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Struggling DCCC-Backed Candidate Wants Convention in Lieu of Primary

Virginia law allows parties to pick their own nominating process, but a convention or caucus would be very unusual.

Jennifer Wexton

Democrats in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District are seriously considering changing their party nominating process from a primary system to a convention or caucus.

The reason for the change, according to Politico, is to give a boost to foundering candidate Jennifer Wexton, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)’s preferred candidate.

The DCCC touted Wexton’s entrance when she declared her candidacy in April, but her fundraising has trailed three main rivals: Obama administration alumni Lindsey Davis Stover and Alison Friedman and Rhodes Scholar and Army veteran Daniel Helmer.

Some Democrats in the district think Wexton, the only candidate with experience running elections in the 10th District, may prefer a more insular convention to a more expensive primary, though Prukowski said he didn’t think those pushing for a convention were looking to help Wexton.

Nine Democrats have lined up to challenge incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) in the suburban Washington, D.C. district.

Every Democrat campaign that Politico spoke to said they would prefer a primary over any other nominating process. Wexton’s campaign is the only campaign that did not explicitly state opposition to non-primary options.

“The statement is, we’re Democrats, we want to make this more democratic, and less rigged,” one participant who couldn’t be identified said in the recording. “The way you do that is to go with the most participation you can possibly get. Which would be, in my vote, the state-run primary.”

Is the DCCC putting its thumb on the scale to help its struggling candidate, Wexton? Time will tell.