(Updated at 10 a.m. on 11/16/2023) A week after polls closed, the next mayors and councils for the towns of Vienna and Clifton have been decided.
The Fairfax County Electoral Board certified the local race results for this year’s general election yesterday (Tuesday), including for a Vienna Town Council contest where write-in votes exceeded votes for two of the seven candidates on the ballot.
However, none of the submitted candidates received enough votes to shift the outcome of the race, according to the Fairfax County Office of Elections. Vienna Transportation Safety Commission chair Beth Eachus, who began campaigning as a write-in candidate in September, received 1,803 of the 2,073 write-in votes, county election officials said.
The names and vote totals of the other write-ins weren’t identified.
Instead, budget analyst and former Fairfax County School Board candidate Sandra Allen has secured the last of six council seats with 2,053 votes — just seven more than the 2,046 that went to Shelley Mountjoy, a former community college professor and creator of the Vienna Votes outreach project.
Allen will join Vienna Planning Commissioner Jessica Ramakis and Board of Architectural Review Chair Roy Baldwin as newcomers to the council. All three incumbents — Howard Springsteen, Chuck Anderson and Ray Brill — won reelection.
A total of 5,981 ballots were cast in the town council race — a 48.5% turnout rate for the town’s 12,323 registered voters, according to the county elections office.
With voters allowed to choose up to six candidates, the 22,463 votes cast broke down as follows:
- Howard J. Springsteen — 3,535
- Jessica Ramakis — 3,465
- Charles “Chuck” Anderson — 3,418
- Ray Brill, Jr. — 2,951
- Roy J. Baldwin — 2,922
- Sandra Allen — 2,053
- Shelley Mountjoy — 2,046
- Write-in votes — 2,073
Mayor Linda Colbert also won a second term after running unopposed.
This was the Town of Vienna’s first November election since the Virginia General Assembly adopted a law in 2021 requiring all municipal elections still held in May to move.
Clifton mayor defeated by write-in votes
While Vienna didn’t see a successful write-in campaign, Clifton Mayor William Hollaway has been unseated after receiving 62 votes — five fewer than write-in candidate Thomas Peterson, according to the Virginia Department of Election results. A total of 131 votes were cast.
A lawyer, Holloway hasn’t faced any official opponents since 2010, when he was first elected as mayor.
Peterson told NBC4 that his wife had encouraged him to run after the candidate filing deadline had passed. His campaign consisted of just 10 yard signs, but Clifton voters “were excited to actually have a choice for the first time in 12 years,” NBC4 reported.
The Clifton Town Council race, which featured five official candidates vying for five seats, also saw a write-in victor in Mary Hess, who received 71 of the 471 total votes cast — more than incumbents Stephen Effros (65) and Darrell Poe (48).
Fairfax County’s overall voter turnout for the 2023 general election ended at 41.1%, a slight drop from the last time local races were on the ballot in 2019, according to the county elections office. The 323,816 ballots tallied include 3,900 provisional ballots and 9,476 mail-in ballots received after Election Day on Nov. 7.
(Updated at 10:55 a.m. on 11/10/2023) About 40% of registered Fairfax County voters participated in this year’s general election, which decided state and local representatives who will shape policies on issues from abortion to land use in the coming years.
As of Friday (Nov. 10), 308,855 of the county’s 787,171 registered voters cast a ballot — a 39.2% turnout rate, according to unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections.
(Correction: The Virginia Department of Elections results previously indicated that 382,573 ballots had been cast in the election, a 48.6% turnout rate. This story has been revised to reflect the updated numbers.)
That falls short of the 44.3% turnout and 315,836 ballots cast in 2019, when the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, school board and all General Assembly seats were last up for grabs.
However, it still exceeds the turnout seen in earlier election cycles dating back to the beginning of this century, which hovered around 32% with a low of 30.3% in 2015, per county returns.
Eric Spicer, Fairfax County’s director of elections and general registrar, declined to comment on this year’s turnout numbers or speculate on “why they may differ from past years.”
The general election on Tuesday (Nov. 7) continued a trend of increased early voting that began after Virginia expanded absentee voting to all registered voters in 2020. This year, the county received 36,859 mail ballots on election night alone — more than the total number of absentee votes (36,584) in the 2019 general election.
