FAIRFAX, Va. (7News) — Thousands of voters across Virginia are heading to the polls. Early voting started Friday and all of Virginia’s State Senate seats and House of Delegates seats are on the ballot, and so are local county elections.
The Fairfax County Democratic Party is working to hold on to school board seats and countywide offices.
Right now, Democrats hold every seat on the Fairfax County School Board.
“We think that it’s important that we’re fighting for a great economy, for education for everyone,” said Bryan Graham, the Fairfax County Democratic Chairman. “And we think that those values are going to be reflected if we have lawmakers that are supporting the democratic values there.”
Steve Descano is running for reelection for Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney.
But some victims of crimes and their family members are urging Fairfax County voters to write in Ed Nuttall’s name for Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney when they head to the polls.
I’ve spoken to many victims,” said Scott Birdwell. “There’s not a single victim that I’ve spoken to who wants Descano back in office. They have not received justice. And victims are the best barometer of how a county prosecutor is doing. And right now, that office is a complete failure. Ed Nuttall is a man of character and integrity. And that’s what we need in that office. He cares about victims. He cares about victims, like the one out of four women who are sexually abused and then need justice. My family is one of those people that were victims of crime in Fairfax County. And we spent three and a half years trying to get justice and it did not come from that [Descano] prosecutor’s office.”
Birdwell said that this year, Nutall and Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid hosted a victims’ voices town hall. After the town hall, the victims sent Descano and Fairfax County leaders recommendations on how to better serve victims of crimes, but Birdwell said Descano did not respond to the recommendations in the report, and neither did any elected Fairfax County official the report was sent to.
7News reached out to Descano for comment on Thursday and Friday, but he has not responded.
Pat Herrity is one of the only Republican officeholders left in Fairfax County. And he is seeking reelection.
“I’ve got a long history of service to our community. I bring balance and common sense to the board and I get a lot done for my residents,” said Herrity.
Herrity is hoping voters give him another term on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
“They’re worried about affordability and being taxed out of their homes by unsustainable tax increases,” said Herrity. “They’re worried about the increasing crime, and they’re worried about our school system. Our scores are dropping and we’re spending more money for poor scores. I’ve led the effort to get the 200 police officers shortage addressed. We’re moving forward on that. I put ideas on the table on the unsustainable tax increases, some of which have been accepted. And education, we just need to focus those resources into the schools, on the students. People should vote early.”
Democrat Chris Falcon is running for Clerk of the Fairfax Circuit Court. On Friday morning, Falcon was working to earn votes as hundreds of people opted to vote early.
“I have ideas on how we’re going to save taxpayers time and money by bringing the services of this office out to them and meeting them in the community and using technology so that people can request copies of their records, but also making sure that we’re performing background checks on all concealed handgun permit applications and enforcing our red flag laws,” said Falcon. “I have experience on the job but I also have ideas and I think that’s why they should vote Falcon for clerk of court on November 7.”
There are also several local elections on the November ballot in Loudoun County, from the race for sheriff to treasurer.
“There’ll be no greater honor than to be elected as the Sheriff of Loudoun County to serve the people here,” said Craig Buckley, the Democratic candidate for Loudoun County Sheriff.
“I’m the only candidate that’s actually managed billions of dollars,” said Henry Eickelberg, the Republican candidate for Loudoun County Treasurer.
Republicans and Democrats were out in full force to get their message to voters in Leesburg on Friday.
“My message to voters with early voting starting is to come out and vote for change,” said Gary Katz, who is running for Chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors as a Republican. “Loudoun deserves better. We have all seen what’s transpired on the board of supervisors. There’s only one way to change that and that’s going to be at the ballot box.”
Katz is running for chair against incumbent Democrat Phyllis Randall. Katz is calling for lower taxes and more accountability and transparency when it comes to spending tax dollars.
“What we need to do in Loudoun County is to make quality of life better, but also to lower taxes. We need to be business friendly as well,” said Katz. “So what they get with me as Chair of the Board of Supervisors: transparency, accountability, honesty, integrity, fiscal responsibility. I don’t aspire to power. I don’t aspire to grow a political career. I just want to serve the community. I don’t want to be served myself. That is the biggest takeaway.”
As Katz tries to defeat his Democratic opponent Randall after she and other county supervisors’ spent more than $100,000 tax dollars on luxury trips to Ghana and Uruguay this year, Buckley is trying to defeat his Republican opponent Sheriff Mike Chapman.
“What people can expect from me is a call for more community involvement throughout the time of my term, not just every four years at the ballot box,” said Buckley. “One of the first things that I called for was having a sheriff’s advisory council at the headquarters, as well as individual citizen advisory committees at each of the district station levels.”
“I have a 12-year record of success,” Sheriff Chapman said. “We have lowered the crime rate by 47 percent. We have 100 percent of our deputies trained in crisis intervention. We have an outstanding school resource officer program. It has been nationally recognized. I was named sheriff of the year by the National Sheriff’s Association and best and favorite public servant by our two local papers. We have a great agency. We have the success to back up what we’ve done.”
One of the most expensive races in Loudoun County is for Senate District 31 between Russet Perry and Juan Pablo Segura.
“This is the most competitive State Senate race in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Segura. “I’m very focused on trying to bring people together to solve common sense issues. We just came out with a commitment to commuters yesterday, where we got the majority leader and House speaker to support doing a study to lower toll costs by 50% in Northern Virginia. And so, it’s ideas like these that bring people together and end the divisiveness of our politics and really get us to focus on the things that matter: kitchen table issues.”
Perry addressed her supporters in a rally Friday that was attended by several Loudoun County elected officials outside the Loudoun County election’s office.
“Abortion is on the ballot here in Virginia this year, this race, this election,” said Perry. “Loudoun County, Fauquier County, SD 31 is ground zero this year for what happens with abortion, with reproductive healthcare rights. We have seen across the country as these rights have been rolled back. So I need you all to tell your friends, tell you loved ones, come out and vote, come out and vote to protect abortion. Protect reproductive healthcare not just here but across the entire South.”
On Friday, 7News asked Segura what his position is on abortion.
“We have to find compassionate consensus on issues like abortion,” Segura told 7News. “And so that’s why I believe that we have to have a limit of abortion up to 15 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. And it’s my opponent and her position that’s extreme. She wants abortion up to, until, and after birth. No Virginian wants that. And she doesn’t talk about any other challenges that we have in women’s health.”
“I’ve been talking about this since day one. We have 30 counties that are considered maternal care deserts here in Virginia. We don’t have enough OBGYNs. And we don’t have enough nurse midwives,” Segura said. “And so, we got to make sure we focus on those challenges-we’re not reimbursing for 3D mammograms. Women are dying from not having their breast cancer diagnosis correctly. And so, I want to make sure we have good reimbursement for our 3D mammograms, we focus on the deserts that we have where we can address maternal mortality. And so that’s what I’m focused on. And that’s what the voters are really giving me good feedback on.”