Cemented in a safe blue seat and a member of House leadership at the time as Majority Whip, Delegate Alfonso Lopez drew a spontaneous primary challenge from the left via local Bernie Sanders organizer Karishma Mehta. Mehta earned the endorsement of groups such as Sunrise, Democratic Socialists of America, and others who helped her raise strong sums for a House primary challenger and fueled a notable ground game.


A review of Lopez’s legislative record showed not just a record for Democrats to be proud of, but also one that progressives would be proud of too. The campaign drilled down on an all-positive, all-Alfonso message. One that highlighted his accomplishments in the House, and used local validators in the district to show that HIS progressive values had brought real results for the people he represented in Arlington.


While some analysts made the bold claim a month out from the election that Lopez would be the most likely incumbent to lose in his Democratic primary, it turned out they couldn’t have been more wrong. Lopez won comfortably, 71/29, a result that has scared off any other primary challengers since.