There were 64,371 ballots cast through early voting, which ran from Sept. 22 to Saturday, Nov. 4, though the vast majority of voters still went to in-person polls on Election Day. Mail-in ballots will be counted until noon on Monday, Nov. 13, as long as they were postmarked on or before Nov. 7.
All election results, including for the still-to-be-determined Vienna Town council race, will be certified as final on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
Democrats celebrate near-sweep
The status quo largely held in Fairfax County, at least in terms of political parties, as candidates endorsed by the Democrats won every state contest and almost every local contest on the ballot.
Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano were both reelected with no official challengers, though Descano’s opponent for the Democratic nomination, Ed Nuttall, endorsed a write-in campaign.
Descano’s victory was matched in Arlington by Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, who also first took office in 2020 on promises of criminal justice reform. Their Loudoun County counterpart, Buta Biberaj, however, is trailing by around 1,000 votes.
“Thank you to the people of Fairfax County for choosing me to serve another four years,” Descano said in a statement highlighting his reform efforts. “…I’ve still got a lot of fight in me — and we’ve got the momentum on our side. I’m eager to keep working for the people of Fairfax, and to realize a future where safety and justice do walk hand-in-hand.”
I've still got a lot of fight in me — and we've got the momentum on our side. I'm eager to keep working for the people of Fairfax, and to realize a future where safety and justice do walk hand-in-hand.
— Steve Descano (@SteveDescano) November 8, 2023
Chris Falcon, a deputy clerk for the Arlington Circuit Court, defeated retiring Fairfax County Circuit Court Clerk John Frey’s chief deputy clerk and chosen successor, Gerarda Culipher, with nearly 63% of the vote. Falcon has pledged to make circuit court cases accessible through Virginia’s statewide case information system.
With Democrats set to control both the state Senate and House of Delegates, the Fairfax County Democratic Committee characterized the results as “a clear rejection of the radical Republican agenda” in favor of “abortion healthcare rights, public education, gun safety, voting rights, and more.” Read More
Vienna residents will have to wait a few more days for the results of the town’s first-ever November election.
While Mayor Linda Colbert was easily reelected in an uncontested race, the makeup of next year’s town council remains less clear, thanks to a slew of write-in votes that could determine one of the six open seats.
According to preliminary results from yesterday’s general election, all three incumbent council members in the running — Howard Springsteen, Chuck Anderson and Ray Brill — have secured new two-year terms.
Seeking an eighth term on the council that he first joined in 2009, Springsteen received 3,349 votes, or 15.78% — the most of the seven candidates on the ballot. He was closely followed by Vienna Planning Commissioner Jessica Ramakis (3,265 votes, 15.38%) and Anderson (3,248 votes, 15.3%). Rounding out the likely winners are Brill (2,807 votes, 13.22%) and Vienna Board of Architectural Review chairman Roy Baldwin (2,756 votes, 12.98%).
Officially duking it out for the final seat are Shelley Mountjoy (1,907 votes, 8.98%) — a former community college professor and creator of the Vienna Votes outreach project — and Sandra Allen (1,898, 8.94%), a budget analyst who previously ran for an at-large Fairfax County School Board seat.
However, both women trail the 1,997 write-in votes counted so far, which account for 9.4% of all votes. While it remains to be seen who all those votes were for, Vienna Transportation Safety Commission chair Beth Eachus launched a late campaign in September as a write-in candidate.
The Fairfax County Office of Elections, which manages the town’s elections, is currently tallying the votes, but the final results won’t be known until they’re certified next Tuesday (Nov. 14), according to election officials.
“The Electoral Board is ultimately responsible for determining who the votes were cast for, along with the final tally for write-in votes cast,” Fairfax County Director of Elections Eric Spicer told FFXnow. “Mail-in ballots that arrive by noon on Monday, Nov. 13 will also need to be counted. Final elections results will not be available until the Electoral Board certifies them on Tuesday.”
