Arlington County Board member Barbara A. Favola easily defeated a fellow Democrat, lawyer Jaime Areizaga-Soto, in a race to fill an open Senate seat that includes parts of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties.
“People would rather have candidates talk about issues that are important to them, and that’s what I tried to do in my campaign,” said Favola, dismissing talk that her campaign was too negative.
Areizaga-Soto called Favola to concede, but in an interview later, he would not say whether he would encourage his supporters to vote for her in November.
Jeffrey M. Frederick, ousted leader of the Republican Party of Virginia and a former delegate, decisively won a hard-fought race against Tito Munoz — a small-business owner dubbed “Tito the Builder” by Sarah Palin — in a primary for a Senate seat in Fairfax and Prince William.
“We’ve got strong momentum going into the general, but we still have a tough race on our hands,” said Frederick, who faces Sen. Linda T. “Toddy” Puller (D) in November.
In the House of Delegates, Alfonso Lopez, the state’s onetime federal lobbyist, overwhelmingly defeated Stephanie Clifford, formerly of the Podesta Group, in a race all but decided Tuesday because no Republican is running.
Lopez said he would spend the next two months helping other Democrats campaign. “I’m so excited about the possibility of being a strong representative down in Richmond,” he said.
Northern Virginia, the state’s economic and population center, has more legislative primaries — six for Senate and three for the House — than any other region in the state.
Fifty jurisdictions held elections Tuesday, many for local races, including Arlington,
Prince William counties.
A 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook Virginia appears to have had little effect on the balloting.
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said at a news conference in Richmond that he did not have the legal authority to extend voting hours and that he did not see a reason to cancel or postpone the voting.
“We don’t believe any voter has been deprived of their vote,” McDonnell said.
Election officials said that turnout was low but that was not unexpected for an election in prime vacation season and in an off-year when no federal or statewide candidates are on the ballot.
The primary was moved from June to August after the General Assembly drew new maps to bring the 140 districts of the Democratic-controlled Senate and Republican-held House into alignment with population shifts detailed in the 2010 Census.
Republicans are in a battle to take control of the Senate, where Democrats hold a 22-to-18 majority, and hope to pick up a handful of seats in the House.
If they are successful, it would be the second time since Reconstruction that the party held the governor’s mansion, House and Senate at the same time in Virginia.