31st state Senate race

Nicole Merlene (left) challenged state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) in the June 2019 Democratic primary.

It may not have been a slam-dunk performance, but state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) has beaten back a Democratic primary challenge by Nicole Merlene.

Favola was leading handily as the votes rolled in across the district, which includes portions of Arlington, McLean, Great Falls and a sliver of northeastern Loudoun County. With more than 90 percent of the vote in at 8:45 p.m., she had about 61 percent of the vote.

The two-term legislator, who previously had served on the Arlington County Board, survived criticism from Merlene that she used her position as a legislator to aid her private career as a consultant.

Favola was first elected to the upper house of the legislature in 2011, first winning a primary race against Jaime Areizaga-Soto. In that general election, Favola easily won what had been anticipated to be a close race against Republican Caren Merrick.

Favola did not face a significant re-election threat in 2015.

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