Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
Maps of contested races
The Virginia Public Access Project has put up a pair of maps showing the contested — and uncontested — races in this year’s House and Senate seats.
VPAP has color-coded the maps to show whether the race is contested by both major parties, or whether the challenge comes from an independent or third party. The maps don’t define which are the seriously competitive races (and there are fewer of those) but it’s still a helpful visual in trying to sort out where there’s a race and where there isn’t (and in demonstrating how little competition is really out there). The House map is especially eye-catching — uncontested races are white, and there’s a lot of white on that map. (Of 100 House seats, only 27 have candidates from both major parties). You can also click on each district to go to a page that shows who’s running, how much money they’ve raised so far, etc.
If you’re interested in state politics and campaign finance and you’ve never looked at vpap.org, you should. The Virginia Public Access Project, a non-profit, does a lot of crunching of data — mostly campaign finance reports and, now, redistricting maps — to help you understand state Senate and House of Delegates districts, campaigns, candidates, lobbyists, and more. It’s pretty handy stuff, and generally goes far beyond the data you can get from the state Board of Elections.