A George Soros-backed prosecutor suffered a shock upset in deep-blue Northern Virginia, where she fell to her Republican challenger in a county that President Joe Biden won by double digits.
Loudoun County prosecutor Buta Biberaj (D.), who during her 2019 campaign received nearly $1 million from liberal billionaire Soros, on Wednesday conceded her race against Republican Bob Anderson. Biberaj for days signaled she may demand a recount, given that she lost to Anderson by less than 1 percentage point. Under Virginia law, a losing candidate can demand a recount if the race is decided by less than 1 point.
"Buta trails by just 300 votes out of more than 136,000 votes cast. This 0.22% deficit puts our campaign well within the margin for a recount in Virginia," campaign manager Shannon Sankey said in a Tuesday statement. "Our campaign is reviewing the results and we expect to make a decision shortly on our next steps." One day later, however, Biberaj conceded the race. Her campaign on Wednesday said she declined to pursue a recount to "conserve taxpayer funds and expand the transition period to better serve the people of Loudoun County."
Biberaj's narrow loss marks a stunning upset in deep-blue Loudoun, a county that President Joe Biden carried by a whopping 25 points in 2020. Biberaj, who has served as the county's prosecutor since 2020, also massively outraised Anderson, bringing in nearly $680,000 to the Republican's $70,000, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reported.
Biberaj is known for her soft approach to crime, having pledged to end cash bail and mandatory minimum sentences, among other reforms. Biberaj as Loudoun County prosecutor stopped pursuing convictions for some misdemeanor cases, including reckless driving and hit-and-run offenses that result in property damage.
Biberaj during her tenure also repeatedly botched high-profile cases. Last year, a series of mistakes led her office to release a murder suspect who then fled Virginia. A county judge also booted Biberaj from a case involving a local dad whose daughter was sexually assaulted in school, citing concerns over the prosecutor's "impartiality."
Anderson entered Monday with a 1,000-vote lead and roughly 2,000 votes still to be tallied. While Anderson did not declare victory after election night, he did say that Biberaj had "no current path to victory" and pledged to wait "for the due process to run course." Biberaj, meanwhile, refused to concede, labeling the race "too-close-to-call."
Biberaj went on to net 664 votes on Monday, bringing Anderson's lead down to roughly 350 votes with roughly 340 left to count. But Biberaj again declined to concede. "I am committed to ensuring every Loudoun vote is counted," she said in a statement. On Tuesday, Loudoun County finished tabulating those remaining votes, which left Anderson with a 300-vote lead over Biberaj. One day later, Biberaj called Anderson to concede.
Anderson served as Loudoun prosecutor from 1996 to 2003. The Republican on Tuesday said he is "honored to once again be Loudoun County's Commonwealth's Attorney-Elect."
"I am ready to get to work restoring transparency to the office and to deliver on my promise to protect our community from violent crime," Anderson said.