Deshundra Jefferson-D is the projected winner of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman election with 99% of votes counted. She has 51.35% of the vote at 11 p.m., Nov. 7, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.
Jefferson is very much the underdog in the race, having beat incumbent Chair Ann Wheeler-D in the primary. She also faced Jeanine Lawson-R, Brentsville's Supervisor, and the longest-serving member of the board.
Jefferson is a newcomer to county politics but has experience working for federal lawmakers and within the National Democratic Party. Jefferson is a communications professional and former journalist. She lives in Montclair and is a single mother.
Jefferson will be Prince William County's first black chair and will serve on a board that has become more racially diverse over the past four years.
The Chair-elect won the primary by building a coalition of those with moderate points of view regarding a variety of issues such as data center growth, taxes, public schools and reducing crime. She managed to walk a fine line on many issues- progress enough to retain Democrats, and yet willing to go against her party on issues- such as repealing the meals tax.
Jefferson gained traction over Wheeler on the western end of the county by opposing data center growth near homes, schools and parks. She lost some of that momentum as some swing voters chose to support Lawson, who said she would fight against data centers outside the overlay district.
Jefferson continued to say she was against data centers in the wrong places but also said she would talk to everyone involved: Democrats and Republicans. She tried to position herself as a person who could unite all parties while looking out for the county's best interests.
Jefferson was strong in her support of Prince William County Schools. She said she supports collective bargaining, even though she did not seek the endorsement of the Prince William Education Association.
Jefferson said she did not want to raise taxes on residents, but instead tax data centers, similarly to how they are taxed in Loudoun County.
She promised to be tough on crime, but also provide opportunities for at-risk youth to become more engaged in positive pursuits.
Jefferson had the advantage in the race as the county has been leaning more heavily Democratic, seemingly, in every election.
To be updated.
Chairman - Board of Supervisors (Prince William County)
Deshundra L. Jefferson 51.35% 60,375
Jeanine M. Lawson 48.29% 56,785
Write-In 0.36% 426