Per the county’s unofficial results, there were 21,227 votes cast in the town council election, with each voter allowed to mark up to six candidates. In total, 5,638 ballots were cast in Vienna’s four precincts for a roughly 45% turnout of the 12,323 registered voters in the town, election officials say.
That easily surpasses the 16.9% turnout for the last town council race in 2021, when Springsteen and fellow incumbents Steve Potter and Nisha Patel competed against then-planning commissioner David Patariu for three seats.
The Virginia General Assembly passed a law in 2021 shifting all municipal elections from May to December. The move was intended to encourage more participation and reduce administrative costs, though some Vienna elected officials worried that local issues would get overshadowed by county, state and national races.
In response to the change, the town council voted in November 2021 to eliminate the staggered terms that put three seats on the ballot at a time. Going forward, all six council seats will be up for election every two years.
Propelled by a near-sweep of races in Northern Virginia, Democrats have retaken control of the Virginia House of Delegates and retained control of the state Senate.
With a few races still to be called early Wednesday, Democrats appear to have won at least 51 seats in the 100-member House and 21 seats in the 40-member state Senate, according to results compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project. This will mark the third consecutive election that control of the House has shifted — Democrats wrested it away from Republicans in 2019 but lost it in 2021.
The final makeup of the Senate appears likely to remain very similar as Democrats currently hold a 22-18 majority. Late Tuesday night, only one Senate race was in doubt – in the Tidewater area’s 24th District. In that race, Republican Danny Diggs led incumbent Sen. Monty Mason by only 51 votes out of more than 60,000 cast — a margin that, if it holds, means the race is probably headed to a recount.
The House, meanwhile, will flip from a 52-48 Republican majority to at least a 51-49 Democratic majority, based on Tuesday’s unofficial results. Three House races, primarily in the Richmond and Tidewater areas, remained to be called early Wednesday morning.
The results are a repudiation to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, whose Spirit of Virginia PAC poured millions of dollars into key races in an effort to hold the House and win control of the Senate. Youngkin hoped that control of both houses of the General Assembly would allow him to further his legislative agenda, including banning abortions after 15 weeks, except in certain cases.
Many national observers also thought that GOP victories Tuesday could lead Youngkin to make a late entry into the 2024 presidential election.
Emphasizing the importance of the Northern Virginia suburbs, Youngkin wrapped up the campaign with a rally in Leesburg on Monday night and an appearance on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning from Manassas.
Redistricting following the 2020 Census moved more seats to rapidly growing Northern Virginia, although nearly a third of legislators statewide retired or decided not to seek reelection because they were placed into districts with fellow legislators. State and national Democrats also poured millions of dollars into the campaigns, which were the most expensive in Virginia history.
As was expected, Democrats won all the General Assembly seats in Fairfax and Arlington counties and the city of Alexandria, along with those in eastern Prince William County and eastern Loudoun County, which have become more Democratic in recent years. Read More
(Updated at 12:35 a.m. on 11/8/2023) The Democratic Party’s hold in Fairfax County remains strong, despite Republican efforts to make headway by centering issues from high taxes and “parental rights” in public education to highway tolls.
Preliminary general election results show that candidates supported by the Democrats, either officially or through endorsements, are in line to win every seat on this year’s lengthy ballot — except for Springfield District supervisor.
Seeking a fifth term on the Board of Supervisors, incumbent Pat Herrity is beating Democratic challenger Albert Vega by roughly 14 percentage points, or around 5,000 votes, as of 10:30 p.m. That would be a more comfortable victory than the one Herrity had in 2019, when he edged out Linda Sperling by just 439 votes.
If the current results hold, Herrity will once again be the only Republican on the 10-seat Board of Supervisors, and all 12 Fairfax County School Board seats, along with the county’s entire General Assembly delegation, will be held by Democrats.
Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano are on track for reelection, though about 22% of the ballots cast for the county’s top prosecutor are write-ins. While the results don’t show the names that voters put forward, a write-in campaign for Ed Nuttall — Descano’s opponent in the June Democratic primary — got endorsed by him and the Fairfax County Republican Committee.
In addition, Democrat Chris Falcon, currently the deputy court clerk in Arlington, won the circuit court clerk race with 62% of the vote, even after Republican Gerarda Culipher got endorsed by current Clerk John Frey, who’s retiring after 32 years.
