Democrats, GOP battle for control of General Assembly

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FAIRFAX STATION, Va. (Gray DC) -- In a matter of weeks, voters will decide which party has control over the Virginia General Assembly. And last time around, power was decided by a single vote.

Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) and other Democrats drum up support for candidates in state legislative elections this fall. (Source: GrayDC)

In the progressive stronghold of Northern Virginia, Democratic activists are dedicated to taking back control of the state legislature, creating a new campaign initiative.

Virginia Democrats are fired up for the off-off year General Assembly races this November. On Tuesday, party heavy-weights like former Governor Terry McAuliffe and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta elevated fellow Democrats running for office.

"Forty-nine days from the election. It feels good the energy is with us," said McAuliffe. "This is not a persuasion election, it's about getting our folks to the polls."

Leaders say this campaign season will set the tone for the 2020 race to the White House.

"This is a chance to send a message back: no more. We're ready to move forward," said McAuliffe.

Republican Srilekha Palle is seeking local office in Fairfax County. While the position is nonpartisan, she says the Democratic agenda is very different than the GOP's.

"I feel that as a Republican candidate, I'm very focused on restoring fiscal discipline," said Palle. "I'm not very sure if my liberal friends are."

George Washington University professor Gary Nordlinger says if there's a blue wave this campaign season, with Democratic Governor Ralph Northam in office, they'll aim for a few reforms off the bat.

Nordlinger thinks the Democrats will at least ban semi-automatic weapons. And, Democrats at a pep rally Tuesday said they will raise the minimum wage, expand health care access and tackle climate change if put in power.

Election day is Nov. 5.

This campaign kick-off event was sponsored by the People for the American Way, an organization that supports young, liberal political hopefuls. Their top missions are to engage young Democrats and mobilize Latino voters.

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