LuAnn Bennett challenges Comstock for 10th District seat

D.C. real estate executive LuAnn Bennett, a Democrat, has announced she’ll challenge freshman Congresswoman Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th district. Comstock was elected last year to succeed longtime Rep. Frank Wolf.

Wolf held his seat for decades but the 10th district is home to many independent voters and it’s not clear that either party holds a strong advantage.

Bennett, who is president of the D.C.-based Bennett Group, is the third ex-wife of former Rep. James P. Moran, who represented Virginia’s 8th District until his retirement in 2015. Her candidacy has been rumored since October. In the video announcing her candidacy, she discusses the death from leukemia of her first husband but doesn’t mention Moran.

Without mentioning specifics, Bennett implicitly criticized Comstock for being too partisan and contributing to the supposed “gridlock” in Congress.

“Like many Northern Virginians, I’m frustrated with the lack of results and gridlock in Congress,” said Bennett in a YouTube video. “When you run a small business, you work with whomever you need to in order to get results.”

“Refusing to work with someone just isn’t an option,” Bennett said without explaining the reference. “I have spent my career in the private sector, identifying challenges, solving problems, and working with people to build a better future.”

In her brief candidacy announcement, Bennett recounts how, after growing up on her family’s working farm in Highland, Illinois, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern Illinois University. In 1980, she moved to Northern Virginia, where she married her late husband Rick Bennett and began to grow their real estate business.

Republicans have claimed that Bennett actually lives in Fauquier County and in D.C., where she owns a condo. Bennett says she recently moved to McLean and says she has lived in the 10th district “for decades.”

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.