Fairfax, Herring win lieutenant governor, attorney general elections

Democrats sweep statewide offices

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Fairfax (left) and Herring (right) won the elections for lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively.

Courtesy Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring

Democrats Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring will be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively. Fairfax and Herring both won 53 percent of the vote for their respective elections. 

Democrat Ralph Northam also won the gubernatorial race Tuesday night, beating out Republican candidate Ed Gillespie.

Fairfax was gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam’s running mate. Northam is the state’s current lieutenant governor, but did not seek re-election in order to campaign for governor. 

Prior to running, Fairfax served as the Assistant United States Attorney. 

Herring is Virginia’s current attorney general and will serve a second term.  

Key tenets of Fairfax’s platform included increasing the minimum wage, expanding workforce training especially for those without a college degree, guaranteeing pre-kindergarten education to all Virginians, expanding Medicaid to cover and employ more people and supporting rights for women and marginalized communities. 

Herring’s platform focused on combating the heroin and opioid epidemic by emphasizing education and prevention, pursuing cases against child predators, keeping firearms out of the hands of felons and supporting the rights of minorities by working with local law enforcement agencies to ensure they understand and represent the communities they serve. 

State Sen. Jill Vogel (R-Fauquier) ran alongside Gillespie as the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor and won 47 percent of the vote. John Adams was the Republican candidate for attorney general and also garnered 47 percent of the vote. Adams previously served as a naval officer and federal prosecutor.

Kyle Kondik, Managing Editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, noted the shift towards favoring liberal candidates in Virginia as compared to a much more narrow margin last year. 

“For the second straight statewide election, Democrats swept the three statewide elected offices, and by bigger margins than most polls predicted,” Kondik said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “Additionally, Democrats are making shockingly big gains in the Virginia House of Delegates – they may even win the majority. So Virginia took a big left turn in this election, aided by President Donald Trump’s unpopularity in Virginia and the usual tendency for the non-presidential party to make gains in off-year elections.” 

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