The three open seats on the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District‘s five-person board of directors will also go to candidates endorsed by the Democrats. Voters also approved a $435 million school bond referendum that will fund construction and renovation projects and the installation of security vestibules.
With nearly all precincts reporting, here are the apparent winners of this year’s general election:
Board of Supervisors
- Chairman: Jeff McKay
- Braddock District: James Walkinshaw
- Dranesville District: Jimmy Bierman
- Franconia District: Rodney Lusk
- Hunter Mill District: Walter Alcorn
- Mason District: Andres Jimenez
- Mount Vernon District: Dan Storck
- Providence District: Dalia Palchik
- Springfield District: Pat Herrity
- Sully District: Kathy Smith
- At Large: Ilryong Moon, Ryan McElveen, Kyle McDaniel
- Braddock District: Rachna Sizemore Heizer
- Dranesville District: Robyn Lady
- Franconia District: Marcia St. John-Cunning
- Hunter Mill District: Melanie Meren
- Mason District: Ricardy Anderson
- Mount Vernon District: Mateo Dunne
- Providence District: Karl Frisch
- Springfield District: Sandra Anderson
- Sully District: Seema Dixit
(Updated at 2:25 p.m. on 11/7/2023) Early voting is over, and Election Day 2023 is less than 24 hours away.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday). Virginia now allows same-day registration, though those voters will cast provisional ballots that are counted and validated later by the Fairfax County Electoral Board.
Mail ballots can be placed at dropboxes at all polling sites throughout the day. They can also still be sent to the Fairfax County Office of Elections (12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323) but must arrive by noon on Monday, Nov. 13 to be counted. In addition, the voter’s year of birth and the last four digits of their social security number needs to be written on the return envelope in lieu of the previously required witness signature.
As of last Wednesday (Nov. 1), almost 9% of registered voters had voted early in person or returned a mail ballot, amounting to about 64,000 votes, according to Fairfax County election officials. Last time this election cycle came around in 2019, there were 36,584 absentee votes total and an overall 44.3% turnout.
This year’s general election is focused on local and state offices, with every Board of Supervisors, school board and General Assembly seat up for grabs. Vienna is also holding mayoral and town council elections in November for the first time.
Board of Supervisors
McKay, the incumbent, was elected in 2019 after serving as supervisor of the Franconia District — then known as Lee District — since 2008. Citing mental health services and pedestrian safety among his top priorities this year, he faces a challenge from Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance and a frequent critic of the county’s taxation and spending practices.
No Republican candidates came forward to challenge Walkinshaw, who also didn’t get pulled into the Democratic primary in June. Chief of staff for Rep. Gerry Connolly before getting elected in 2019, he is once again facing off with independent Carey Chet Campbell, a Green Party member who’s now on his sixth campaign for Braddock District supervisor.
Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, who’s retiring after four terms in office, has endorsed Bierman as his successor. The McLean resident and former Dranesville District Democratic Committee chair has identified diversifying the local economy, addressing climate change and creating “viable transportation options” as his top priorities.
Bierman is squaring off with a Livingtston Group lobbyist and former Fairfax County Republican Committee first vice chairman. Calling politicians “out of touch” and “out of control” on his website, Ahluwalia lists his key issues as property taxes, public safety, education, recreation and the pay raise approved earlier this year for the incoming board.
When he launched his reelection bid last year, Lusk told FFXnow that he hopes to continue championing affordable housing, full funding for schools, bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements and criminal justice reform.
Affordable housing is also a priority for Beran, who says he founded the advertising company Advertel. Per his campaign website, the Republican candidate is also focused on public safety, education and creating a “Great American Walk of Fame” to honor war heroes, first responders, historic figures and others along Richmond Highway, among other issues.
Welch, a longtime Springvale resident and former federal government employee, told On the MoVe that his priorities, if elected, would be “keeping the tax rate stable, improving public safety and focusing education dollars for the classroom.” Read More
(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) Marcia St. John-Cunning no longer needs to run as a write-in candidate to become the Franconia District’s next school board representative.
