First-time political candidate Laura Galante, of Marshall, easily won the Democratic nomination in Tuesday’s primary election for the District 18 House of Delegates seat.

In a statement late Tuesday, her campaign called the primary result "an emphatic endorsement" of Galante’s brand of politics: listening first, offering meaningful ways to improve Virginian's lives and tireless volunteer campaign hours. 

“I will keep talking to all Virginians regardless of politics or background about how we build a shared rural future,” said 34-year-old Galante,a  cybersecurity consultant. 

Galante definitively beat opponent Tristan Shields, of Rixeyville, with 70.09 percent (1,706 votes) to his 29.91 percent (728 votes) to win the district that spans Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock and Warren counties.

Galante will face incumbent Del. Michael Webert, R-Marshall, in the November election. Webert was not challenged for the GOP nomination.

Shields quickly congratulated Galante on her win.

“The road moving forward will be tough, but she will have the support of the Democrats in Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock and Warren counties, including mine. We are at a time where the stakes are high for democracy in Virginia. The Virginia legislature will be playing a crucial role both for our state and the nation. I truly hope she can flip the District blue in November,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

In her statement Tuesday night, the Galante campaign stated, "Laura speaks to the challenges common to families across rural Virginia and America: supporting local jobs and farms, ensuring affordable healthcare, and expanding Internet access. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents supported Laura in a primary focused on addressing these issues."

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