Pogge handily holds 96th district seat

sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com

Nearly 35,000 residents of the 96th district exercised their right to vote Tuesday, turning out to decide between Republican incumbent Del. Brenda Pogge and her challenger, Democrat Kelly DeLucia.

Pogge successfully defended her seat. With all of the district’s 22 precincts reporting Tuesday evening, the incumbent earned 56.94 percent of votes (19,832 votes), well above DeLucia’s 42.9 percent (14,940 votes), according to unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections. Pogge’s percentage lines up with the 56.8 percent of votes that first elected her in 2007.

“I’m happy about my victory,” Pogge said, although she lamented losses for fellow Republicans across the commonwealth. “It’s extremely bittersweet because a lot of things have changed. The whole makeup of the General Assembly has changed now.”

It was always an uphill battle for DeLucia, running in a district that’s consistently voted Republican for two decades. The district spans parts of James City and York counties.

Pogge, a retired Realtor, ran on her experience — a 10 year tenure in the House of Delegates that was only challenged twice before. She supports the Virginia Republican Creed, which emphasizes free enterprise, fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense and limited government.

Pogge encountered controversy for not agreeing to attend a nonpartisan League of Women Voters forum, which would have seen her debating DeLucia.

DeLucia, a Realtor and political newcomer, decided to run in the wake of President Trump’s election as a part of the resistance movement against him. She campaigned on issues like increasing funding for public schools, supporting universal health care and fighting for workers’ rights.

“My district is pretty solid and the numbers have been very consistent the whole time I’ve been here,” Pogge said.

Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.

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