|Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny
Virginia State Senator Mark Herring shakes hands with Palio Ristorante Italiano owner Mike O’Connor at his Leesburg restaurant after he is declared the winner of the Democratic nomination for attorney general June 11.|
Loudoun County residents are one step closer to having a native son holding statewide office, as state Sen. Mark Herring earned the Democratic nomination for attorney general June 11, defeating challenger Justin Fairfax.
Herring will face fellow state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) in November's election.
With 99 percent of the state's precincts reporting, Herring had received 52 percent of the vote to Fairfax's 48 percent.
“I want to thank Justin Fairfax for a hard fought campaign,” Herring said in a prepared statement. “ … I want to thank the thousands of Virginians who joined our campaign and supported our vision. I look forward to restoring the integrity of the attorney general’s office so it fights for all Virginians.”
A native of the commonwealth, Herring began his political career in 2000 with his first term on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. In 2006, Herring won a special election to the Virginia senate over Republican Mick Staton. The 33rd District seat was previously held by Bill Mims, who vacated to serve in the attorney general’s office and currently serves on the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Fairfax, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, was making his first bid for public office. In his own statement, he said: “The past 10 months have been an incredible journey. I have spoken to voters across the Commonwealth about my goal to be an Attorney General who fights for our families and businesses, takes politics out of the office and restores the credibility of the Office of the Attorney General. I am humbled and honored by the great support I have received all across the state.”
In Virginia, governors, lieutenant governors and attorney generals are elected in separate races, meaning the state's top office-holders could split party lines.
Republicans already nominated their statewide candidates through an activist-led convention in May. In addition to Obenshain, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is the GOP nominee for governor, while E.W. Jackson won the lieutenant governor's nod.
Lieutenant governor's race
State Sen. Ralph Northam, of Norfolk, bested Aneesh Chopra for the Democrats' No. 2 post.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Northam had unofficially secured 54 percent of the vote to Chopra's 46 percent.
“It is an honor to be the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor,” Northam said in a prepared statement. “Now let’s win in November and return our Commonwealth to the years of Governors Warner and Kaine that focused on the issues that matter most to Virginians. We must roll back the damage that has been done in the last two years and stop the assault on women’s reproductive health care.”
The Democrats' lieutenant governor's race had been exceptionally hard to handicap late in the race, as both candidates were running on near-identical platforms and had the support of well-respected party leaders.
Appointed by President Obama, Chopra was the nation's first chief technology officer and Virginia's secretary of technology.
Fairfax Democrat Jennifer Boysko bested Herb Kemp, a defense contractor, in the House of Delegates 86th District Democratic primary.
Boysko, who secured 77 percent in the vote, now looks to unseat incumbent Del. Tom Rust (R-86h) in November.
“We need to be working on kitchen table issues,” Boysko said in a pre-election interview. “If they want to keep talking about closing clinics … then people like me, regular moms and dads who just want to have a good quality of life, won’t stand for it.”
Sixty percent 86th District, focused around the Fairfax-Loudoun county line, voted for President Obama in the 2012 election.