The former Fairfax County Public Schools interpreter and family liaison re-qualified for the general election ballot yesterday (Wednesday) after a county judge let her submit two more pages of signatures supporting her petition for candidacy.
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Richard Gardiner told Fairfax County General Registrar Eric Spicer to accept the 17 signatures “as if [they were] filed with the registrar in March 2023,” according to the order shared on Twitter shared by Bryan Grahm, chair of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, which has endorsed Marcia St. John-Cunning.
The Fairfax County Office of Elections confirmed her reinstated candidacy with a notice on its website. A spokesperson said the general registrar had no comment beyond that notice.
“We are pleased by today’s order and elated to see her reinstated as a qualified candidate for School Board,” Graham said in a statement last night. “Marcia St. John-Cunning is an exemplary candidate who has worked in our local schools and knows the families of Franconia. The Fairfax County Democratic Committee will be using the next week to ensure Marcia wins this election.”
St. John-Cunning is competing against Republican-endorsed candidate Kevin Pinkney to succeed current Franconia District Representative Tamara Derenak-Kaufax, who is retiring after 12 years on the Fairfax County School Board.
Though she obtained the Democratic endorsement without contest, St. John-Cunning faced two legal challenges by Republicans who argued that petition errors should’ve stopped Fairfax County General Registrar Eric Spicer from certifying her candidacy. A September lawsuit by the Fairfax County Republican Committee that took issue with the lack of dates by some signatures was dismissed.
However, a complaint filed by the 8th Congressional District Republican Committee and two voters in that district found traction with Gardiner, who ruled on Oct. 25 that 11 of St. John-Cunning’s submitted signatures were invalid because her address was wrong on one page of her petition.
The invalidation of those signatures left St. John-Cunning short of the 125 needed to qualify.
St. John-Cunning called the ruling “unprecedented” in an announcement on Saturday (Oct. 28) that she would run as a write-in candidate. With early voting underway since Sept. 22, more than 3,000 Franconia District voters had already cast a ballot, her campaign said.
According to the FCDC, St. John-Cunning’s legal team argued in court yesterday that the signatures should’ve been challenged before the filing deadline on Aug. 18, noting that she had gotten more signatures but didn’t submit them because the registrar said they weren’t necessary to qualify. Her candidacy was originally certified back on March 7.
In a statement, St. John-Cunning called Gardiner’s reinstatement of her candidacy “justice for the 3,000 residents who already exercised their constitutional right to vote.” Read More
(Updated at 11:10 a.m. on 10/30/2023) The Democratic-endorsed candidate for the Fairfax County School Board’s Franconia District seat has been disqualified due to an error on her petition to get on the ballot.
The Fairfax County Office of Elections has posted a notice on its website informing voters that Marcia St. John-Cunning was disqualified yesterday (Wednesday) by a Fairfax County Circuit Court order. A judge ruled that her petition was invalid because of an error in her address on its front page.
St. John-Cunning, a former Fairfax County Public Schools interpreter and family liaison, is competing against Republican-endorsed Kevin Pinkney, a lawyer, to succeed Tamara Derenak-Kaufax, who announced in January that she wouldn’t seek reelection after 12 years on the school board.
(Correction: The spelling of Kevin Pinkney’s name has been fixed.)
Though the school board races are nonpartisan, candidates can get political party endorsements. The Fairfax County Democratic Committee (FCDC) allowed registered members to vote for its endorsements for the first time this year, though St. John-Cunning’s bid for support in the Franconia District was uncontested.
The complaint that led to St. John-Cunning’s disqualification was filed by the 8th Congressional District Republican Committee and two voters in that district, who argued that Fairfax County General Registrar and Director of Elections Eric Spicer should’ve invalidated her ballot petition over the address error, Patch reported.
Judge Richard Gardiner ruled that Spicer “violated his non-discretionary ministerial duty” by not invalidating the seventh page of St. John-Cunning’s petition, according to his order.
“The pages denoted as ‘4’ in the lower right corner does not have her address on the front page,” the order said. “Therefore, this petition page and the signatures on the front and back page are invalid as a matter of law.”
