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Statement of the Arlington County Democratic Committee on Today’s Primary Election

ARLINGTON, VA., Tuesday, June 11, 2019—The Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Dems) tonight congratulates the winners of Democratic primaries across Virginia. In Arlington, the candidates earning the Democratic nomination are: Barbara Favola for State Senate District 31; Alfonso Lopez for House of Delegates District 49; and Parisa Dehghani-Tafti for Commonwealth's Attorney for Arlington and Falls Church.

“Arlington Democrats congratulate Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Barbara Favola and Alfonso Lopez on their victories in the Democratic primary,” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said. “We thank Theo Stamos for her long and distinguished service to our community and Nicole Merlene and J.D. Spain for running issues-oriented, hard-fought campaigns. As we now turn to the general election, Arlington Democrats stand united in our goal of turning the Virginia state legislature blue in November’s general election, which begins with defending the many seats on the ballot in Arlington. We pledge our full support to Arlington’s 14 outstanding Democratic candidates, who will champion a more prosperous, just and sustainable Virginia.”

In Arlington, 26,258 voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary, which constitutes 17.1% of active voters as of February 2019. In comparison, the Democratic primary in 2011, which featured the same races, drew only 13,699 voters, or 10.3% of then-active voters.  

State Senate District 31

Incumbent Barbara Favola was challenged by community activist and economic development professional Nicole Merlene to represent the district that encompasses portions of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

Favola was first elected to the seat in 2011, after serving on the Arlington County Board for 14 years. She is founder and managing director of a consulting group that works with organizations and companies on community outreach and securing government investment in their projects. Favola also serves on several boards and commissions, including the Advisory Committee for the Arlington YMCA and the Fairfax CASA Board.

House of Delegates District 49

Incumbent Alfonso Lopez was challenged by U.S. Marine Corps veteran and community activist J.D. Spain to represent the district that includes portions of Arlington and Fairfax counties.

Lopez has held the seat since 2011. He is a partner with two consulting firms focused on business and government management. Earlier in his career, he was assistant administrator for congressional and legislative affairs at the U.S. Small Business Administration and as director of the Virginia Liaison Office in Washington, D.C. under then-Gov. Tim Kaine.

Commonwealth's Attorney for Arlington and Falls Church

Criminal justice activist and former public defender Parisa Dehghani-Tafti challenged incumbent Theo Stamos.

Dehghani-Tafti is a senior attorney and legal director of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, where she successfully won the first DNA exoneration case in Washington, D.C. Earlier in her career, she was a staff attorney in the Special Litigation and Parole Divisions of the Public Defender Service of D.C. Dehghani-Tafti also is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and the George Washington University School of Law.

Other Arlington Candidates Unopposed in Democratic Primary as Party Gears Up to Flip the Virginia State Legislature

In addition to five uncontested local races, five members of Arlington’s delegation to the Virginia General Assembly were unopposed in the Democratic primary and will seek reelection in November.

The general election will be Nov. 5, 2019, and all 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and all 40 seats in the Virginia state Senate will be on the ballot. Virginia is the only state in the country in which Democrats are considered to have a serious shot at turning the entire legislature blue. Republicans now have only a two-seat majority in both the House and Senate.

“Arlington Democrats provide a ‘one stop shop’ for local activists who want to support Democratic candidates in Arlington and elsewhere this year,” Caiazzo said. “Volunteers of all ages, abilities, schedules and shades of blue can easily plug into our many activities throughout the county. They also can join our Beyond Arlington program, which strategically supports candidates outside the county whose victories will help secure a Democratic majority in the Virginia legislature this year -- and pave the way for a resounding Democratic presidential win in 2020.”

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