ABOVE: Scott Miles, on right, will be Chesterfield County’s next commonwealth’s attorney.
A 60-percent turnout of Chesterfield County’s registered voters yielded an upset last week as Democrat Scott Miles defeated Republican John Childrey by 2,527 votes, or 1.75 percentage points.
The men were vying to fill the remaining year left on the term of former commonwealth’s attorney Billy Davenport, who resigned July 1. The seat will be up for election for a full four-year term next November.
“I want to thank the people of Chesterfield County for voting to bring real change to our community’s criminal justice system,” Miles said in an email. “I am humbled by their support, and promise to move quickly to put in place new policies to replace our outdated war-on-drugs approach to addiction.”
“In the coming weeks, we will stop treating non-violent residents as felons,” he said. “We will also work … to reform the cash bail system and to begin tearing down the school-to-prison pipeline.”
Childrey, who has worked for the Chesterfield County Commonwealth Attorney’s office for 20 years, most recently as its chief deputy, did not respond to requests for comment.
Miles was scheduled to be sworn in this week.
The Nov. 6 election was not without controversy as some Chesterfield precincts had long lines as each precinct reportedly had only one ballot scanner.
In other races, Democrat Abigail Spanberger knocked off Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Brat in Congressional District 7 by 6,587 votes, or 1.9 percentage points. Chesterfield County, traditionally a Republican area, gave Spanberger a 10,563-vote margin, or 9.4 percentage points.
In the county’s other congressional race, District 4, Democrat U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin easily dispatched Republican Ryan McAdams by 26.4 percentage points. However, McAdams won the Chesterfield County portion of the district by 1.7 percentage points.
Spanberger’s win was one of three seats in Virginia that Democrats picked up; the others were in Hampton Roads and northern Virginia, where incumbents Scott Taylor and Barbara Comstock were defeated by Elaine Luria and Jennifer Wexton by 2.2 and 12.3 percentage points, respectively.
Statewide, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine easily defeated Republican challenger Corey Stewart by 15.9 percentage points. Kaine won Chesterfield by 9.85 percentage points.