Virginia Democrats in the congressional district that includes Charlottesville and Danville picked a former journalist Saturday to face incumbent GOP Rep. Tom Garrett in the general election.
Democrats finished a week-long caucus Saturday by picking Leslie Cockburn the unofficial winner. A former reporter for 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair who has never run for office before, Cockburn said her opposition to the president helped spur her run.
“I was really very offended by Donald Trump,” she said.
She is one of several women in Virginia and nationwide who were prompted to run for office by Trump’s victory.
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Cockburn beat out Roger Dean Huffstetler, a former Marine, and Andrew Sneathern, a former prosecutor in the Democratic contest.
Her victory will be made official at convention next month in Farmville. Democrats in Virginia’s 5th congressional district opted to pick a candidate through multiple caucuses rather than in a primary.
Cockburn said building enough support to win the caucuses required intense retail politicking throughout a district bigger than New Jersey. But she said it will pay off in the general election, as she’s built up a core group of supporters in every county.
“We’re building something here,” she said.
Democrats are hopeful they can pick up a seat in a district Trump won in the 2016 election as part of an effort to take control of the U.S. House.
Garrett is seeking a second term in Congress. A former prosecutor and state senator, Garrett is a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus.
Some Republicans have been critical of Garrett for not raising more money. He raised the least amount of any Republican incumbent in Virginia last quarter and has been outraised by Cockburn during this election cycle.
Garrett dismissed those concerns, saying he’s fulfilled the campaign promises he ran on two years ago.
“If being honest and not being for sale is worth anything, we will be just fine,” Garrett said.