This article was updated at 11:15 p.m. with results in two local House of Delegates races.
The Loudoun votes have been counted, and the county’s Democrats supported former governor Terry McAuliffe, Woodbridge Del. Hala S. Ayala (D-51) and incumbent Mark Herring in the Democratic primaries for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
In Loudoun, familiar names McAuliffe and Herring in particular were far ahead. McAuliffe, who served before current Governor Ralph Northam and is seeking a rare second term, had pulled in 61.9% of the Loudoun vote with 11,314 votes. The nearest challenger, former state delegate Jennifer D. Carroll Foy, brought in 20.2% of the Loudoun vote. Governors in Virginia may not serve consecutive terms, and Northam endorsed McAuliffe in the primary.
Meanwhile, Leesburg resident Herring pulled in 71.4% of the Loudoun vote, with 12,897 votes.
Ayala has the narrowest lead of the three, with 32.8% of the Loudoun vote, 5,813 votes, ahead of S. “Sam” Rasoul with 28.2%, 5,005 votes.
Herring thanked his supporters and campaign staff at an election night party at Black Hoof Brewing in Leesburg.
“Virginia Democrats have really given us a great big stamp of approval with the work we’ve been doing,” Herring said. “And, you know, the message was really pretty simple, that after eight years of incredible progress, that experience and know-how and ability to deliver results really matters.”
He also looked ahead to the race against the Republican nominee, Virginia Beach Del. Jason Miyares (R-82). He said, “we are not going to go back to the dark days of [former Republican Attorney General] Ken Cuccinelli where [there was] persecution of climate change researchers.”
“We’re going to continue to work to expand on healthcare, we’re going to continue to fight to protect reproductive rights, we’re going to fight to protect the air and the water, and for clean energy,” Herring said. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
After backing out of a talked-about run for the governor’s office, Herring is seeking an historic third term.
Herring is the first Virginia Attorney General to serve two terms since Mary Sue Terry, who resigned in January 1993 to run for governor. If elected a third time, he would be the first person to be elected to Virginia Attorney General for a third term in 76 years, since Abram Penn Staples won his third election in 1945. Staples left the office in 1947 after the General Assembly elected him to the state Supreme Court.
In the General Assembly, Loudouners have backed a challenger to incumbent Del. Ibraheem S. Samirah (D-86), Irene Shin. Absentee ballots and the two 86thDistrict precincts in Loudoun delivered Shin 53.2% of their vote, 304 votes.
Loudoun more readily backed incumbent Kathleen J. Murphy (D-34) over her primary challenger Jennifer M. Adeli, delivering 73% of the Loudoun vote, 1,279 votes, in that district.
Across their districts, Murphy won comfortably with 74.5% of the vote. But Samirah suffered a narrow defeat, with 48.3% of the vote, 3,185 votes, to challenger Irene Shin’s 51.7%, 3,415 votes.
Although Republicans are holding primary elections for House of Delegates seats today, there are no races in Loudoun. Republicans have already selected Glenn Youngkin as their candidate for governor, Winsome Sears for lieutenant governor and Virginia Beach Del. Jason Miyares (R-82) for attorney general at a convention in May.
The statewide ballot count continued at press time, although McAuliffe, Herring and Ayala were all already considered the winners. Outside his hometown of Loudoun, Herring’s lead was slimmer. Across the state, with 2572 of 2584 precincts reporting, he has captured 55.9% of votes compared to challenger Del. Jerrauld C. “Jay” Jones (D-98) of Norfolk, who has pulled in 44.1% according to unofficial results from the state Department of Elections. Ayala has a slightly larger margin over the next challenger, with 37.4% of the vote to runner-up S. “Sam” Rasoul’s 24.2% in a seven-way race. And McAuliffe won handily, pulling in 61.8% of the vote in a five-way race. The next contender, Jennifer D. Carroll Foy, had picked up 20.2%