Jennifer Wexton

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Jennifer Wexton
Jennifer Wexton, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byBarbara Comstock
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 33rd district
In office
January 24, 2014 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byMark Herring
Succeeded byJennifer Boysko
Personal details
Born
Jennifer Lynn Tosini

(1968-05-27) May 27, 1968 (age 52)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Andrew Wexton
(m. 2001)
Children2
EducationUniversity of Maryland, College Park (BA)
College of William & Mary (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Jennifer Lynn Wexton (née Tosini; born May 27, 1968) is an American lawyer and politician from the Commonwealth of Virginia who has served as the United States Representative for Virginia's 10th congressional district since 2019. The district is anchored in the outer portion of Northern Virginia. It includes all of Clarke, Frederick, and Loudoun counties; Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester cities; and parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties. From 2014 to 2019 Wexton was a member of the Virginia Senate, representing the 33rd district, which includes parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

In the 2018 election, Wexton defeated Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock with 206,356 votes to Comstock's 160,841, a 12-point margin (56–44%). Some commentators have called her a moderate Democrat.[1][2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Wexton is from Leesburg, Virginia. Her father and mother were senior economists at the United States Department of the Treasury and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, respectively.[4]

In 1992, Wexton graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. She then enrolled at the College of William & Mary's Law School and received a Juris Doctor (JD) in 1995.[4][5] At William & Mary, she was a member of Phi Delta Phi, a legal honor society.[6]

Early career[edit]

Wexton was a partner in the Laurel Brigade Law Group.[7] She served as a substitute judge in Loudoun County, Virginia, and from 2001 to 2005 as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney.[8][9]

Wexton successfully prosecuted Clara Jane Schwartz for the murder of Schwartz's father, Robert Schwartz.[10] She ran for Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney in 2011, narrowly losing to Republican incumbent Jim Plowman.[11][12] She was elected to the Virginia Senate in 2014.[7][9]

Virginia Senate[edit]

After Mark Herring, who represented the 33rd district in the Virginia Senate, won the 2013 election for attorney general of Virginia, Wexton declared her candidacy in the special election to fill the seat. The district includes northeastern Loudoun County and northwestern Fairfax County.[11] In the Democratic primary, Wexton defeated Herndon Town Councilor Sheila Olem.[13] In a campaign ad Wexton spoke of her experience defending victims of rape and assault and said she would "fight just as hard against tea party Republicans who would take away a woman's health care and her right to choose, even in cases of rape and incest." The Republican Party of Virginia criticized the ad, saying it compared Tea Party activists to rapists; Wexton's campaign denied the comparison.[14] She faced Republican John Whitbeck and Republican-turned-Independent Joe T. May in the January 2014 special election, and won 53%–38%–10%.[15] She took office on January 24, 2014,[16] and was reelected in the November 2015 general election. After being elected to the United States House of Representatives, Wexton resigned her Virginia Senate seat on January 3, 2019.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2018[edit]

In April 2017, Wexton announced that she would run in the Democratic primary for the 10th district.[17] Her state senate district included much of the eastern portion of the congressional district, wrapping around Leesburg and Sterling. In June 2018 she won a six-way primary to become the Democratic nominee.[18] In the November general election she defeated Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock[19] with 56% of the vote to Comstock's 44%.[20] Wexton is only the fifth person to represent the district since its creation in 1953, and the second Democrat. The first was Joe Fisher, who served from 1975 to 1981. Her victory resulted in the Democrats holding every seat based in the Washington suburbs.

2020[edit]

Wexton was reelected to a second term in 2020, defeating the Republican nominee, former U.S. Marine Aliscia Andrews.[21]

Tenure[edit]

Shortly after defeating Comstock, Wexton declared her support for DC statehood, saying, "that D.C. residents pay taxes and don't get any representation is absurd, and I think that we should make sure they get voting representation." DC's non-voting Congressional Delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, thanked Wexton for her comment.[22]

In May 2019 Wexton called for HUD Secretary Ben Carson's resignation after his House testimony that month. She tweeted, "As a former prosecutor, I take Congressional testimony very seriously. This week, Secretary Carson lied to me and to Congress. He lied again when he called me to 'clarify' his testimony. He’s proven himself to be deceitful & inept as HUD Secretary. He should resign."[23]

In July 2019, Wexton visited two mosques in Northern Virginia to hear from Muslim residents after President Trump attacked Somali-born congresswoman Ilhan Omar at a campaign rally.[3][24] Later that month, she announced her support for voting to impeach Trump over his request that Ukraine announce an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden.[25][26][27][28] On August 23, 2019, Wexton formed a new congressional caucus to examine and promote agritourism, which she believes could bring economic and social benefits to areas like Loudoun Valley.[29][30]

