Northern Virginians trickled to the polls yesterday and renominated all the region's incumbent state legislative and local government officeholders, including two Democrats who fought off vigorous challengers.
There were few surprises in what was regarded as one of the liveliest primary contests in Virginia suburbs.
In the bitterest race, State Sen. Charles L. Waddell (D-Loudoun) crushed an agressive challenge from Del. Raymond E. Vickery Jr. (D-Fairfax), easily defeating the three-term House of Delegates member with 60.7 percent of the scant 9,963 votes cast.
Campaigning on the issue of effectiveness in office, Vickery pulled a strong majority of the votes in western Fairfax County but not enough to match the overwhelming support for Waddell in Loudoun County.
Another acrimonious battle between two Democrats took place in Arlington County, where Commonwealth's Attorney William S. Burroughs Jr. narrowly edged out challenger John W. Purdy.
In the sheriff's primary in Fairfax County, the favored candidate of outgoing, controversial Sheriff James D. Swinson, M. Wayne Huggins, won the Republican nomination. He will face Kenneth Wilson, the winner of yesterday's Democratic race, in November.
Primary contests over seats in the State Senate yielded a surprising win by newcomer John Thoburn, the 22-year-old son of ultraconservative Del. Robert Thoburn (R-Fairfax). Thoburn defeated former Virginia secretary of the commonwealth Cynthia Newman, receiving 54 percent of the 3,134 votes cast. He will face Senate majority leader Adelard L. Brault (D-Fairfax) in November.
Less surprising was Del. Richard Saslaw's (D-Fairfax) win over Jean Packard, former Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman, in a Democratic nomination race to replace retiring State Sen. Omer Hirst. Saslaw, a favorite of many party regulars, received 60 percent of the 4,419 votes cast.
Two former Republican members of the House of Delegates, James Tate and James Dillard, won their bids to return to the legislature. Tate easily defeated three other GOP Senate candidates to face Saslaw in November's general election.
Dillard was one of five Republicans who won their party's nomination for House seats representing southern Fairfax County. In the nine-way race, GOP incumbents Warren E. Barry, Robert E. Harris and Thoburn were also nominated along with Lawrence D. Pratt.
In other House races, Democratic incumbent Del. Gladys Keating led her party's ticket in southern Fairfax. Also nominated were Jane M. King, David L. Temple Jr., Beverly J. Schwarz and Charles E. Kaufman.
Northern Fairfax County's House race among Democrats resulted in the nomination of incumbent Dels. Dorothy McDiarmid and Kenneth Plum along with Barbara Weiss, Dean Brundage and Gary Eklund. Republicans nominated incumbent Dels. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. and Martin Perper along with John Buckley, John Rust and Peter Scott.
In the only major loss by an incumbent elsewhere in Virginia, Southside banker Richard Holland defeated freshman State Sen. J. Lewis Rawls, a Suffolk Democrat, in a primary contest.
Burroughs, who received 52 percent of the vote to Purdy's 48 percent, said he won despite "the negative impact of inaccurate media reporting" of his handling of a controversial double murder case against former real estate agent Richard Lee Earman.
Purdy, 48, a lawyer and senior Democrat on the Arlington County Board, charged that Burroughs had botched the prosecution of Earman and said that the case was "an embarrassment to Arlington County."
Burroughs, who vigorously defended his handling of the case, charged that Purdy lacked the courtroom experience necessary for the $44,500 year job.
"I'm surprised," said Purdy last night of his defeat. Purdy added that because of what he called "deliberate distortions" of his courtroom experience in Burroughs' literature, he would refuse to support Burroughs in the November general election.
Burroughs will face his former chief assistant, Republican-backed Henry E. Hudson, 31, in that race.
In the acrimonious race among five men to replace retiring Fairfax County Sheriff Swinson, the sheriff's chosen successor , Huggins, won the Republican nomination and Wilson, recently retired deputy chief of the Fairfax police department, won the Democratic nomication.
Huggins, 30, a former Virginia state trooper who served for the last year as Swinson's chief deputy in the controversy-plagued sheriff's department, soundly defeated Myron L. (Bud) Greenquist and Howard L. Miller. Huggins received 49 percent of the vote compared to Greenquist's 30 percent and Miller's 19 percent.
Wilson, 46, who had the support of many Democratic officials in the county, carried more than 60 percent of the vote and defeated Terry C. Armstrong, a former corrections officer with the District of Columbia.
In the closest of four races for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Betsy W. Hinkle, 60, socred 113-vote victory over Nancy L. Shands and won the Domocratic nomination in the Mason District to replace retiring Supervisor Alan H. Magazine. Hinkle, the editor of the weekly Springfield Independent, had the support of Magazine and most Democratic party workers in Mason.
The only incumbent supervisor challenged in yesterday's primary. Marie B. Travesky (R-Springfield), defeated Harry L. Bedsworth in a race much closer than had been expected. Travesky, a one-term incumbent, received 55 percent of the vote to 45 percent for Bedsworth, who owns a real estate company.
In Mount Vernon, Sandra L. Duckworth, 42, easily won the Democratic nomination to seek the seat held by Warren I. Cikins, who is retiring. Duckworth, a Virginia Democratic National Committee member, defeated Charles E. Coe with 85 percent of the vote.
In Providence District, Republican Gwendalyn F. Cody, 57, overwhelmingly defeated two relatively unknown candidates and won with 62 percent of the vote. Cody, a longtime party worker in Providence, will face incumbent Democrat James M. Scott this fall.
In the Alexandria Democratic primary to select two House of Delegates nominees, consumer activist Nancy Bennett and environmentalist attorney Bernard Cohen received 35.3 percent and 33.4 percent of the 5,421 votes cast, respectively, to win over businessman Joseph Guiffre.
Guiffre, who spent an estimated $6,000 on the race, narrowly trailed with 31.2 percent of the vote. His loss was considered an upset because Bennett has not been involved in Alexandria politics for years and Cohen did virtually no campaigning.
Republican Barry Poretz easily won his party's nomination for Alexandria commonwealth's attorney, defeating Kenneth Foran. Poretz, who received 64.6 percent of the 1,677 votes cast in that race compared to 35.3 percent for Foran, will face incumbent Democratic prosecutor John E. Kloch in November. CAPTION: Picture 1, CHARLES L. WADDELL; Picture 2, WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS JR., State Sen. Waddell and Arlington County's prosecutor won hard-fought races.