WASHINGTON — Republican voters in Prince William County backed Corey Stewart in his bid for the party’s nomination for Virginia governor on Tuesday, but their support wasn’t enough to lift the Board of Supervisors chair over front-runner Ed Gillespie.
Stewart, a conservative whose campaign was marked by his brash rhetoric and unabashed support for President Donald Trump, lost the support of fellow Prince William County elected officials because of his focus on preserving the state’s Confederate monuments and the use of the Confederate battle flag at events. He repeatedly attacked Gillespie for not defending the images of the state’s past.
But that didn’t sway voters in his home county, who cast 60 percent of their votes for Stewart, with all precincts reporting. Manassas and Manassas Park also supported Stewart.
He pledged to fight on and didn’t concede as he stood before his supporters at an election night party in Woodbridge.
“We’ve been backing down too long in defense of our culture, of our heritage and our country,” he said. “For the last several months we have been fighting. That fight will continue. I will continue to fight with you as long as you continue to fight with me.”
Trailing by less than 5,000 votes, Stewart said his campaign would look into whether a recount was possible. However, Gillespie’s margin of victory over Stewart was greater than 1 percent, the threshold that allows candidates to request a recount in Virginia.
“We really don’t know how it’s going to turn out,” Stewart said.
Meanwhile, Gillespie, in Richmond, called on supporters of Stewart and state Sen. Frank Wagner to join his campaign.
Northern Virginia’s other suburbs supported Gillespie. In Fairfax County, Gillespie’s home county and the largest jurisdiction in the state, the former National Republican Committee chair won with almost 48 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting.
On the Democratic side, Alexandria resident Tom Perriello didn’t win the progressive city, losing to opponent and statewide winner Ralph Northam. The Norfolk resident took all of the region’s communities by sizable margins.
Perriello, a former congressman who represented the Charlottesville area, was running neck and neck with Northam, the state’s sitting lieutenant governor, heading into Election Day. The two Democrats differed little on policies, and both pledged to resist Trump’s policies if elected.
Despite the 90-degree heat, turnout was about 18 percent in Northern Virginia — that’s higher than the 10 percent turnout typically seen in Virginia’s off-year governor’s contests. Democrats in the region drove the higher turnout — choosing among crowded fields in seven contested House of Delegates primaries in addition to competitive races for lieutenant governor and governor.
Fauquier County Republican Jill Vogel won the GOP nomination with support from Northern Virginia’s suburbs. Democratic nominee Justin Fairfax won most of the region’s communities however Loudoun and Prince William county voters backed his opponent Susan Platt. Gene Rossi, a career prosecutor from Alexandria, came in a distant third.
Among House of Delegates candidates, Del. Jackson Miller won his Republican primary race. The incumbent ran uncontested after Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish pulled out of the race in the 50th District.
Republican Bob Thomas, a Stafford County supervisor, won a three-way primary race in the 28th District. He’ll face Democrat Joshua Cole in November for the chance to succeed retiring House Speaker Bill Howell.
Ten votes separate Democrats Jennifer Carroll Foy and Joshua King, who were running for the open seat in the 2nd District. The winner will face Republican Laquan Austion in November for the chance to represent the district that includes parts of Prince William and Stafford counties. Del. Mark Dudenhefer opted not to seek re-election.
Danica Roem topped a field of four Democrats seeking the nomination in the 13th District. The transgender reporter will face veteran Del. Bob Marshall, one of the state’s most conservative legislators, in the November general election.
Democrat Elizabeth Guzman has won the 31st District primary for the chance to challenge incumbent Scott Lingamfelter in the fall.
Tia Walbridge won her race in the 33rd District, which includes parts of Clarke, Frederick and Loudoun counties. She beat Mavis Taintor in the Democratic primary and will run against incumbent David LaRock in the fall.
In the 42nd District, Kathy Tran beat Tilly Blanding in the Democratic primary. Tran will face Republican Lolita Mancheno-Smoak in the race for the open Fairfax County seat. Del. David Albo chose not to run for re-election.
In the 51st District, Democrats in the Prince William County-based district selected Hala Ayala as their nominee for delegate. She’ll face incumbent Rich Anderson, a Republican, in November.
Karrie Delaney will run as the Democratic nominee in the 67th District. She beat two other candidates for the chance to represent the Fairfax and Loudoun County district. She’ll face incumbent Jim LeMunyon in November.
WTOP’s Michelle Basch and Max Smith contributed to this report.
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