wexton, Del. Holmes Norton call for an impeachment inquiry against Trump". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  7. ^ "A new flood of Democrats call for impeachment proceedings, but does it matter?". CBS News. CBS Corporation. August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  8. ^ McPherson, Lindsey (August 1, 2019). "Support for Impeachment Inquiry Grows in the House". Roll Call. FiscalNote. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  9. ^ Fandos, Nicholas (August 13, 2019). "Impeachment tracker: How many Democrats are calling for an impeachment inquiry into Trump?". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  10. ^ Perticone, Joe (October 29, 2019). "Opposition to Trump is making the DC suburbs finally turn blue". Business Insider. Insider Inc. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  11. ^ Laslo, Matt (November 20, 2018). "New Virginia Democrats Deciding on House Speaker". WVTF. NPR. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  12. ^ Ouellette, Nathan (August 23, 2019). "Congress' new caucus: Wexton gives agritourism a voice". Roll Call. FiscalNote. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  13. ^ Cline, Nathaniel (August 26, 2019). "Rep. Wexton launches Congressional Agritourism Caucus, tours rural businesses". Loudoun Times. Virginia News Group. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "WEDDINGS; Jennifer Tosini, Andrew Wexton". The New York Times. May 27, 2001. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  15. ^ "Report of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law 1997-1998". William & Mary Law School. 1998. p. 72. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 24, 2014.
  16. ^ "Jennifer L. Tosini". Phi Delta Phi. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Marcia Coyle (November 8, 2018). "How Many Women Lawyers Were Elected in the Midterms? Quite a Few". The National Law Journal. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  18. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (April 20, 2017). "Democrat Jennifer Wexton says she will challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Virginia New Members 2019". The Hill. November 15, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  20. ^ Echtenkamp, Jon (October 15, 2002). "Fantasy, reality collide at murder trial". Fairfax Times. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  21. ^ a b Gibson, Caitlin (November 13, 2013). "Leesburg attorney Jennifer Wexton announces bid for Herring's Senate seat". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  22. ^ Gibson, Caitlin (November 9, 2011). "Incumbents fare well in many Northern Va. races, but Loudoun is an exception". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  23. ^ a b Baratko, Trevor (November 24, 2013). "Wexton wins Democratic primary to replace Herring in Virginia Senate". Loudoun Times-Mirror. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  24. ^ Gibson, Caitlin (January 9, 2014). "Va. GOP takes offense at Wexton's state Senate campaign ad". The Washington Post.
  25. ^ Baratko, Trevor (January 21, 2014). "Jennifer Wexton wins Virginia Senate special election to succeed Mark Herring". Loudoun Times-Mirror. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  26. ^ "Democrat Wexton joins Senate – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Local Government & Politics". Timesdispatch.com. May 15, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  27. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (April 20, 2017). "Democrat Jennifer Wexton says she will challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  28. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (June 12, 2018). "State Sen. Jennifer Wexton wins the Democratic race to run against Rep. Comstock". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  29. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (November 6, 2018). "Democrat Jennifer T. Wexton defeats Rep. Barbara Comstock, turning a GOP stronghold district in Virginia blue". Washington Post. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  30. ^ Virginia House election results from CNN
  31. ^ Delgadillo, Natalie (November 8, 2018). "Virginia's Jennifer Wexton Comes Out In Support Of D.C. Statehood". WAMU. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  32. ^ Martinez, Gina (January 5, 2019). "Rep. Jennifer Wexton Hangs Transgender Pride Flag Outside Her Capitol Hill Office". Time. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  33. ^ a b "Transgender pride flag hung in Congress by Rep. Jennifer Wexton". NBC News. January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  34. ^ Golgowski, Nina (May 23, 2019). "Lawmaker Urges Ben Carson To Resign After Disastrous House Testimony". HuffPost. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  35. ^ "Election Results – Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney – Nov11 General Election". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  36. ^ "Special General Election – January 28, 2014". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  37. ^ "General Election – November 3, 2015". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  38. ^ "2018 June Democratic Primary". Results.elections.virginia.gov. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  39. ^ "Official Results". 2018 November General. Virginia Department of Elections. November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.

External linksEdit