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Results of Virginia’s primaries on Tuesday have some people scratching their head, as voters supported an unabashed racist in one race and a Black female novice politician in another.

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Vangie Williams scored a victory Tuesday by defeating two military veterans to win the Democratic nomination to run for Congress. Williams would the first African-American to represent the state’s first congressional district if she wins her November battle against Republican incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman.

In a statewide race for a U.S. Senate seat, Corey Stewart, a hardcore Donald Trump supporter who came to prominence as a defender of Confederate symbols, beat his Republican rivals on Tuesday. He was one of several Trump Republicans to win primary races by defeating centrist Republicans supported by party leaders.

In Nov. 2017, Virginia’s Democrats flexed their muscles. Heavy Black voter turnout swept Democrats into office—from a gubernatorial race to municipal contests. It’s unclear if they will come out in strong enough numbers to defeat Stewart in the general election.

Despite her inexperience, Williams, a mother of six, won nearly 40 percent of the vote in her three-candidate race. Williams campaigned on a platform that included stricter gun laws and single-payer health insurance, and she apparently connected with voters who understand the struggle to financially make ends meet.

She and her husband filed for bankruptcy in 2010 after they spent their entire savings to pay off medical bills for their daughter, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

“Who better to fight for hard-working men and women … than someone like me that has gone through the same challenges and struggles,” she said in an interview last week.


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