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Women claim victories in commonwealth’s attorney races

Virginia voters decided three contested commonwealth’s attorney special elections yesterday, and all three were won by women. In two cases, male incumbents were defeated.

Megan Revis Frederick defeated incumbent Paul Walther for the Culpeper County prosecutor’s job. Walther had worked in the commonwealth’s attorney’s office since 1994, reports The Free Lance-Star. The election was marked by accusations related to the prosecution of Michael Hash, whose murder conviction was overturned amid allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. Walther was named to fill the unexpired term of former Commonwealth’s Attorney Gary Close when he resigned.

Chesterfield County lawyer Terry Jervis Royall unseated incumbent Nottoway County Commonwealth’s Attorney B. Thomas Bledsoe. Bledsoe was named commonwealth’s attorney in July to fill a vacancy left when Mayo Gravatt was named to the general district court bench. Bledsoe faced opposition in the special election from both Royall and Burkeville lawyer Preston G. Williams. Royall’s margin of victory in Nottoway was fewer than 500 votes over Bledsoe.

In Montgomery County, incumbent Mary Pettitt defeated Peggy Frank in the commonwealth’s attorney’s race. The Roanoke Times reports the contest featured a dispute over the candidates’ jury trial experience. Pettitt was appointed to fill the vacancy left when former Commonwealth’s Attorney Brad Finch was named to the juvenile and domestic relations court bench.

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