Next year, Fairfax County will have a new Commonwealth’s Attorney for the first time in a decade after former federal attorney Steve Descano beat incumbent Ray Morrogh for the Democratic Party’s nomination in Tuesday’s primary elections.
A prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice under the Obama administration for six years, Descano was the first person to challenge Morrogh, since the longtime county prosecutor was elected to the office in 2007.
Descano’s campaign was galvanized by an endorsement from former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe as he sought to position himself as more progressive than Morrogh on issues like the decriminalization of marijuana and cash-bail.
Morrogh has worked in Fairfax County’s Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for 35 years.
As of 9:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Descano held a 1,396 vote lead over Morrogh with 51 percent of the vote, according to the Virginia Department of Elections’ unofficial results.
The Code of Virginia allows for a recount when two or more candidates are separated by less than 1 percent of the total votes cast
Despite controversy over his past relationship with a developer that opponent Timothy Chapman construed as a conflict-of-interest violation, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay snagged the Democratic nomination for chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in the first primary for the position in 40 years.
McKay garnered about 40 percent of the vote countywide with Georgetown Law professor Alicia Plerhoples coming in second at 31 percent, a finish that the attorney celebrated after her campaign put pressure on the Lee District supervisor on issues like affordable housing and early child education.
Fairfax County School Board at-large representative Ryan McElveen finished the Board of Supervisors chairman primary in third with 16 percent of the vote, while Chapman earned just under 10 percent of the electorate.
In a race driven by concerns about development in Reston and Vienna, Hunter Mill District Democratic voters ultimately supported former Fairfax County Planning Commissioner Walter Alcorn over development opponents Laurie Dodd, Shyamali Hauth, and Parker Messick as well as Maggie Parker, the vice president of communications for developer Comstock.
James Walkinshaw, the longtime chief of staff for Rep. Gerry Connolly, defeated immigration activist Irma Corado to become the Democratic nominee for Braddock District supervisor. He will face a Republican challenger in engineer Jason Remer and independent candidate Carey Chet Campbell in November’s general election.
Fairfax County Economic Development Authority national marketing director Rodney Lusk beat three Democratic opponents to become McKay’s presumptive successor as Lee District supervisor. So far, no Republicans have declared candidacy for that position.
School Board Providence District Representative Dalia Palchik won a crowded race for Providence District supervisor with just over 39 percent of the vote.
Philip Niedzielski-Eichner, who represents Providence on the Fairfax County Planning Commission, came in second, followed by former Vienna Town Councilmember Edythe Frankel Kelleher, Providence District Council vice president Erika Yalowitz, and technology professional Linh Hoang.
According to unofficial returns from the county’s Office of Elections, Fairfax County had a 10.2 percent voter turnout on June 11 for the Democratic primaries with an estimated 73,923 ballots cast.