"I Voted" stickers on display at a Virginia polling place. (Graham Moomaw/Virginia Mercury)
UPDATE: Biberaj conceded to Anderson Nov. 15. “I just received a gracious concession call from Buta Biberaj,” Anderson wrote on X Wednesday. “It’s no easy thing putting your name on the ballot. I am honored to lead this office again as Commonwealth’s Attorney-Elect for Loudoun County.”
Democrat Buta Biberaj has lost her bid for reelection as Loudoun County commonwealth’s attorney to Republican former prosecutor Bob Anderson by 300 votes, according to data from the Loudoun elections office.
The final tally provided by the elections office has Anderson receiving 68,068 votes and Biberaj earning 67,768.
Biberaj has not decided whether she will request a recount, according to her campaign.
“This is the closest commonwealth’s attorney’s race in Loudoun history,” said Shannon Sankey, Biberaj’s campaign manager, in a statement. “Following the canvass process, Buta trails by just 300 votes out of more than 136,000 votes cast. This 0.22% deficit puts our campaign well within the margin for a recount in Virginia. Our campaign is reviewing the results and we expect to make a decision shortly on our next steps. Buta remains committed to protecting democratic rights and ensuring that every Loudoun resident’s vote is counted.”
On Monday, with counting ongoing, Biberaj faced a deficit of about 1,000 votes, a lead she ultimately was able to shrink to just 300.
Biberaj faced criticism from both parties during her first term as commonwealth’s attorney in Loudoun County, particularly for her decision to divert low-level misdemeanors and nonviolent charges to police for prosecution rather than involving the commonwealth’s attorney’s office. While she defended the move as necessary to allow the office to focus on violent crimes, critics accused her of allowing crimes to go unpunished.
Other criticism centered on her competence and prosecutorial decisions, including trying a disorderly conduct case involving Scott Smith, the parent of a Loudoun high school student who was sexually assaulted in what became a high-profile case.
While other progressive prosecutors in Northern Virginia and Norfolk have faced similar criticisms of being soft on crime, Biberaj is the only one to lose her election this year.
In the days following the Nov. 7 election, Anderson referred to himself in social media posts as the commonwealth’s attorney-elect and pledged to bring “transparency back to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office” and do “what is necessary to restore the community’s trust.”
State law allows any candidate to request a recount if the results are within one percentage point of each other.
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