Early voting for the 2023 Democratic primary begins today (Friday) in Fairfax County with a number of notable races on the ballot.
Three locations in the county will open this morning for early in-person voting on weekdays through June 17.
Those include the Fairfax County Government Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as well as the Mount Vernon Government Center and North County Governmental Center, both open from 1-7 p.m.
Voting will also be available on two Saturdays — June 10 and 17 — from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at all three locations.
Starting June 10, 12 government centers and libraries will be open for in-person voting from 1-7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on those two Saturdays (June 10 and 17) as well:
- Burke Centre Library (5935 Freds Oak Road)
- Centreville Regional Library (14200 St. Germain Drive)
- Franconia Governmental Center (6121 Franconia Road)
- Great Falls Library (9830 Georgetown Pike)
- Herndon-Fortnightly Library (768 Center Street)
- Lorton Community Center (9520 Richmond Highway)
- Mason Governmental Center (6507 Columbia Pike)
- McLean Governmental Center (1437 Balls Hill Road)
- Providence Community Center (3001 Vaden Drive)
- Sully Governmental Center (4900 Stonecroft Blvd)
- Thomas Jefferson Library (7415 Arlington Blvd)
- Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike)
- West Springfield Governmental Center (6140 Rolling Road)
There are also ballot dropboxes at the Fairfax County Governmental Center for those who requested an absentee ballot by mail. One box is inside the complex, and one is outside near the handicapped parking spaces.
Curbside voting will be available for residents who are 65 and older or have a physical disability.
Perhaps the most hotly contested race on the primary ballot is for Fairfax County commonwealth’s attorney, with incumbent Steve Descano facing a challenge from prosecutor-turned-defense attorney Ed Nuttall.
In a recent radio talk, Descano accused Nuttall of associating with “MAGA, antisemitic conspiracy theorists,” while Nuttall retorted by calling Descano a “liar” and “incompetent.”
While both are running as Democrats, they have shared differing positions, methods, and visions for the office. No Republican challenger for the seat has emerged.
The Democratic nomination for county sheriff is also up for grabs between incumbent Stacey Kincaid and Herndon High School football coach (and former D.C. police officer) Kelvin Garcia. Kincaid was the county’s first female sheriff when she took office a decade ago. Garcia is positioning himself as a more progressive option.
Elsewhere in local races, all Board of Supervisors seats are up for election in November, but only two incumbents are on the primary ballot: Chairman Jeff McKay, who has been challenged by retired CIA staffer Lisa Downing, and Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck, who is facing off with Maritza Zermeño.
Other contests feature newcomers seeking to challenge or succeed incumbents:
- Dranesville District — With John Foust retiring, the candidates are Jimmy Bierman, former chair of the Dranesville District Democratic Committee, and David Fiske, a McLean Citizens Association board member
- Mason District — Four candidates are vying to replace retiring Penny Gross, including Planning Commissioner Andres Jimenez, Rep. Don Beyer staffer Jeremy Allen, Steve Lee, and Reid Voss.
- Springfield District — Albert Vega and John Nowadly are vying in the primary to take on incumbent Pat Herrity, the only Republican on the board
The Fairfax County School Board isn’t on this primary ballot since candidates must run as independents. However, today is the last day to register to participate in the Fairfax County Democratic Committee endorsement caucus. This is the first time the FCDC is opening the process up to all registered voters.
On the state side, every seat in the Virginia General Assembly is up for election this year. The impacts of redistricting and a number of veteran lawmakers not running again have set the stage for a unique year in terms of open seats.
- House District 7 — Four candidates look to fill the seat long held by the retiring Ken Plum, including at-large school board member Karen Keys-Gamarra, Paul Berry, Shyamali Roy Hauth and Mary Barthelson
- House District 15 — Springfield District school board representative Laura Jane Cohen, software company founder Eric Schmidt and teacher Dr. Henri’ Thompson
- House District 19 — Woodbridge residents Rozia “J.R.” Henson, Mayka Little, and Natalie Shorter. While most of the district lies in Prince William County, about 38% of it is in Fairfax County.
- Senate District 33 — Former lieutenant governor candidate Hala Ayala is facing off against former gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Carrol Foy in a high-profile race
- Senate District 35 — State Sen. Dave Marsden and nonprofit worker Heidi Drauschak compete to succeed the retiring Dick Saslaw
- Senate District 36 — Sully District School Board Representative Stella Pekarsky is challenging incumbent George Barker
- Senate District 37 — The primary pits “old-fashioned” incumbent Chap Petersen against “progressive” challenger Saddam Azlan Salim
The Democratic primary will be held June 20, when dozens of polling places will open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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