Del. Elizabeth Guzman fended off three Democratic primary challengers Tuesday following a bumpy campaign in Virginia’s 31st House of Delegates district.
With all but the absentee votes counted, Guzman was leading challenger Rod Hall with 2,451 or 52.57% of the votes counted so far compared to Hall's 1,733 votes or 37.17%. Idris O’Connor was trailing in third place with 276 votes or 5.9%, while Kara Pitek was in last place with 202 or 4.3% of the votes counted so far, according to still-unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections.
Guzman said in an interview Tuesday while greeting voters at Forest Park High School that she owed her primary victory to the voters of the 31st District.
“I’m committed to the district. I’ve raised my family here. The issues that I fight for are personal to me,” Guzman said.
Guzman, 48, waged a rocky re-election campaign. In October, she announced she would run for Virginia lieutenant governor and would not seek re-election in the House of Delegates. Hall, O’Connor and Pitek all declared shortly after they would run for what they thought would be an empty seat.
In February, however, Guzman announced she would also run for re-election in the House. In April, she dropped out of the race for lieutenant governor.
Guzman, an immigrant from Peru, social worker and social services administrator, was first elected in the 31st District in 2017 and re-elected in 2019. She is among the first Latinas ever elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. She served as Virginia co-chair for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2020.
Guzman has championed progressive policies such as universal paid sick leave and collective bargaining for public sector employees while serving in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Guzman will face Republican Ben Baldwin in the November general election.