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Connolly Wins 11th District

9:25 p.m.
Here's what Gerald E. Connolly had to say minutes after winning.

"We come out of this landslide win going into November in a very strong position," he told my colleague Amy Gardner, 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."

9:15 p.m.
Mark W. Elmore has won the 8th District GOP race. He held a 10 point lead over Amit K. Singh, with more than 90 percent of precincts reporting.

9:10 p.m.
Leslie L. Byrne just conceded.

9:05 p.m.

Gerald E. Connolly has won the hotly contested Democratic primary. He beat out three competitors, fighting off a tough challenge from former representative Leslie L. Byrne.

8: 35 p.m.
Over 50 percent of precincts are reporting in the Democratic 11th District contest.

Gerald E. Connolly maintained a large lead, although several districts in Leslie L. Byrne's home area have not reported.

Power went out at the Fairfax County polling center for about 40 minutes, shortly after a thunderstorm rolled through the area. But election officials are reporting that power is back up and the counting continues.

8:20 p.m.

Turnout appears to be hovering around two percent in most primaries, leaving readers to wonder why this election was so under the radar.

One reader wrote in to say, "Suleman has it right. The election *is* completely under the radar. I consider myself a very tuned-in voter... but I didn't realize that the primary was today until I read this article. I'll be voting on my way home."

Another said, "I vote in every election! Had no idea it was today. I drive past 3 schools on my way to work and saw no "vote" signs like usual. I'll be voting today on my way home, I guess. But this is weird..."

There are a couple of explanations:

June primaries are traditionally low turnout affairs. This one came several months after the historic Potomac Primary, in which Virginia, the District and Maryland voted together and earlier for the first time, so their votes still mattered. The presidential campaign continues to capture the public's attention

Maryland moved its primaries up to the same day. But Virginia decided not to. Town and city elections in Virginia are held in May, which further confused voters.

Another factor in the dismal turnout is that the Washington region's television market encompasses Northern Virginia, the District and Maryland, making it an exceedingly expensive -- and inefficient -- campaign method. As a result candidates have relied primarily on yard signs, targeted mail pieces and advertisements on cable television and radio.

8:05 p.m.
Frank R. Wolf, James P. Moran and Judy M. Feder have won their races.

The Democratic race in the 11th is still close between Gerald E. Connolly and Leslie L. Byrne. Connolly is holding steady at about 55 percent of the vote.

We're halfway there in the 8th District GOP race. All of Arlington County and Alexandria City are in. Just holding out for Fairfax. Mark Elmore is holding a slight lead over Singh.

7:50 p.m.

11th District update: Connolly had 57 percent of the vote to Leslie L. Byrne's 33 percent, with about 20 percent of precincts in. Doug Denneny is coming in at 7 percent and Lori P. Alexander has two percent. Those numbers include all of the precincts in Fairfax City

7:40 p.m.
It's very early, but incumbents Frank R. Wolf and James P. Moran Jr. appear to be cruising to victory.

In the 8th District, Moran (D) was leading with 87 percent of the vote against challenger Matthew T. Famiglietti. That's with most of Alexandria City and a handful of precincts in Fairfax. Mark W. Elmore is leading Amit K. Singh by nine percentage points, with about 20 percent of precincts reporting.

In the 10th District, Wolf (R), Virginia's longest serving member of Congress, had a strong lead over challenger Vern P. McKinley in the GOP primary.
Judy M. Feder had a strong lead over Mike R. Turner in the Democratic contest in the 10th.

Polls have closed in today's congressional primary election. Let's just hope we don't have to wait all night to get results in what Northern Virginia election officials expected would be a historically low turnout election.

Here's a recap of what's at stake:

The closely-watched Democratic contest for an open seat in the 11th District was a four-way primary battle between Fairfax County Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, former representative Leslie L. Byrne, former Navy pilot Doug Denneny and physical therapist Lori P. Alexander.

With Republican Tom Davis stepping down after 14 years in office, the district (which includes most of Fairfax County) is in play for Democrats, who hope to pickup a seat here this fall.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face GOP newcomer Keith S. Fimian, a small-business owner, in November.

The other two congressional seats are held by long-serving and popular incumbents. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D) represents the the 8th District, which includes Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church and a portion of Fairfax County. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R) of the 10th District, which encompasses Loudoun County, portions of Prince William and Fairfax counties.

Both Moran and Wolf faced primary challenges, and candidates are competing for the opposing party's nomination in both districts as well.

Moran faces lawyer Matthew T. Famiglietti. The two Republicans competing for the GOP nomination in Moran's district are engineering firm owner Amit K. Singh and banking executive Mark W. Elmore, who lost a similar GOP primary attempt two years ago.

