Democratic primary results: Herring takes nomination for attorney general, Del. Ayala for lieutenant governor

Virginia Politics

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginians selected their nominees for multiple statewide offices during primary elections on Tuesday: governor, attorney general, lieutenant governor and House of Delegates seats.

Voters also cast ballots for some local races in Hampton Roads, as well as the Democratic nominee for governor.

Since Virginia does not register its voters by political party, any registered voter could take part in the June 8 primary. Each voter was only allowed to select one ballot.

Here are the results for state races including lieutenant governor, attorney general, governor and House of Delegates races.

Lieutenant governor

Six candidates were in the race for lieutenant governor: Del. Sam Rasoul (Roanoke), Del. Hala Ayala (Prince William), Del. Mark Levine (Alexandria), Sean Perryman, Xavier Warren and Norfolk Councilwoman Andria McClellan.

Del. Hala Ayala won the Democratic primary for Virginia lieutenant governor.

Ayala represents parts of Prince William County in the legislature and launched her political career in 2017 in response to the election of Donald Trump. Ayala was the favorite of the Democratic establishment and was endorsed by Gov. Ralph Northam. She defeated Roanoke Del. Sam Rasoul, who had been the preferred candidate of the party’s progressive wing. She will face Republican Winsome Sears in November.

This November, she will vie to be the first woman in the office.

** Del. Elizabeth Guzman withdrew from the race in April, but was listed on the ballot. Notices were posted at polling places informing voters.

Attorney general

Attorney General Mark Herring sought a third term in office against challenger Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) in the primary.

At 8:40 p.m., the Associated Press called the race for Herring.

He fended off a challenge from Jones, a state lawmaker who sought to cast Herring as insufficiently progressive. Herring is a former state senator who became attorney general in 2014 and was reelected easily in 2017.

Herring will face Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) in November in the race for attorney general.

On Thursday, WAVY’s Jon Dowding asked Gov. Ralph Northam whether he’d support Herring on the campaign trail. Northam previously endorsed Jones ahead of the primary, but said he planned to support Herring as the Democratic nominee for the November election.

Herring released a statement after his win:

“This primary was a referendum on the progress we have made on civil rights, criminal justice reform, healthcare access, clean air and water, victims’ rights, gun violence prevention, and consumer protection, and voters made it clear that they want to keep the progress going. The Republicans have nominated yet another far-right, Ken Cuccinelli-wannabe who would abuse the office to try to drag us backward and threaten the progress we’ve made. Virginians deserve to count on their attorney general to fight for them, as the People’s Lawyer. That’s what I’ve done for eight years, and that’s the choice that Virginians will have this fall.”

“I also extend my best wishes and congratulations to Del. Jay Jones, his family, and his team for running a strong race that helped energize Virginia Democrats. I look forward to moving into November as a strong, united party as we continue to move Virginia forward.”

Jones also released a statement:

“I want to congratulate Attorney General Herring, Terry McAuliffe, and Delegate Hala Ayala on their victories tonight. I look forward to working relentlessly with Democrats throughout the Commonwealth to beat Republicans up and down the ballot this November.

“Tonight’s result is disappointing, but we will not let it deter us from continuing the fight to bring true reform to Virginia. We must elect leaders who will be proactive, not reactive and rise to meet this moment in our history. As we enter the new Virginia decade, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. I look forward to working in the House of Delegates to build on the progress we have made towards a Virginia that guarantees justice for every community.”

House of Delegates

Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates faced more challengers than Republicans in the primary, with 14 incumbents having to run in the primary. In total, voters in 19 House districts selected Democratic nominees for the general election.

Here are the winners for districts in Hampton Roads as they’re called by the Associated Press:

  • Del. Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) nominated House of Delegates District 89
  • Nadarius Clark (D) nominated House of Delegates District 79
  • Kimberly Melnyk (D) nominated House of Delegates District 84
  • Timothy Anderson (R) nominated House of Delegates District 83 (according to unofficial election results with 100% precincts reporting; AP hasn’t called the race)
  • Linwood Blizzard (D) nominated House of Delegates District 99

An emotional Nadarius Clark showed up at his campaign party at Roger Brown’s Restaurant and Bar in Portsmouth filled with joy and tears on his cheeks. 10 On Your Side was there to speak with him.

“I want to congratulate Nadarius Clark for a good race. He certainly ran well today. I think it was one of those days that turned out differently than the way we wanted it to go,” Heretick said.

It’s not over for Clark. He still has to win in November against the Republican challenger.

Governor’s race

Voters on Tuesday decided the Democratic nominee in this year’s closely watched race for Virginia governor, whittling down a five-person field to former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who was widely viewed as having a commanding lead.

Five Democratic candidates sought the party’s nomination in the governor’s race on Tuesday: Del. Lee Carter (Manassas), state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (Richmond), Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe. 

The Virginia GOP opted for a party-run convention in early May to select its statewide candidates, leaving those races up to convention delegates and not primary voters.

Glenn Youngkin secured the Republican nomination for governor. Winsome Sears won the party’s lieutenant governor’s race and Del. Jason Miyares (Virginia Beach) is the GOP’s nominee for attorney general. 

Local races in Hampton, Norfolk

On Tuesday, voters in Hampton and Norfolk also cast votes for local races, including Norfolk commonwealth’s attorney and Hampton sheriff and treasurer.

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