It would be tough to imagine a better night than Nov. 5 was for local Democrats.

Candidates backed by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee secured all but one of the 10 seats on the county’s Board of Supervisors, had a strong showing in the School Board race and beat back an independent challenger for commonwealth’s attorney.

Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee), who was elected Board of Supervisors chairman, was ebullient as he addressed supporters at the party’s victory party at the Elks Lodge in Merrifield.

“What a great night in Fairfax!” he said. “What you’re looking at up here on this stage is One Fairfax, one community that wins together. We don’t divide our community, we lift up everyone and when we do, we win.”

Here are the unofficial results, rounded to the nearest decimal:


McKay defeated Republican Joseph Galdo to succeed Sharon Bulova (D) as Board of Supervisors chairman. McKay earned 194,758 votes (66.5 percent), Galdo got 97,355 (33.2 percent) and there were 997 write-in ballots cast.

Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) earned a fourth term with 23,094 votes (65.1 percent), which beat the 12,282 votes (34.6 percent) obtained by Republican challenger Ed Martin.

School Board member Dalia Palchik (Providence District) won the race to succeed retiring Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence). Palchik received 20,991 votes (70.1 percent) compared to 8,775 votes (29,3 percent) for Republican Eric Jones. Palchik’s initial opponent in the race, Republican Paul Bolon, died of a heart attack Aug. 11.

The first Latina ever elected to the board, Palchik said her top priority would be to expand the county’s inventory of workforce housing.

Democrat Walter Alcorn ran unopposed and received 30,257 votes (94.5 percent) in his bid to succeed retiring Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill). As they often do in uncontested races, voters felt more free to cast write-in ballots, in this case 1,769 (5.5 percent).

Supervisor Kathy Smith (D-Sully) won 22,259 votes (62.9 percent) to beat Republican challenger Srilekha Palle, who received 13,064 votes (36.9 percent).


In the race for three at-large School Board seats, Democrat-endorsed candidates Abrar Omeish, Karen Keys-Gamarra and Rachna Heizer beat GOP-endorsed candidates Cheryl Buford, Vinson Palathingal and Priscilla DeStefano. Omeish received 161,034 votes (20 percent), Keys-Gamarra 178,276 (22.2 percent), Heizer 155,101 (19.3 percent), Buford 111,515 (13.9 percent), Palathingal 86,766 (10.8 percent) and DeStefano 109,435 (13.6 percent).

Democrat-endorsed candidate Elaine Tholen won a three-way race to succeed retiring School Board member Jane Strauss (Dranesville District). Tholen earned 20,676 votes (58.7 percent) to GOP-endorsed Anastasia Karloutsos’ 12,613 votes (35.8 percent) and independent candidate Ardavan Mobasheri’s 1,868 (5.3 percent).

In the race for the Providence District seat left by the departing Palchik, Democrat-endorsed candidate Karl Frisch earned 18,440 votes (62.3 percent) to defeat GOP-endorsed Andrea Bayer, who received  11,003 votes (37.2 percent).

In Hunter Mill District, Democrat-endorsed Melanie Meren defeated Laura Drain to succeed School Board member Pat Hynes, who did not seek re-election. Meren received 25,375 votes (69.9 percent) and Drain got 10,827 (29.8 percent).


Democrat Steve Descano earned 180,795 votes (61.3 percent) to defeat independent candidate Jonathan Fahey, who received 113,118 votes (38.4 percent). Descano will succeed longtime incumbent Raymond Morrogh (D), whom he defeated in a June primary.

“When people thought that this was a crazy idea, that we would never change a criminal-justice system that had been stagnant for over five decades, everybody in this room said ‘No, we’re going to do it,’” he said. “This is about big ideas. This is about putting Fairfax County on the right side of history . . . You all understood that we didn’t have to choose between safety and justice. We could have a criminal-justice system that treated every single person fairly, regardless of the color of their skin, how much money they made, where they lived or who they were. ”


Incumbent Sheriff Stacey Kincaid (D) received 218,391 votes (78.3 percent) to defeat independent challenger Christopher DeCarlo, who won 57,272 votes (20.5 percent).


County voters again backed the school system’s bond package, which this time was for $360 million worth of capital-improvement projects. Voters passed the bond referendum with 225,313 votes (77.2 percent).


Longtime state Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) received 33,795 votes (70.4 percent) to defeat Republican challenger Arthur Purves, who earned 14,138 votes (29.5 percent).

Purves was not pleased with the GOP’s results that night.

“Republicans have lost the initiative on the issues,” he said. “Democrats have filled the void with Trump, abortion, climate change and gun control.”

State Sens. Richard Saslaw (D-35th), Barbara Favola (D-31st) and Chap Petersen (D-34th) ran unopposed and received 26,754 (92.5 percent), 12,935 (86.8 percent) and 35,102 votes (91.2 percent), respectively.


Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34th) received 10,004 votes (56.7 percent) to defeat Republican challenger Gary Pan, who earned 7,630 votes (43.2 percent).

Dels. Mark Keam (D-35th), Marcus Simon (D-53rd) and Rip Sullivan (D-48th) ran unopposed and received 17,114 (92.7 percent), 12,796 (93.4 percent) and 6,621 votes (92.1 percent), respectively. The rest of the votes were write-ins.

Statewide, Democrats picked up majorities in the state Senate and House of Delegates.

Del. Vivian Watts (D-39th), who defeated Republican challenger Nick Bell, predicted Democrats in the General Assembly next year would act on “a number of bills that have been bottled up forever,” including ones on firearm safety, the environment and redistricting.

“It is crucial that it’s all about non-partisan redistricting, so that we really have the kind of redistricting that keeps communities together, that doesn’t use power for power’s sake, that really makes sure voters have the choices they’re supposed to have,” Watts said.

Regarding environmental legislation, “there are a number of things that we want to keep on pushing – green energy, the issues of carbon emission, making sure that wind power and solar power are really brought online, not just in theory,” she said.

U.S. Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-11th) was delighted with the Democrats’ gains, whether locally, statewide or nationally.

“I’m old enough to remember when Fairfax was a Republican place and I always say to people, you know how you build a majority? Stop whispering and you start proclaiming,” he said “Proclaim progressive values. Proclaim you’re a proud Democrat.”


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