Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) will be switching to the Senate side of the capitol building in Richmond, after he defeated Republican challenger Jerry Foreman for the 36th District senator job. Foreman finished with 3,684 votes, over 31 percent, to Surovell’s 7,934 votes, over 68 percent.
The open seat has been held by retiring Democrat Toddy Puller since 1999.
Surovell credited the victory to running a “grassroots-based, volunteer-powered operation, based on local issues.
“The 36th District consists of the entire Route 1 corridor, from Alexandria to Stafford,” he said. “There are a lot of common issues, areas of concern among voters.”
Throughout his campaign, Surovell has stressed his goals to extend the Metro Yellow Line south into Hybla Valley and the Blue Line to Prince William County, as well as making major investments in secondary education such as lowering class size and getting digital devices in the hands of every student.
He has also been outspoken about removing car title lenders from Route 1 and expanding Medicaid in Virginia.
“I thought that the focus I’ve put on those issues in the last six years, that I’ve campaigned on going forward, resonated a lot with the voters,” he said.
Surovell’s opponent Jerry Foreman did not respond to requests for an interview prior to press time.
The Democrat managed to hold a Senate seat for the party on a night when Republican incumbents won in numbers sufficient to maintain their control of that body.
“I was disappointed that the Senate’s not going to reflect the electorate of Virginia,” Surovell said. “Until voter turnout in these off-year elections starts to reflect the actual population of the state, we’re going to continue to have a body that looks like our electorate of about 20 years ago.”
Surovell said he supports fewer restrictions on absentee voting, photo identification requirements and forcing voters to always cast ballots within one 13-hour window on a Tuesday in November.
“Voting in Virginia is not easy,” he said. “I think people in power try to make voting as difficult as possible, to try to maintain control. Hopefully we can continue to chip away at that.”