Democratic winners emerge despite low voter turnout at state primary

Posted at 12:30 AM, Jun 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-12 00:54:13-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The crowds were thin at Tuesday's primary election that would see State Senator Ralph Northam and State Senator Mark Herring emerge as Democratic party nominees for November's election.

Herring defeated former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax by a couple thousand votes in the statewide race for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General. He will now take on State Senator Mark Obenshain in the fall.

In the statewide race for Lieutenant Governor, Northam defeated former Obama adviser Aneesh Chopra by nine percent. Northam joins Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the former DNC chairman now making his bid for governor.

Republican E.W. Jackson sits on the Republican ticket with Ken Cuccinelli, who hopes to jump from Virginia's attorney general to its governor. The now established ballot is one of deep contrasts, in a race that will be closely watched by the nation.

Despite the trickle of voters at the polls, more people voted for Northam or Chopra in Henrico County alone than voted in the Republican statewide convention which saw the nomination of Cuccinelli and Jackson.

In other races, Del. Rosalyn Dance (D – Petersburg) held a victory over her opponent in the primary race. Dance was elected to the General Assembly during a special election in 2005. CBS 6 was the only station at Dance headquarters Tuesday night.

She had some competition in this Democratic primary for the 63rd district seat, which includes Petersburg and parts of Hopewell, Chesterfield County, Dinwiddie County and Prince George County.

Evandra Thompson, endorsed by Sen. Henry L. Marsh III, D-Richmond, a civil rights icon, challenged Dance for the 63rd district seat. Del. Joseph D. Morrissey, D-Henrico several times voiced support for Thompson.

Many in the Democratic party alleged that Dance voted with Republicans too many times.

In the end, Dance held onto win by less than 300 votes.

"Even though I was an incumbent, many considered me an underdog because the Democrats had gone against me," Dance told CBS 6 political reporter Joe St. George.

“Virginians are lucky to have Terry McAuliffe, Senator Ralph Northam, and Senator Mark Herring to elect this November,” said DPVA Chair Delegate Charniele Herring.

"After a historically low turnout at an expense of millions to Virginia’s taxpayers, Democrats have selected Ralph Northam as their nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Northam’s selection is just another part of the most liberal ticket in Virginia history," Republican nominee for LG E.W. Jackson said.

"Congratulations to Senator Mark Herring on securing his party's nomination for Attorney General. I look forward to engaging in a substantive debate focused on our ideas for making Virginia a better and safer place to live and raise a family," Republican nominee for AG Mark Obenshain said.

Democrats will officially unite together tomorrow as a ticket Wednesday morning at a Unity Breakfast in Richmond.

To view more election results, click here:

To view more Virginia politics articles, click here: