Alfonso Lopez carried the Democratic primary in the very blue 49th House District (Arlington-Fairfax), with 65 percent of the vote (with 73 percent of the precincts reporting), which means he will win the seat since the Republicans have not fielded a candidate to oppose him in the Nov. 8 general election
Until then Lopez said he would help other Democrats campaign and fundraise.
“I'm so excited about how all our volunteers came out and how our campaign was run, and I'm so excited about the possibility of being a strong representative down in Richmond," said Lopez, who was appointed by President Obama to the Small Business Administration and who was the state's top lobbyist in Washington under former governor Tim Kaine (D).
Lopez said he nearly slept through his own victory party -- exhausted from the final campaign push, he had collapsed on his couch when someone from his campaign woke him up to tell him he had won and should join the party at a nearby Arlington pub.
His opponent, Stephanie Clifford, said the results were disappointing but not surprising.
"We knew what we were up against," she said. "We ran a good, hard, issue-focused campaign. I'm OK with this. ... It's tough when you're going against a more establishment candidate."
Clifford said she would continue to be active in local Democratic causes and would search for a new job, having left her post at a lobbying firm to campaign full time.