VIRGINIA, USA — Virginia's Democratic voters are set to pick their party’s nominees for three statewide races in Tuesday's primary election.
Both parties also will settle on nominations for the House of Delegates and local seats.
The results in the Democratic gubernatorial primary will be closely watched around the nation.
Five candidates are competing for the nomination in Tuesday's primary, with former Gov. Terry McAuliffe seen as the heavy favorite. McAuliffe is seeking a rare return to the governor’s mansion in the only state that prohibits its chief executive from serving consecutive terms.
The race has taken on heightened importance as Democrats aim to hold onto power after assuming full control of state government last year.
McAuliffe's opponents include state Sen. Jennifer McClellan and former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy.
The Commonwealth’s off-year elections typically draw outsized attention as a possible bellwether for national trends heading into next year’s midterms.
Virginia Republicans meanwhile are looking to break a 12-year losing streak in statewide races.
They chose their nominees for the top of the ticket in a multi-site convention process in May.
The winner of Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary will face Glenn Youngkin, a political newcomer who won the GOP nomination in May.