LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Loudoun County Commonealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj (D) will lose her seat to challenger Bob Anderson (R) by a margin of 300 votes in a race that saw over 130,000 ballots cast.
Anderson — whose campaign spent roughly $70,000 compared to Biberaj’s $1,110,000 — told DC News Now that his victory sends a message.
“I think people just got fed up to some extent with what’s going on here in the county, and that resonated with both parties, both party voters,” Anderson said.
Anderson previously held the seat from 1996 to 2003.
Biberaj, who took office in 2019, faced a number of political battles while in office, including an unsuccessful petition campaign to remove her from office. Biberaj campaigned on violent crime being down in the county on her watch, and her efforts to protect abortion access and voting rights.
Anderson will take office facing a substantial prosecutor shortage in Virginia. The Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission released a report this month stating that the state is short about 120 prosecutors.
To abate strains on the office’s workforce, Anderson said he plans to hire a number of case investigators who would assist with prosecutions. Typically, prosecutors in Virginia rely on evidence gathered and presented by law enforcement agencies.
“They have to be available to these trial attorneys in preparing the cases and getting them ready to go to court,” Anderson said.
The county Office of Elections announced the final count a week after Election Day, attributing the delay to the narrow vote margin, long ballots, and questions over a number of provisional ballots. About 130 provisional ballots didn’t specify whether the voters had presented identification when casting their votes. Yesterday, the county Board of Elections chose to count the ballots.
“The ballots that we have this year were 17 inches with a lot of different candidates,” said Office of Elections spokeswoman Samantha Shepard.
Given that Anderson’s margin of victory is less than 1% of the total number of votes cast in the race, Biberaj may petition for a recount. She has 10 days to file a petition following today’s certification of the election.