Jennifer Lewis to enter race in 20th House District

Jennifer LewisJennifer Lewis will formally enter the 20th House District race with a campaign announcement on Saturday in Waynesboro.

Lewis, a Democrat, is coming off a strong showing, for a Democrat, in her bid for the Sixth District congressional seat in 2018. She received just over 40 percent of the vote in her race against Republican Ben Cline, becoming the first Democrat in more than 20 years to pass the 40 percent mark in the red, red Sixth.

The 20th House District encompasses a smaller, likely more competitive two-party region, stretching from Highland County in the west through Augusta County, the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, and into Nelson County.

The seat will be an open seat in the November election, with the pending retirement of Republican Del. Dickie Bell, who has represented the 20th since 2010.

Bell had run strong in the district throughout his tenure, but his 2017 campaign, against Democrat Michele Edwards, was the closest of his five runs. Bell won the race, but with just 54.5 percent of the vote.

Lewis, in her 2018 congressional race, ran well in the precincts that are within the boundaries of the 20th, winning Staunton, with 56.4 percent of the vote, and coming up just short in Waynesboro, losing by 35 votes of the more than 7,700 cast.

Staunton and Waynesboro make up just short of 60 percent of the population of the 20th.

Story by Chris Graham

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