Less Competition in Local Elections

Unlike competitive legislative elections this fall, most county elections across Virginia, such as school board and county supervisor, went uncontested.

The trend in competitive local elections continues to fall. For nearly six in 10 local elections this November, voters could choose from only a single candidate.


The eight-year trend has been less competitive in races for local and constitutional offices.


The downward trend is partly driven by open seats, which occur when an incumbent office holder decides not to seek re-election. These wide-open opportunities are far less likely to attract more than one candidate.


The decrease in competition shows a regional divide. Larger and faster growing regions, like Northern Virginia, became more competitive in recent years, unlike smaller or shrinking areas throughout the state.


Source: VA Department of Elections.
Note: Analysis only includes November general elections for the following local offices: Board of Supervisors, School Board, and Constitutional Officers. These results are more complete for counties than cities, since city elections that take place in May or in even years are not included here.

Dec. 24, 2019