William Howell, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, faced down his primary challenger Tuesday handily, winning his party's nomination by taking more 60 percent of the vote before 8 p.m.
His race was perhaps the most watched of 18 contested legislative elections around the state. Howell faced Susan Stimpson, a tea party favorite and former political protege of the speaker.
Stimpson mounted an aggressive campaign with help from outside groups that have attacked Howell as pro-tax and anti-gun rights, stances the speaker has strongly denounced.
Some Howell voters said they are supporting him because of his constituent-services work and criticized the tone of Stimpson's campaign.
Howell voter Jeff Smith, who owns an insurance agency, said he supported Stimpson when she previously served as a chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, but thought her campaign was "too negative.''
"She had a good thing going, but she turned off a lot of voters,'' Smith said.
Stimpson supporter Dave Johnston, a consultant, said he thought Howell's 28 years in office was enough.
"I just thought it was time for a change,'' Johnston said.
Other races were decided throughout Northern Virginia:
In the Democratic primary for Virginia Senate District 29, Jeremy McPike defeated Delegate Michael Futrell and Marine-turned-teacher Atif Qarni.
In the Virginia House of Delegates Republican primaries, Mark Dudenhefer defeated Timothy Ciampaglio in District 2. In District 29, Christopher Collins beat incumbent Delegate Mark Berg.
In the House Democratic primaries, Paul Krizek defeated Justin Brown in District 44. In District 45, Mark Levine won against four other challengers.
- The winners of the Arlington County Board Democratic primary are Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey.
- The winner of the Democratic Fairfax County Supervisor, Mason District primary is Penelope Gross.
- The winner of the Democratic Fairfax County Supervisor, Mount Vernon District primary is Dan Storck.
- Rick Gerhardt won the Republican nomination for Fauquier County Supervisor, Cedar Run District.
- Eric Olsen won the Republican nomination for Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney.
- The winner of the Stafford County Supervisor, Rock Hill District is Wendy Maurer.