- The 29-year-old daughter of an Indian father and an Ecuadorian mother lost to incumbent Rep. Don Beyer in the June 21 Democratic primary.
Victoria Virasingh fell short in her bid to the U.S. Congress from Virginia’s 8th Congressional District. The 29-year-old daughter of an Indian father and an Ecuadorian mother lost to incumbent Rep. Don Beyer in the June 21 Democratic primary.
With 177 precincts of 182 reporting, Virasingh received 11,288 or 22.7 percent of the votes, compared to Beyer’s whopping 38,487 or 77.3 percent. The state’s 8th Congressional District includes all of Arlington County, portions of Fairfax County and all of the independent cities of Alexandria and Falls Church. Beyer will face Republican Karina Lipsman, who won a Republican convention last month.
In a statement issued on June 22, Virasingh said she’s “incredibly proud” of her campaign’s accomplishments. “It strengthened our democracy, inspired new voter participation in the political process, and received endorsements from organizations across the country,” the statement read. As the only Democratic primary challenger in Virginia to make it on to the ballot this cycle, and the only second woman to ever make it on to this ballot, I am proud to have been able to make an impact early on in this race by solely choosing to participate.”
Noting that her candidacy was “enthusiastically” met with “the support of a strong, diverse community, including those within VA-8 and beyond,” she added that her campaign submitted “1,628 signatures of locals who supported her candidacy in April, surpassing the required 1,000 signatures.”
In a tweet, Beyer thanked his voters in Northern Virginia for again making him their Democratic nominee to represent Virginia’s 8th District. “Their trust in me is humbling, and I will continue to do all I can to earn it.”
Meanwhile, Virasingh received praise from Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. Thank you to @Victoria4VA for running and raising important issues in our community.”
In an earlier interview with American Kahani, Virasingh said one of the reasons she chose to run for the U.S. Congress is because of her upbringing. Growing up she was told to “just swallow” the racism that came her way, to study hard, work hard, and “not to make a fuss.” And it’s not surprising that when she told her family her intent to run, she was met with a lot of questions. She explained that she’s running to have a voice at the table. “It’s time for us to stand up and stand out,” she says. “There’s too much at stake and it’s not just for us, but it’s for our community, and for its future.”
Virasingh was born and raised in Arlington, the heart of Virginia’s 8th Congressional District. Her mom grew up in Ecuador and her dad was born to Punjabi Sikh refugees in Thailand. “They both came to America in hopes of a better life — but every day was a struggle, a fight,” she said.
Using the Spanish word “luchar” to describe what it was like for her to watch her parents work minimum wage jobs and make it in America, she recalled how her parents taught her “to work hard, to sacrifice and to strive for the American Dream and invest in education.” She became the first person in her family to go to college, “thanks to a full ride to Stanford University.”
After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a master’s degree in Latin American studies, she joined the tech workforce. She was making enough money and didn’t need to worry about paying the rent or buying groceries. That’s when it hit her: she had achieved the American Dream. But with that came the realization of how hard it is for some to achieve that same dream. “The American Area has become harder and harder for us to access,” she said. “How can something be ours and not for us?”
And that’s when she decided to mount her campaign. She identifies as a progressive Democrat advocating for policies such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. She ran a grassroots campaign and renounced contributions from corporate political action committees.