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Keys-Gamarra wins Democratic primary for Reston’s House District 7 race

Fairfax County School Board at-large member Karen Keys-Gamarra is the Democratic nominee for the 7th House District (courtesy Karen Keys-Gamarra)

(Updated at 10:50 a.m.) At-large Fairfax County School Board member Karen Keys-Gamarra secured the Democratic nomination for the Virginia House of Delegates’ District 7 race, according to the Virginia Department of Election’s unofficial results.

Keys-Gamarra had a solid 37.1% of the total vote, outpacing three other candidates.

Paul Berry, an educator, gathered 28.5%, followed by Shyamali Roy Hauth, an Air Force veteran and adviser to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn. Mary Barthelson, a systems engineer, came in last with 8.3% of the vote.

Praising the level of camaraderie in the community and how informed the voters are, Keys-Gamarra told FFXnow that she looks “forward to working towards the interests of our community.”

Keys-Gamarra was one of four local candidates who sought to fill the seat being vacated by Del. Ken Plum, who has represented Reston in the House of Delegates for more than 40 years. Plum announced his intention not to seek reelection in February.

A fifth candidate, attorney John Farrell, withdrew from the race in order to support Keys-Gamarra, who also got Plum’s endorsement. Farrell is now Reston Association’s board president.

Plum lauded Keys-Gamarra for her win in a social media statement.

“Thank you to all who voted and worked for Karen Keys-Gamarra for her win in the Democratic Primary election yesterday. Now on to the General Election in November. Karen will make a great delegate,” Plum wrote.

As an Oakton resident, Keys-Gamarra has served as a school board member since 2017. She is the mom of three FCPS graduates, an attorney and court-appointed guardian.

No Republican candidates have come forward to challenge the Democratic nominee for the seat.

Barthelson congratulated Keys-Gamarra on her win.

“This election helped raise awareness about the growing challenges of housing insecurity and need for improved mental health services. Until solutions are achieved, I pledge to remain involved and a champion for progress,” she wrote.

The results from yesterday’s Democratic primary — which saw voters choose nominees for several General Assembly seats, Commonwealth’s Attorney, sheriff, and Board of Supervisors — will be officially certified by the state next Tuesday (June 27).

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