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Pivotal Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William races could change the course of Virginia elections

Democrats last held control of the Virginia legislature and Governor's Mansion in 1993. A handful of races could determine the course of Tuesday's vote.

FAIRFAX, Va. — Virginia Democrats sent a blue wave surging across the commonwealth and into Richmond’s Capitol Square two years ago --  a cautionary crescendo for Republicans in the first year of the Trump administration.

Another Democratic wave could deliver a more dire message for Republicans in Richmond this year, as control of Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol now hangs in the balance. Contests in Northern Virginia could tip the balance of power, putting control of the state legislature and governor’s office in Democratic hands for the first time since 1993.

The state-wide election will undoubtedly serve as a referendum on President Trump, as the commonwealth’s fortunes become increasingly tied to the politics across the Potomac.

What would Democrats need to do to begin a new era in Richmond? Win only a handful of seats in Tuesday’s off-year election.

Democrats would need to flip two seats in the House of Delegates and one seat in the Senate for Virginia to become the only Southern state under Democratic control of the executive and legislative branches.

Perhaps the most anticipated race to watch within sight of Washington will be the contest between Republican Del. Tim Hugo and Democrat Dan Helmer.

Hugo is the third-highest ranking Republican in the House of Delegates – representing parts of Fairfax and Prince William Counties in Virginia’s 40th House District. He is one of the last remaining Republicans representing Northern Virginia in-state office, a position he’s held for the past 16 years.

The Helmer campaign has its hopes inextricably linked with the area’s demographic trends marching towards a more diverse electorate.

His name recognition has been in the public sphere since unconventional campaign ads channeled “Top Gun” during the 2017-2018 primary contest to face then-Congresswoman Barbara Comstock.

RELATED: Here's everything you need to know about voting in Virginia's elections

Helmer’s military service from Afghanistan to South Korea has now taken center stage, along with his business and Oxford credentials.

A second race garnering close attention is the fight to fill the vacancy left by Republican State Sen. Dick Black -- a Marine Corps veteran who voiced adamant support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Republican Loudoun County Supervisor Geary Higgins faces Democratic Del. John Bell for Black’s seat. The position they hope to fill represents Loudoun and Prince William in Virginia’s 13th Senate District.

Higgins is an unabashed Trump supporter, with an endorsement straight from the president’s Twitter account. Bell is a 26-year Air Force veteran, fresh off serving two terms in the House of Delegates.

RELATED: 1 Year Out: A divided nation lurches toward 2020 election

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