Now he's a top target of
Attack ads accusing Cox of being a shill for special interests are all over the airwaves in his
Virginia's legislative elections in November have become the marquee warmup for the 2020 election cycle — an early gauge of Democratic enthusiasm and Republican resilience in a state once considered a presidential battleground.
The races are more than just bellwethers.
Several 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have made stops in
For Cox, this year has meant trying to hold on to his own seat while raising millions for both his race and to help his caucus.
"I'm just trying to work very, very hard at it," he said.
Four states have legislatives elections this year, but only
That would be the culmination of the state's rapid political transformation. Demographic shifts and population growth in the
Voters unhappy with President
Impeachment efforts by
These off-year legislative elections when there no statewide candidates running typically favor
In June, the
The new map helps
Their new districts now include more inner suburban and urban precincts and fewer rural ones. African Americans now make up a third of Cox's district, up from 18 percent. Jones now represents a
"I do think (the new map) was targeting senior (Republican) members. Having said that, that's over. I'm very happy with my district and I'm going to work my district hard — always do," Cox said.
Much of the Democratic messaging mirrors what party candidates are running on nationally, including increasing gun-control laws and fighting climate change.
Bynum-Coleman recently launched TV attack ads calling Cox too cozy with the
"You'd be surprised how much gun violence is going to impact this race," Bynum-Coleman said.
Cox is hoping his practiced habit of door knocking — the kind of political scutwork many of his colleagues seek to avoid or minimize — will pay off. He's made door knocking part of his routine, even when not facing an opponent.
He's hoping to hit 5,000 new homes in his district before
Making the rounds in a newly added part of his district during a recent weekday afternoon, Cox kept his pitch short and largely politics free: He's a retired school teacher who has worked to boost teacher pay, freeze college tuition and support veterans.
"If I can help you with anything, please give me a call," Cox said to one potential voter before moving off to the next house.