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Incumbent prosecutor loses reelection bid in York County

Challenger Ben Hahn crushed 17-year incumbent Eileen Addison in the Republican primary for the commonwealth’s attorneys post in York County and Poquoson.

Hahn won 73 percent of the vote in York and 90 percent of the vote in Poquoson.

He had been an assistant and deputy in Addison’s office for 14 years before leaving to take on his former boss.

Addison faced two Virginia State Bar complaints in the last two years. She was exonerated of an allegation that she improperly coached a witness in a capital murder case, but she accepted a public reprimand earlier this month for failing to disclose to the defense an agreement with a key witness in another murder case.

A new trial was ordered and the defendant was acquitted after his attorney contended Addison had failed to meet her constitutional duty to inform him of any exculpatory evidence.

In another closely watched commonwealth’s attorney’s race, a third candidate has entered the contest for the seat in Henrico County.

Matt Geary, a former deputy commonwealth’s attorney in Richmond, secured the Republican nomination early on and appeared to be a shoo-in in the heavily Republican county when incumbent Wade Kizer decided not to seek reelection.

However, the county’s Republican establishment, from 7th District Congressman Eric Cantor on down, demanded that Geary withdraw after he acknowledged that he had had an extramarital affair and separated from his wife.

Geary refused and all the county’s Republican elected officials are backing Del. Bill Janis, who dropped out of the race for a sixth term in the legislature to run as an independent.

Now, Shannon Taylor, a former prosecutor in Richmond and for a multijurisdictional grand jury that included the city and Henrico, has received the Democratic nomination for the post.

While a Democratic committee was selecting Taylor, a Republican committee chose Peter Farrell, a 28-year-old founder of an energy services company, as the party’s candidate to succeed Janis. Farrell is the son of Tom Farrell, chief executive officer of Dominion Resources Inc.

Democrats do not have candidate for the seat.

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