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Connolly Wins In The 11th, Ellmore Wins In The 8th, Wolf Wins In The 10th

In a primary election marked by incredibly low turnout, it’s usually the candidate with the most committed supported and best organized get-out-the-vote effort that’s going to come out on top, and it looks like that’s what happened in Northern Virginia’s Congressional Districts yesterday.

In the Democratic race in the 11th District, for example, Fairfax BOCS Chairman Gerry Connolly defeated Leslie Byrne

Gerald E. Connolly of Fairfax County, the top elected official of the region’s largest jurisdiction, won yesterday’s Democratic primary in the 11th Congressional District in a fiercely contested race to replace retiring Republican Tom Davis.

On a day of dismally low turnout — less than 3 percent of registered voters cast ballots in many precincts — Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, beat former representative Leslie L. Byrne with almost 58 percent of the vote in the most closely watched of yesterday’s five regional primaries. Two lesser-known Democrats also were in the race.

The district has trended Democratic in recent statewide elections, and although Davis, a moderate Republican, has managed to hang on to the seat, his departure is widely viewed as an opportunity for Democrats to pick up a seat in Congress. The intensity of the Democratic campaign for the seat underscored Virginia’s status as a state in play in the November presidential election.

“We come out of this landslide win going into November in a very strong position,” Connolly said last night, referring to his next opponent, Republican newcomer Keith S. Fimian, a local businessman who is well-financed for the fall campaign. “This is going to be one of the most targeted races in the country. It’s a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats.”

Fimian certainly going to have his work cut out for him here. Slowly but surely, the 11th District has been trending Democratic for the past several years and Connolly is an experienced politician who, last year, won a decisive victory for BOCS Chairman in the district’s largest jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, over the 8th Congressional District Mark Ellmore defeated Amit Singh in a race where fewer than 7,000 people voted:

U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D) will face Republican Mark Ellmore in November after both men won their respective party primaries Tuesday.

Moran, who has represented the 8th District for 17 years, soundly beat his primary challenger Matthew Famiglietti, an attorney from Falls Church who said he hopes to “give the Democratic party back its soul.”

He will face Ellmore, an Alexandria banker who received more than 55 percent of votes over primary opponent Amit Singh, a businessman from Arlington.


Ellmore, a lifelong resident of Alexandria, ran a campaign based on cutting taxes and tough crackdowns on immigration. He promises to oppose abortion and thinks marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman.

Ellmore had racked up endorsements from what’s left of elected Republicans in the 8th District, and had basically been running for this nomination for the past two years, so it’s not entirely surprising that he pulled out a win under these circumstances.

I will say this, though, Amit Singh acquitted himself well in this race, hopefully we’ll be hearing from him again.

And, finally, in what may be the least surprising outcome in all of the contested primaries, Congressman Frank Wolf handily defeated Vern McKinley:

WINCHESTER — The rematch is on.

Incumbent Rep. Frank Wolf, R-10th, and Democratic contender Judy Feder won their respective primary battles Tuesday night, setting up a rematch of the 2006 general election.

With all but one precinct of 194 tallied, Wolf consistently outstripped challenger Vern McKinley by more than a 10-to-1 margin, tallying 16,559 votes to McKinley’s 1,585, or 91 percent to 9 percent.

Turnout was about 3.8 percent, modest by recent congressional primary standards.

Wolf, seeking his 15th term in the House of Representatives, walked to victory handily in every locality, never dropping below 80 percent of the total in any city or county.

McKinley came closest in Warren County, where he collected 19.91 percent of the vote.

“I appreciate very much the vote of confidence,” Wolf said after the rout became evident. “We’ve all worked hard on issues that are important to people of the valley. I love that region. We’ve spent a lot of time out there.”

McKinley couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Wolf’s incumbency and popularity in the District, combined with the incredibly low turnout, pretty much made this result inevitable.

One Response to “Connolly Wins In The 11th, Ellmore Wins In The 8th, Wolf Wins In The 10th”

  1. [...] as Rick notes and yesterday demonstrates clearly, primary elections typically have low voter turnout to begin with so it’s unclear just how [...]

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