15 Sep 2014
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Meet Democratic Attorney General Candidate Justin Fairfax

Fairfax, 34, has a history as a federal prosecutor in Alexandria, working drug and human trafficking cases.

Meet Democratic Attorney General Candidate Justin Fairfax

Justin Fairfax says his commitment to protecting the security of and opportunity for Virginia’s families will help him win the Democratic nomination for attorney general of Virginia in next week’s primary, as well as the general election in November.

Fairfax, 34, is a former federal prosecutor who served as the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. During his time in the office, he served in the major crimes and narcotics unit of the Alexandria Division and had a seat in the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.

It’s that experience that has given Fairfax the confidence to run for attorney general of the Commonwealth.

“I got to focus on protecting young families and our children,” Fairfax told Patch from the road Thursday. “We want to do that on a statewide scale.”

Fairfax has been campaigning against who has seven years of experience in public office.

Fairfax and Herring have both campaigned on the platform that they will be a different kind of attorney general than Ken Cuccinelli, the current Republican nominee for governor.

Fairfax and Herring want to take the politics out of the job, pointing to Cuccinelli’s attacks on abortion and President Barack Obama’s healthcare law as instances in which he's brought party politics into statements and decisions.

But Fairfax’s history as a prosecutor sets him apart from his Democratic opponent.

Fairfax left the U.S. Attorney’s office nine months ago to focus on the campaign, and things have progressed quickly.

“In that time we’ve come very far very fast,” Fairfax said.

His history as a prosecutor has won Fairfax some big endorsements, including the stamp of approval from The Washington Post.

“Mr. Fairfax … is the more dynamic candidate and our choice for the Democratic nomination,” Post editorial staff wrote in their endorsement. “Mr. Herring has a greater range of experience, but Mr. Fairfax combines an agile and impressive command of the issues with a prosecutor’s passion for justice.”

Fairfax recently went on a statewide “Security and Opportunity Tour,” during which he and his camp told Virginians that if he were elected, he would work to safeguard their security and give them more economic opportunities.

“People have gotten very excited about our message,” Fairfax told Patch Thursday.

Herring narrowly led Fairfax in a May 29 poll by Public Policy Polling, in which 3 percent more Democrats said they would vote for Herring. Herring also holds a lead in fundraising efforts.

But Fairfax is focused on making one final push for supporters in the coming days, and agrees with the endorsement from the Post about his qualifications.

“We feel like we’re in a really strong position to win,” he said.

Fairfax received his degree from Duke University and graduated from Columbia Law School. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two children.

Learn more about Justin Fairfax on his website.

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