David Englin won the 45th House District's six way race for the Democratic nomination Tuesday night.
"This is the result of an amazing grassroots effort from scores of volunteers urging Democrats to stand up for what they believe in," Englin said during a victory party in Alexandria. "The candidates in this primary all ran vigorous campaigns and the party in this area is better for the process."
Englin also gave thanks to Del. Marian Van Landingham, who has held the House seat since 1981. Van Landingham chose not to run for a new term due to her on-going battle with cancer.
"She was a progressive voice in this district for a long time," Englin said.
The final State Board of Elections results show Englin with 32.58 percent of the vote, a 16 point lead over Arlington School Board Chairwoman Libby Garvey who captured 16.71 percent. Elsie Mosqueda, former aide to Del. Brian Moran (D-29), finished with 14.25 percent, placing third ahead of Laura Mandala and former prosecutor Jim Lay, each taking 13 percent. Former Delegate Richard Hobson took 9 percent.
Englin faces Republican candidate Chris Gregerson in the Nov. election. Englin said he and Gregerson had a brief meeting at polls Tuesday.
"I certainly welcome the competition," Englin said.
A former Air Force officer turned political consultant, Englin has run a campaign hailed by many for mobilizing voters. Turn-out at the polls was low compared to previous years, 12 percent. The same district saw a 23 percent turn out in 1999 and 2004 according to election statistics. Englin credited his volunteers with getting voters to the polls, volunteers who said it was well worth the work.
"David stood up strongly as a progressive Democrat and never backed down in his campaign," said Matthew Munsey.
The Englin camp's grassroots approach, others said, is what engaged voters in the race.
"This race proves that it takes a community, it takes people working together, to run a campaign," said Chris Malinowsky.
In the gubernatorial primaries, Kilgore took 82 percent of the Republican vote over upstart challenger George Fitch. Republicans also nominated Bill Bolling for Lt. Gov., who took 57 percent of the vote to take the race over Sean Connaughton's 42 percent and Robert McDonnell for Attorney General. Democrats nominated Leslie Byrne for Lt. Gov..
Englin was congratulated at his victory shindig by Garvey and Del. Adam Ebbin (D-46). Ebbin said Democrats in the race ahead need to focus on the Commonwealth's transportation and tax questions. Ebbin voiced his own support for candidate Tim Kaine, adding that Kilgore has "chosen to focus on diversionary social issues" like abortion and same sex marriage.
Greg Werkheiser— the 42nd district's Democratic challenger facing incumbent Republican David Albo— was also on hand to congratulate Englin. Werkheiser said traffic congestion on local highways is tied to Albo's inattention to Northern Virginia's transportation needs.
"His ineffectiveness in Richmond is made evident every day by the people sitting in bumper to bumper traffic," said Werkheiser.
Traffic conditions, he said, are hurting the economy and personal lives in the region.
"Every hour people sit in the car is one they are not sitting down to breakfast or dinner with their families," he said. "It's also another hour they are not working."
If election records are any indication, Englin could face substantial Republican opposition. The last time Van Landingham was on the ballot, the November 2003 election when she faced off against Rob Jay Test, Republicans brought significant numbers to the polls. In Fairfax County, Test took 1,170 votes to Van Landingham's 2,052. In Arlington, she took 1,279 votes to Test's 611. And in Alexandria, Test won 2,938 votes to her 4,960.
The general election is Nov. 8.