In September 2020, Wexton authored the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020, a bill to require all publicly traded US companies to disclose whether any of their goods or part of their supply chain can be traced to the use of forced labor by ethnic minorities in Chinese internment camps or factories. The Act was a companion bill to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which seeks to keep goods made with forced labor of detained ethnic minorities in China out of the US.[31]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Some commentators have called Wexton a moderate Democrat.[2][3] She has emphasized her willingness to compromise and work with both Republicans and Democrats.[1]

Economy[edit]

In a 2019 town hall event, Wexton described herself as a capitalist.[32] In 2020, she supported increasing federal spending on infrastructure improvements and subsidies for the US airline industry, which was hit by decreased travel demand during the coronavirus pandemic. She also supports expanding broadband access, particularly in rural areas.[33]

Guns[edit]

Wexton supports a bill to study the utility of credit card transactions as a warning tool for mass shootings. She suggested that "the Second Amendment and gun-violence prevention laws can coexist."[32]

Health care[edit]

Wexton supports a public option for health care, suggesting that it would provide increased competition in areas with fewer private insurance options. She does not support "Medicare for All", a move to create a single-payer healthcare system and eliminate private insurance. She supports granting the federal government the ability to negotiate prescription drug prices.[32]

Wexton supports strengthening the Affordable Care Act and opposes the Trump administration's efforts to convince the US Supreme Court to invalidate the law. In a 2020 debate, she argued that striking down the ACA would once again allow insurance companies to impose lifetime health care spending limits.[33]

Immigration[edit]

Wexton supports expanding the federal seasonal agricultural worker visa program and the H-1B visa program.[33]

Labor rights[edit]

Wexton supports making it easier for workers to unionize. She criticized the Trump administration for not enforcing federally mandated workplace protections during the coronavirus pandemic.[33]

LGBT rights[edit]

In January 2019, Wexton hung a transgender pride flag outside her office to show her support for the transgender community, saying, "The trans community has been under attack. I wanted to show my solidarity because we are talking about my friends and family."[34][35] In February 2021, Wexton tweeted in support of Marie Newman, who has a transgender daughter, after Newman received transphobic attacks from Marjorie Taylor Greene for hanging a transgender flag outside her office as the House passed the Equality Act. Wexton wrote, "There’s no lower low than going after someone’s kids".[36]

Electoral history[edit]

Date Election Candidate Party Votes %
Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney
November 8, 2011[37] General James E. "Jim" Plowman Republican 26,050 51.83
Jennifer T. Wexton Democratic 24,104 47.96
Write-ins 101 0.20
Republican incumbent reelected
Virginia Senate, 33rd District
January 21, 2014[38] General Special Jennifer T. Wexton Democratic 11,431 52.72
John C. L. Whitbeck, Jr. Republican 8,133 37.51
Joe T. May Independent 2,117 9.76
Write-ins 3 0.01
Mark Herring resigned; seat remained Democratic
November 3, 2015[39] General Jennifer T. Wexton Democratic 18,577 56.60
Stephen B. Hollingshead Republican 14,190 43.23
Write-ins 54 0.16


Virginia's 10th congressional district Democratic primary results, 2018[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jennifer Wexton 22,405 41.89
Democratic Alison Friedman 12,283 22.96
Democratic Lindsey Davis Stover 8,567 16.02
Democratic Dan Helmer 6,712 12.55
Democratic Paul Pelletier 2,010 3.76
Democratic Julia Biggins 1,513 2.83
Total votes 53,490 100.0
Virginia's 10th congressional district general election results, 2018[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jennifer Wexton 206,356 56.1
Republican Barbara Comstock (incumbent) 160,841 43.7
n/a Write-ins 598 0.2
Total votes 367,795 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican
2020 Virginia's 10th Congressional District election[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jennifer Wexton 268,734 56.5 +0.4
Republican Aliscia Andrews 206,253 43.4 -0.3
Write-in 559 0.1 -0.1
Total votes 475,546 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal life[edit]

Wexton married Andrew Wexton in 2001, at the age of 33.[4] They have two sons.[13] Wexton is the aunt of a transgender child.[35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Barakat, Matthew (June 1, 2018). "Race to take on Comstock focuses on resume, not ideology". Associated Press. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Pope, Michael (June 13, 2018). "Democrats Didn't Always Pick The Most Progressive Candidate And That Might Help Them In November". WVTF. NPR. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Gambino, Lauren (July 20, 2019). "The moderate squad: swing-state Democrats wary of leftward path". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "WEDDINGS; Jennifer Tosini, Andrew Wexton". The New York Times. May 27, 2001. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  5. ^ "Report of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law 1997-1998". William & Mary Law School. 1998. p. 72. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 24, 2014.
  6. ^ "Jennifer L. Tosini". Phi Delta Phi. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Marcia Coyle (November 8, 2018). "How Many Women Lawyers Were Elected in the Midterms? Quite a Few". The National Law Journal. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  8. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (April 20, 2017). "Democrat Jennifer Wexton says she will challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Virginia New Members 2019". The Hill. November 15, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  10. ^ Echtenkamp, Jon (October 15, 2002). "Fantasy, reality collide at murder trial". Fairfax Times. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. ^ a b Gibson, Caitlin (November 13, 2013). "Leesburg attorney Jennifer Wexton announces bid for Herring's Senate seat". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  12. ^ Gibson, Caitlin (November 9, 2011). "Incumbents fare well in many Northern Va. races, but Loudoun is an exception". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Baratko, Trevor (November 24, 2013). "Wexton wins Democratic primary to replace Herring in Virginia Senate". Loudoun Times-Mirror. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  14. ^ Gibson, Caitlin (January 9, 2014). "Va. GOP takes offense at Wexton's state Senate campaign ad". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Baratko, Trevor (January 21, 2014). "Jennifer Wexton wins Virginia Senate special election to succeed Mark Herring". Loudoun Times-Mirror. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  16. ^ "Democrat Wexton joins Senate – Richmond Times-Dispatch: Local Government & Politics". Timesdispatch.com. May 15, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  17. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (April 20, 2017). "Democrat Jennifer Wexton says she will challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  18. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (June 12, 2018). "State Sen. Jennifer Wexton wins the Democratic race to run against Rep. Comstock". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  19. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (November 6, 2018). "Democrat Jennifer T. Wexton defeats Rep. Barbara Comstock, turning a GOP stronghold district in Virginia blue". Washington Post. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  20. ^ Virginia House election results from CNN
  21. ^ "Rep. Jennifer Wexton holds off Andrews to win second term". INSIDENOVA.COM. November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  22. ^ Delgadillo, Natalie (November 8, 2018). "Virginia's Jennifer Wexton Comes Out In Support Of D.C. Statehood". WAMU. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  23. ^ Golgowski, Nina (May 23, 2019). "Lawmaker Urges Ben Carson To Resign After Disastrous House Testimony". HuffPost. Archived from the original on April 27, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  24. ^ "Following Trump's racist tweets, Rep. Jennifer Wexton visits Northern Va. mosques". WDVM 25. July 19, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  25. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (July 30, 2019). "Rep. Wexton, Del. Holmes Norton call for an impeachment inquiry against Trump". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings. Archived from the original on December 18, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  26. ^ "A new flood of Democrats call for impeachment proceedings, but does it matter?". CBS News. CBS Corporation. August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  27. ^ McPherson, Lindsey (August 1, 2019). "Support for Impeachment Inquiry Grows in the House". Roll Call. FiscalNote. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  28. ^ Fandos, Nicholas (August 13, 2019). "Impeachment tracker: How many Democrats are calling for an impeachment inquiry into Trump?". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  29. ^ Ouellette, Nathan (August 23, 2019). "Congress' new caucus: Wexton gives agritourism a voice". Roll Call. FiscalNote. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  30. ^ Cline, Nathaniel (August 26, 2019). "Rep. Wexton launches Congressional Agritourism Caucus, tours rural businesses". Loudoun Times. Virginia News Group. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  31. ^ "Congress seeks to block goods from China over forced labor". AP NEWS. September 22, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  32. ^ a b c Palermo, Jill (February 11, 2020). "A town hall divided: Speakers reflect political chasm splitting Virginia voters". Prince William Times. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  33. ^ a b c d Olivo, Antonio. "Jennifer Wexton, Aliscia Andrews spar over immigration, health care during debate in blue-leaning Virginia congressional district". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  34. ^ Martinez, Gina (January 5, 2019). "Rep. Jennifer Wexton Hangs Transgender Pride Flag Outside Her Capitol Hill Office". Time. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  35. ^ a b "Transgender pride flag hung in Congress by Rep. Jennifer Wexton". NBC News. January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  36. ^ Associated Press (February 25, 2021). "Marjorie Taylor Greene's Twitter attack on congresswoman's transgender daughter draws outrage". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  37. ^ "Election Results – Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney – Nov11 General Election". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  38. ^ "Special General Election – January 28, 2014". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  39. ^ "General Election – November 3, 2015". Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  40. ^ "2018 June Democratic Primary". Results.elections.virginia.gov. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  41. ^ "Official Results". 2018 November General. Virginia Department of Elections. November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  42. ^ "2020 November General". Results.elections.virginia.gov. Retrieved November 9, 2020.

External links[edit]

Senate of Virginia
Preceded by
Mark Herring
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 33rd district

2014–2019
Succeeded by
Jennifer Boysko
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Barbara Comstock
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th congressional district

2019–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Michael Waltz
United States Representatives by seniority
368th
Succeeded by
Fred Keller