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2019 Virginia Primary Guide

With all 140 General Assembly seats on the ballot this fall, and a number of critical races for local office, many Northern Virginia voters have some key decisions to make Tuesday.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 11. Voters must bring photo ID. Otherwise, voters can cast a provisional ballot that only counts if a copy of a valid ID is provided in the days immediately following the election.

Voters can also cast absentee ballots in person at specific locations in their localities through Saturday, June 8. Any absentee ballots sent through the mail must be received by elections officials before polls close in order for the ballot to count.

All registered voters in areas with multiple primaries are eligible to vote in the party primary of their choice Tuesday since Virginia voters do not register by party, but voters can only vote either a Democratic or Republican ballot, not both.



Not all Virginia voters have primaries Tuesday, since some candidates ran unopposed for their party’s nomination or had their nominations set through other means, such as party caucuses, conventions or firehouse primaries.

Races identified below generally only include candidates on the ballot Tuesday, not all candidates who will be on the general election ballot in November.

The battle for control of the General Assembly is expected to dominate November’s races, since Republicans currently hold only slight majorities in each chamber.

Key local races Tuesday

In Fairfax County, the first Democratic primary in decades for county Board of Supervisors chair tops the local government races.

Four candidates — Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, at-large school board member Ryan McElveen, Georgetown Law professor Alicia Plerhoples and developer Tim Chapman — are running to represent the county’s 1.1 million residents. Each would see himself or herself as the favorite in November against Republican Joe Galdo.

The chair’s race is even more significant given the massive turnover on the Board of Supervisors, with five seats set to change hands due to retirements and McKay’s decision to run for chairman.

In the Braddock District, the Democratic primary pits James Walkinshaw, the former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, against data analyst and activist Irma Corado.

In the Hunter Mill District, the crowded field features environmental expert Walter Alcorn, lawyer Laurie Dodd, Air Force veteran Shyamali Hauth, Comstock Companies executive Maggie Parker and Parker Messick.

In the Providence District, the Democratic primary includes school board member Dalia Palchik, Planning Commissioner Phil Niedzielski-Eichner, former Vienna Town Councilor Edythe Kelleher, court officer Erika Yalowitz and technology consultant Linh Hoang.

In the Lee District, lawyer and Melwood chief of staff Larysa Kautz, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority National Marketing Director Rodney Lusk, Planning Commissioner James Migliaccio and lawyer Kelly Hebron are the Democratic candidates.

Loudoun County has a single Democratic primary for supervisor — lawyer Ibrahim Moiz challenging Supervisor Koran Saines.

Prince William County Democrats are also picking a number of nominees for supervisor.

In the Coles District, Raheel Sheikh and LT Pridgen are vying for the nod.

In the Neabsco District, new supervisor Victor Angry is being challenged by Aracely Panameno.

In the Occoquan District, Kenny Boddye and A.C.E. Edmond are on the ballot.

In the Woodbridge District, Margaret Franklin is challenging Supervisor Frank Principi.

Prosecutors, sheriffs also on ballot

Primaries for commonwealth’s attorney — the top prosecutor — are unusually heated in Fairfax and Arlington, with a significant focus on what additional changes are needed for the criminal justice system as a whole.

The Democratic primary in Fairfax County and Fairfax City features Steve Descano challenging incumbent Ray Morrogh. In Arlington County and Falls Church, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti is challenging incumbent Theo Stamos.

Both challengers want to further reduce the number of criminal prosecutions that land people in jail.

In Prince William County, Democrats are picking their candidate to replace long-time prosecutor Paul Ebert.

There are also Democratic races for sheriff in Loudoun County and Prince William County, a clerk’s race in Alexandria, and Republican races in Fauquier County for commissioner of revenue and sheriff.

School board seats are technically nonpartisan, so there are no primaries. Local parties have endorsed candidates through separate processes.

General Assembly races

In the 13th Senate District, based in Loudoun County, Supervisor Ron Meyer and Supervisor Geary Higgins are squaring off for the Republican nomination to replace retiring hard-line conservative Sen. Dick Black.

In the 87th House District, which covers parts of Loudoun and Prince William counties, four Democrats are running for the nomination for the seat being left open by Del. John Bell, who is running for the 13th District Senate seat.

In the 31st Senate District, based in Arlington County, Nicole Merlene is running a hard-charging campaign against incumbent Sen. Barbara Favola.

Del. Alfonso Lopez faces a similar challenge in the Arlington-based 49th House District from JD Spain.

In the 35th Senate District, covering parts of Fairfax County, Alexandria and Falls Church, Senate Democratic leader Dick Saslaw faces a sharp challenge from Yasmine Taeb and Karen Elena Torrent.

In the 33rd District, which includes parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties, Sen. Jennifer Boysko, who won a special election to replace now-U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton, is being challenged by Sharafat Hussain.

In the 28th Senate District, representing parts of Stafford, Prince William, Spotsylvania, King George and Westmoreland counties, Qasim Rashid and Laura Sellers are seeking the Democratic nod.

In the 50th House District, in the Manassas area, Del. Lee Carter, a Democratic Socialist, is being challenged by Manassas City Councilman Mark Wolfe in the Democratic primary.

Longtime Del. Luke Torian is being challenged in the 52nd House District in Prince William County by Kevin Wade, who was under fire in April over a racist video shared on Facebook.

In the 17th Senate District, representing Spotsylvania, Orange, Albermarle, Louisa and Culpeper counties and Fredericksburg, Amy Laufer and Ben Hixon are running for the Democratic nomination. Republican Sen. Bryce Reeves faces his own primary challenge there from Rich Breeden.

In the same area, Del. Bob Thomas is facing a challenge from former Stafford County Supervisor Paul Milde. Thomas recently drew attention for his support of tight abortion bans; Milde has challenged Thomas as not being conservative enough after Thomas backed Medicaid expansion.

Thomas won election two years ago by just a few dozen votes in a general election race that was disputed due to voters being assigned to the wrong districts. He is also a former supervisor. Thomas has attacked Milde for tax issues and a 1980s drug conviction.

In the 24th Senate District, which is based in Augusta County but stretches east into Culpeper County, Sen. Emmet Hanger is facing a challenge from the right from Tina Freitas, the wife of Del. Nick Freitas.

In the 38th House District, Del. Kaye Kory, of Falls Church, is being challenged by Andres Jimenez in the Democratic primary.

In the 88th District, covering Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fauquier counties and part of Fredericksburg, Jess Foster and Kecia Evans are running for the Democratic nomination.

Outside of the WTOP area, races drawing significant attention include former Del. Joe Morrissey’s challenge to incumbent Sen. Rosalyn Dance in the Richmond area. Morrissey commuted to the General Assembly from jail after being convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for his apparent relationship with his 17-year-old receptionist, who is now his wife. Morrissey is still appealing the most recent loss of his law license. He is a former prosecutor and defense lawyer.

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