Wolf, in his first primary challenge since winning his seat 28 years ago, faces fellow Republican Vern P. McKinley. The Democrats seeking their party's nomination are Georgetown University professor Judy M. Feder, who lost by a wide margin to Wolf in 2006, and retired Air Force Col. Mike R. Turner.

Stay plugged in here as results come in.

By Kristen Mack  |  June 10, 2008; 9:25 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress  
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Next: Low Turnout Yesterday Says Little About November


I got the impression the Virginia Democratic Party wasn't overly enthused with the primary either.

Not exactly candidates that would instill excitement.

Posted by: Hello | June 10, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain to me WHY the commonwealth would have 3 different election days in the spring? The Presidential Primary was held on February 12; City elections were on May 12, and the Congressional primaries were held today, June 10. If the latter two had been held in conjunction with the Feb 12 election, democracy would have been better served by the higher turnout.

Posted by: NOVA Voter | June 10, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I was the 100th (my wife was the 101st) voters at 6pm in Annandale.

Posted by: Lou Bricant | June 10, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Virginia is stupid. They have elections ever few months because they assume that voters are too stupid to be able to consider more than one issue at a time. They close the polls an hour earlier than every other state in the union so you can't go after work. If you try to make it after work, there will usually be some kind of transportation disaster that will keep you from making it to the polling location that probably isn't even located in your precinct.

So yeah, Virginia sucks.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 10, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

You know, instead of updating every five minutes for your 2 readers, you could just link to the results pages.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 10, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, it looks like the only interesting one tonight is the expected one in the 11th. Though that is turning out to be a victory for Connolly.

Also, it looks like the Republican primary in the 8th is quite competitive.

Posted by: chris | June 10, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Not sure whether this means anything, but just before 7pm at the 11th District polling place at Oak View ES on Sideburn Road there were around 250 voters for a turnout of 7.5%.

Posted by: More Cowbell | June 10, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I passed by a poll this morning and hadn't made my mind up to vote, as I was so put off by the negative campaigning between Connolly and Byrne. Finally decided to vote later in the day -- but more of a protest vote unfortunately given the race.

Posted by: Mike | June 10, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Gerry Connolly is still a two faced, war profiteer and an illegal apologist to boot. Byrne she is just plumb crazy.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 10, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey, war profiteers deserve congressmen too.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 10, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Under the radar? You're kidding. My mailbox was stuffed with negative ads from Leslie Byrne every day. Piles of them. How could anyone not have known about this primary election?

Posted by: TBG | June 10, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

All the Ron Paul candidates got creamed!

Doesn't get any better than this.

Posted by: info | June 10, 2008 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Gerry! My hometown will be well-served.

Posted by: John Morrell | June 10, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

NOVA Blogosphere

RIP Lowell, Ben, Scraffsquatch

Posted by: Anonymous | June 11, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

I just wanted to offer my thanks to Amit for running for congress. Amit, presented real issues with no name and limited cash he only lost by 10%. To add dirty works of his opposition also hurt his run.

Amit, will be back and will win the next time. Our nation needs true conservatives like Amit who will support the law of the land.

Posted by: Darel | June 11, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Can you hear the sound of Ben rending his clothing? NLS was a disgrace the last couple of months.

Posted by: VastlyAmused | June 11, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I showed up to vote seconds before the polls closed at 7 PM. I didn't receive any phone calls or literature from either side. I found out about the election the day of. Virginia needs to figure out how to have primaries on one day in the spring instead of spread over several months...

Posted by: Lakym97 | June 11, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The article gave several possible explanations for low voter turnout, but none of those are true. I can only speak for the 10th District in Virginia when I say that people in this area are very politically in-tune. The problem is that there was absolutely no notice or advertising that a primary was even being held, much less what was at stake in the election. My job requires that I be on top of things politically, yet the only way I even suspected that there was an election on June 10th is that Congressman Wolf's office left a cryptic message on my home answering maching asking me to "vote on Tuesday". I was totally taken by surprise and it was only after doing several detailed searches on the Internet that I found any information on the primary elections... and I really had to dig. Everything in the public square has been so focused on the Presidential elections for so long that no one bothered to market and advertise local primaries. This is totally unacceptable. The Presidential elections are obviously super important, but it is Congress - made up of people voted into their respective representative positions - that makes and passes law!! In a government system "of the people, by the people, for the people" the people must be well informed - and it is equally the responsibility of candidates, media, and voters to ensure that we are.

Posted by: Danni | June 13, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Nancy Barness | June 24, 2008 4:33 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Nancy Barness | June 24, 2008 4:33 AM | Report abuse

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