Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax, won a tough primary fight for the Democratic nomination Tuesday, overcoming a challenge from Yasmine Taeb, the first Muslim woman elected to the Democratic National Committee.
Karen Torrent, a lawyer and former congressional staffer who leads a legal consulting team, trailed in the balloting.
The primary is tantamount to election because there is no Republican in the general election contest.
Saslaw spent more than $646,000 between Jan. 1 and May 31, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan organization that provides information about Virginia politics and political money. Taeb had spent $113,832.
Taeb attacked Saslaw for not supporting collective bargaining rights; taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Dominion Energy, payday lenders and tobacco companies; and for his support of the death penalty.
Saslaw responded that he is a trusted lawmaker backed by multiple unions and the Virginia Education Association, is a strong supporter of abortion rights who was endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, and refers to himself as a “progressive leader.”
Saslaw, 79, has been Senate minority leader since 2014. He has served in the Senate since 1980 and previously served in the House of Delegates from 1976 to 1980.