Democrat Ralph Northam clenched victory over Republican Ed Gillespie in the competitive race to become Virginia’s 73rd governor Tuesday — statewide results that echoed locally in a bellwether race watched around the nation as judgment on President Donald Trump.
Democrats swept statewide offices, including the lieutenant governor and attorney general. In the Hunter Mill District, Northam won in every precinct with 61 percent of all votes – slightly below the countywide average of 67 percent and above the statewide return of 54 percent. Northam took 30,201 of the 49,788 ballots cast while Gillespie grasped 45 percent of the vote. The tightest race was in the Colvin Precinct where Northam won by a 59 percent to 40 percent margin over Gillespie, who took 54 percent of the total vote statewide.
Democrat Justin Fairfax won over Republican state Sen. Jill Vogel in the race for lieutenant governor while Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring was reelected over Republican John Adams.
Overall, voters took to the polls in greater numbers this year. Turnout in the Hunter Mill District was just under 50 percent, roughly six percentage points below the statewide voter turnout of 56 percent.
The Flint Hill precinct reported the highest turnout at nearly 66 percent. The lowest turnout was reported at the McNair precinct where turnout rested at a mum 45 percent compared to the district-wide average of 60 percent.
Voters also passed a measure that would approve the sale of $315 million in bonds to fund school improvement projects throughout the county. The measure passed with 73 percent of the total vote. Locally, the funds would allow the county to move forward on renovations to one modular buildings; additions to three county high schools; renovations to 10 elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools; and the construction of two new elementary schools.
Democrat Ken Plum, Reston’s current delegate, will also continue serving as the local delegate for the 36th district. Plum, who worked for roughly 20 years as a public school teacher an administrator prior to his role in politics, ran in an uncontested race.
Photo by Fatimah Waseem.
Here’s a list of what Restonians can expect to see on their ballot this Tuesday, Nov. 7, as well as information on where to find your polling place.
What’s On The Ballot?
Governor of Virginia: Virginia is a one-term-only state when it comes to its governors. Therefore, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is on his way out, and a number of candidates are vying for your vote to take his place. According to the Washington Post, as of Monday, Nov. 6, the race is neck-in-neck.
The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:
Libertarian Cliff Hyra – A 34-year-old patent attorney from Richmond, Virginia. This is his first bid for a public office.
Republican Ed Gillespie – A 56-year-old former strategist for House Republicans, former chair of the Republican National Committee, and White House advisor to the George W. Bush administration. Has worked as a lobbyist and political consultant, and ran against Virginia Senator Mark Warner in 2014.
Democrat Ralph Northam – At 56 years old, Northam is the current lieutenant governor to Gov. McAuliffe. Served as an Army doctor for American troops during Operation Desert Storm, and came home to start his own medical practice as a pediatric neurologist after.
Lieutenant Governor – Two candidates are running to replace Ralph Northam as Virgnia’s lieutenant governor, a role which often presides over the State Senate, and has the power to break tie votes.
The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:
Republican Jill Vogel – From Fauquier County, has served as a state senator since 2008 in a district that stretches from Loudoun County to Fauquier County to Winchester. Previously started her own law firm as an ethics attorney. She served as a Department of Energy lawyer under George W. Bush and has served as legal counsel to the Republican National Committee.
Justin Fairfax – A federal prosecutor from Annandale in Fairfax County, who has worked on many drug and violent crime cases. He ran for state attorney general in 2013, and ran Senator Mark Warner’s re-election campaign in 2014. He has worked in Virginia’s legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
Attorney General – The race for attorney general is between the current attorney general, Democrat Mark Herring, and his opponent, Republican John Adams.
Republican John Adams – John Adams served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, having graduated from the Virginia Military Institute. He also earned a law degree from University of Virginia, and has made a career as an attorney at a Richmond law firm.
Democrat Mark Herring (Incumbent) – Herring has served as the state attorney general under Gov. McAuliffe since 2014. Prior to that, he served as a state senator representing Fairfax and Loudoun counties, served on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, and ran his own small private law practice in Loudoun County for 20 years. As attorney general, Herring has made a name for himself opposing Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage and challenging President Donald Trump’s first immigration ban.
Virginia House of Delegates – All 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for election. Fifty-five of those seats are contested.
Reston’s current Delegate, Democrat Ken Plum, is running without opposition in this election. Plum is currently serving his 36th year as the local Delegate for the 36th District, which includes Reston. Prior to his political appointment, he served for roughly 20 years as a public school teacher and administrator. Plum recently commented on his unopposed race for re-election in his weekly commentary.
2017 Public Schools Bond Referendum – Also on Tuesday’s ballot will be Fairfax County’s 2017 Public Schools Bond Referendum.
The Board of Supervisors has asked residents to approve the sale of $315 million in bonds. If approved, the county has published a list of school improvement projects they would use the money to pay for. Highlights include:
- Plan and/or construct two new elementary schools – one in the Fairfax/Oakton area, and one in the Northwest part of the county.
- Relocate one modular building
- Plan additions for three county high schools – Madison, Stuart and West Potomac, to allow for increased student populations.
- Plan and/or construct renovations at a total of 10 elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools within the county.
More specific details about the school improvement project plans is available online.
How do I find my polling place?
If you’re not sure where your assigned polling place is, you can enter your address into the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Residents should note that there are a total of 243 polling places throughout the state, and several of them have been changed since the last election, so you may not be voting in the same place you did last time.
The polls will be open this Tuesday, Nov. 7 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Virginia voters should remember to bring their photo identification with them.