Eleven signatures were deemed invalid, putting St. John-Cunning below the 125 signatures needed to get on the ballot, according to Patch.
A previous lawsuit that took issue with six signatures on her petition was dismissed.
The Fairfax County Republican Committee and an attorney for the plaintiffs praised Gardiner’s ruling as “a clear victory for the rule of law.”
“The public’s confidence in the integrity of our elections depends on the law being applied consistently to all candidates, regardless of party or position,” the attorney, Trey Mayfield, said. “It is the duty of Election Registrar and County Electoral Board to ensure that elections are managed with uniform, law-based standards. They should do so without the courts having to order them to perform those obligations.”
The FCDC, however, blasted Gardiner and the Virginia Department of Elections for disqualifying its supported candidate, stating that the ruling disenfranchises the over 3,000 Franconia District voters who’ve cast a ballot since early voting for the Nov. 7 general election began on Sept. 22. Read More
Fairfax County’s General Assembly delegation will look drastically different next year after a pivotal Democratic primary yesterday (Tuesday) that also bolstered incumbents in most county-level races.
In two upsets, Sully District school board representative Stella Pekarsky eked out a win over veteran state Sen. George Barker for the 36th District nomination, while Fairfax Young Democrats vice president Saddam Azlan Salim ousted Sen. Chap Petersen in the 37th District.
Currently in her first term on the Fairfax County School Board after getting elected in 2019, Pekarsky received 52.2% of the vote — just 662 more votes than Barker, according to unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections.
First elected in 2007, Barker was pursuing a fifth term in the state Senate. Encompassing Chantilly, Centreville and Clifton, the 36th District was created by the Virginia Supreme Court during the 2021 redistricting process and includes just a portion of Barker’s former 39th District.
In a statement, Pekarsky thanked Barker “for a hard fought campaign on the issues.”
“Our constituents benefited from the conversation and I look forward to uniting behind our shared vision of standing up for Democratic values,” she said. “I am running to stand up for public education, protect abortion access, keep our community safe from gun violence, and build a brighter future for the next generation. I look forward to sharing that message with every voter in the district leading up to November’s election.”
Pekarsky will face Republican nominee Julie Perry, a history teacher, in the general election on Nov. 7.
In the 37th District, which covers Tysons, Fairfax City, Vienna, Oakton, Falls Church and Merrifield, Salim beat Petersen by 999 votes, or 53.8%. He campaigned as a progressive alternative to the more conservative Petersen, challenging the incumbent on issues like gun violence prevention and reproductive rights.
“This was an incredible grassroots movement of constituents all across the district and we achieved this victory together,” Salim said in a statement. “I look forward to being your Democratic nominee and continuing our fight for the issues that we care about: gun violence prevention, affordable housing, reproductive rights and so much more.”
If he wins in November, when he will face Republican nominee Ken Reid, Salim will become the first Bangladeshi-American elected to Virginia’s state Senate, according to his campaign.
First elected to the House of Delegates in 2001 before moving to the Senate in 2008, Petersen presented himself as a business-friendly, “common sense” candidate. In a statement to supporters, he admitted “the results last night were not what we expected but that happens in a democracy,” congratulating Salim on earning the nomination.
“My term in office and my season in politics is coming to a close,” Petersen said. “I want to thank everyone who helped me in any way along this long and winding journey, especially over the last six months. We ran a positive campaign for re-election based on my past record as a Senator. It didn’t work this time and I bear all responsibility.”
Notably, Petersen and Barker both significantly outraised their challengers, reporting over $1 million each in campaign contributions, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. In comparison, Salim raised just $188,653, and Pekarsky got a total of $639,435.
The Democratic nominees in the other General Assembly races on the primary ballot are:
- Senate District 33: Jennifer Carroll Foy
- Senate District 35: State Sen. David Marsden, seeking to replace Dick Saslaw, one of several retiring state legislators who represent parts of Fairfax County
- House District 7: At-large school board member Karen Keys-Gamarra
- House District 15: Springfield District school board representative Laura Jane Cohen
- House District 19: Rozia Henson Jr., though Fairfax County voters favored Makya Little by 38 votes in the mostly Prince William County-focused district
(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).