Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock will defeat Democrat LuAnn Bennett in Virginia’s 10th District, The Associated Press projects.
Comstock led Bennett 54 percent to 46 percent with 82 percent of precincts reporting.
Comstock was always a top target for Democrats because her seat has historically been a swing district at the presidential level. President Barack Obama carried it narrowly in 2008, and Mitt Romney carried it narrowly four years later.
The Democratic Party recruited Bennett to take on Comstock in this suburban district just west of Washington, D.C.
Comstock didn’t take a stand on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump until early October. After the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, she became one of the first congressional Republicans to call on Trump to step aside as the nominee.
Even after Comstock condemned Trump, Democrats sought to tie the freshman Republican to the presidential nominee in this wealthy, well-educated district where he was deeply unpopular.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine, Virginia’s junior senator, have consistently polled ahead in the state, which Democrats hoped would give them a boost here.
Coming into Election Day, the race was rated Tilts Republican by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.
Comstock, 57, was elected to Congress in 2014 but had been involved in politics long before that. She served as a delegate in Virginia’s state house from 2010 to 2014 and in 2012 she co-chaired Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in Virginia.
Before running for elected office, Comstock was a partner at a lobbying firm, Corallo Comstock Inc. During Comstock’s time as a lobbyist, her clients included Comcast, the Motion Picture Association of America, Koch Industries and the National Association of Broadcasters.