Army reserve intelligence officer Captain Justin Hannah, of Aldie, has dropped out of the Democratic primary race for the 13th state Senate district and declared his candidacy for Loudoun County Sheriff.
Hannah was the fifth Democrat to join the race to replace retiring Sen. Richard H. Black (R-13), along with Del. John J. Bell (D-87), Marine veteran and federal contractor Kyle Green, financial advisor Lucero Wiley and civil rights advocate Jasmine Moawad-Barrientos.
In a press release announcing his new campaign to challenge two-term incumbent Chapman, Hannah cited similar reasons to those he mentioned in his Senate campaign.
“I felt the call to serve just as I did when I joined the military,” Hannah stated. “I was disappointed to see issues we face in politics around the country had crept into the Sheriff’s Office. Not only does current leadership within the department not represent my values or those of so many people across the county, politics has taken precedence over delivering results for Loudoun’s residents. I simply could not stand for that. So, I decided to run.”
He said his top priorities if elected are to address the opioid crisis through a modernized county drug policy, removing toxic partisanship in the sheriff’s office, and focusing on more effective management.
Hannah joined the military in 2009 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2015 to provide real-time intelligence support to special operations forces on the ground and in the air. Today he is an investigative analyst in the Department of Defense and commander of a Military Intelligence company in the Army Reserve. In the reserves, he supervises 110 personnel and a budget upwards of $3 million.
Hannah has the endorsement of his former opponent in the Democratic primary for state Senate, Bell.
“I wholeheartedly endorse Justin Hannah for Loudoun County Sheriff,” Bell said. “Justin represents the type of new leadership that Loudoun needs as it moves forward. I believe the combination of his military background and his focus on issues like updating our county’s drug policy, improving management in the Sheriff’s office and putting people before politics will be enormously beneficial for our county.”
He’ll face a veteran Loudoun law enforcement officer in the run up for the party’s nomination. Chris Harmison, a former Sheriff’s Office lieutenant colonial who had served as Chapman’s chief deputy, also has entered the race. Harmison ran as an independent candidate for sheriff in 2003, coming in third place among six candidates. Harmison left the Sheriff’s Office four years ago when he supported Chapman’s opponent, Eric Noble, in the 2015 election.