Soros-backed DA loses to GOP challenger as prosecutor elections become battlegrounds

Three Republicans who embraced tough-on-crime positions defeated their Democrat challengers in five prosecutor elections from different corners of the country.

Amid a steady stream of discussions surrounding crime in America, Republicans fared well in three out of five district attorney elections on Nov. 8 that were identified this month as “places to watch” by Politico.

The GOP victories took place in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, though some Democrats proved successful in separate prosecutorial elections in other counties located in the Old Dominion state.

In Broome County, New York, Republican Paul Battisti outpaced his Democrat opponent, former Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, to be elected the next district attorney for the county.

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Battisti, who will take office at the end of the year, defeated Ryan 48% to 38%, according to the latest unofficial results from the Broome County Board of Elections.

Battisti, a former defense attorney for roughly 20 years in the Binghamton area, centered his campaign around solutions to deal with crime and safety, writing on his campaign website prior to the election that Broome County “is less safe than it was four years ago, and that is simply unacceptable.”

“We need to get back to law and order to make our streets safe again. I’m firmly and adamantly opposed to Defunding The Police and the extreme distance the State Legislature went with Bail Reform and Discovery Reform. As Broome County’s new District Attorney, I won’t be afraid to tell Albany and Washington that they’re wrong on these policies,” he added on his website.

Battisti also said he would ensure “that offenders are held accountable and our community is protected and safe” as the county’s attorney.

In Loudoun County, Virginia, Republican Bob Anderson appears to have defeated Democrat incumbent Buta Biberaj by a narrow margin, though votes are still being counted.

Unofficial results provided by Loudoun County showed that 109 of the 111 precincts in the county had reported their results to headquarters, delivering Anderson a more than 1,000 vote lead over Biberaj as of Tuesday evening.

Anderson, who has claimed victory in the race, previously served as the Loudoun County district attorney from 1996 to 2003.

“I am running for commonwealth’s attorney again because this community means too much to me to sit idle and watch violent crime go without prosecution and political divisiveness overwhelm our office,” Anderson said prior to the election.

Anderson’s unconfirmed victory in the election comes after Biberaj, a liberal Democrat prosecutor who has benefited from campaign finance support from a George Soros-supported organization, faced backlash this year for allegedly misusing her office to target political opponents and local reporters.

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Similarly, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Steve Zappala, the Democrat incumbent who ran on the Republican line against Democrat Matt Dugan, came out on top.

Without the support of local Democrats, Zappala, a centrist candidate who won reelection to a seventh term in office, was able to fend off Dugan, a progressive candidate who defeated the incumbent attorney in the county’s primary for the Democrat nomination in May.

Though he lost to Dugan by nearly 20,000 votes in the Democrat primary election, Zappala received 9,714 write-in votes from Republican voters and garnered enough support to appear as a Republican on the general election ballot, according to Pittsburgh’s WESA. Zappala, whose embrace of a centrist perspective helped him secure the role in the end, accepted the GOP nomination in June.

Affiliated with the centrist Forward Party, Zappala defeated Dugan by more than 11,000 votes, according to unofficial results shared by Allegheny County.

Like other Republican candidates, Zappala, who has noted in the past that he doesn’t “really care about party affiliation” because he’s a prosecutor and not a politician, focused his campaign on safety for the residents of Allegheny County amid a spike in crime.

Despite the wins for Republicans in a majority of the counties identified as key races, two Democrats also witnessed success in Virginia’s Henrico and Prince William Counties.

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In Henrico County, incumbent Democrat Shannon Taylor maintained her role after defeating Republican candidate Shannon Dillon by more than 25,000 votes. Likewise, in Prince William County, incumbent Democrat Amy Ashworth defeated Republican Matt Lowery to win a second term in office by a little more than 10,000 votes.

Concerns over crime and safety have dominated a number of elections in recent years, with several prominent district attorneys, like Los Angeles’ George Gascon and Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner, facing blowback for their soft-on-crime positions.

An October report from the Heritage Foundation showed that homicide rates have been higher in Democrat-run “blue counties” than they have in Republican “red counties” since 2002 – contradicting a popular talking point recited by prominent liberals like California Gov. Gavin Newsom and billionaire investor George Soros.

Newsom has publicly stated that “8 of the top 10 murder states are red” while liberal mega-donor Soros wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year that “violent crime in recent years has generally been increasing more quickly in jurisdictions without reform-minded prosecutors” and “murder rates have been rising fastest in some Republican states led by tough-on-crime politicians.”

The problem, according to the Heritage Foundation’s Kevin Dayaratna, one author of the report, is that studies cited by Democrats to make that argument use a “flawed” methodology because crime is a local issue and, therefore, crime analysis must be undertaken at the local level.

“If you look at the analysis on a state-by-state level, it’s 34% higher in red states [than] blue states, according to the most recent data we analyzed, but then when you look at it as a county-by-county level, it is 60% higher in blue counties than red counties,” Dayaratna said at the time.

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.

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