Platania wins Democratic primary for Commonwealth city attorney | Local government

Voters voted for the Democratic primary on Tuesday at Key Recreation Center in Charlottesville.


Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney Joe Platania got the Democratic nomination – and likely a second term.

Platania, who was first elected in 2017, and former public defender Ray Szwabowski clashed in the primary on Tuesday.

Platania received 3,431 votes, or approximately 58% of all votes cast, including postal votes and early in-person votes.

Platania campaigned largely on her track record and accomplishments during her first term, which included dealing with the criminal fallout from the 2017 Unite the Right rally. The main one of those lawsuits was the conviction of car assailant James Alex Fields Jr., who was sentenced to multiple life sentences in December 2018 for the murder of Heather Heyer and the mutilation of various other counter-protesters.

“I want to thank my wonderful campaign manager, Allison Agarwal, all of our volunteers and my dedicated and talented colleagues at the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office,” said Platania. “Finally, I want to thank Chris, there are no words to describe my best friend and partner. Those who serve the public don’t say enough about the family support that makes this service possible.

Szwabowski won 2,413 votes, or about 41% of all votes cast. During his campaign, Szwabowksi lobbied to end drug possession charges and to extend alternative treatment to people with drug addiction.

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