Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing Exposes Sharp Divide in 10th District Race

Like many Americans, State Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-33) said she was riveted by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

“I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford,” Wexton said, adding that she was impressed with Ford’s “courage and grace” as Ford quietly detailed her allegations against Kavanaugh.

On Friday, Wexton declared it was “time for people of good conscience to take a stand,” praising Ford for her historic testimony.

“Her courage in a situation designed to put her at a disadvantage, and her grace in the face of powerful men who refused to investigate her claims, allow interviews of key witnesses, or even speak to her were extraordinary,” Wexton said.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10), who is friends with Kavanaugh and said he was “an excellent choice” when he was nominated for the high court in July, did not walk back that endorsement when she issued a statement a few hours after Wexton’s statement on Friday.

“Both Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford have been ill served by this process,” Comstock said.

Comstock blasted Senate Democrats, accusing them of abusing the confirmation process and creating an “overall toxic partisan environment” by withholding Ford’s sexual assault allegations “from both Republican committee members as well as the FBI,” and then leaking the information to the press “against the explicit request of Dr. Ford…rather than allow for a confidential review.

"This partisan abuse of the process has been a travesty for all involved," Comstock said.

On Sunday night, Wexton responded to The Connection’s request for a comment on Comstock’s statement.

"Barbara Comstock purports to be a champion of the ‘Me Too’ movement and would have a real opportunity here to stand up for the victim and to stand up to members of her party and take a leadership role, but she’s not doing that,” Wexton said.

“Instead, she is holding her old friend, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to a much lower standard than the one she set for members of the opposing party. Women who are the victims of alleged sexual violence, like Dr. Blasey Ford, deserve our support."

Political experts said the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings could have a profound effect on the Nov. 6 midterm elections, in which a record number of women – more than 200 – are running for house seats.

Virginia’s 10th Congressional District has been held by a Republican for 38 years, but Democrats believe demographic shifts in the sprawling district - which include sections of Fairfax and Prince William counties and all of Loudoun County – and growing opposition to President Trump’s politics, will lead to a Democratic victory on Nov. 6.

In the 2016 election, Trump lost the district by ten percentage points while Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, won the district by double digits in 2017.

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