Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Endorses Former Federal Prosecutor and Veteran Steve Descano for Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney


FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA -- Terry McAuliffe, former Governor of Virginia (2014-2018), has announced his full endorsement of Steve Descano for Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

"As Governor, I moved to restore the voting and civil rights of all Virginians who had been convicted of felonies, served their time, and returned to the community free of state supervision. Unfortunately, some elected officials opposed that initiative—succumbing to the politics of fear and sentencing us to the wrong side of history,” said McAuliffe.

Governor McAuliffe's historic restoration of rights’ initiative was the centerpiece of his administration’s criminal justice reform agenda, restoring the voting and civil rights of approximately 200,000 Virginians who had paid their debt to society. That initiative was opposed not only by Republican organizations statewide, but also by three County Commonwealth’s Attorneys of his own party, including the incumbent in Fairfax County now challenged by Steve Descano.

Governor McAuliffe continued, “The lessons I learned from that time remind me that we need bold thinkers that embrace our commonwealth's potential and will make Virginia a leader in criminal justice reform. That leadership starts locally. Steve Descano, as a veteran, former federal prosecutor, and father, understands the values of our community and has the experience to be the type of truly progressive leader Fairfax County needs now more than ever. I am happy to endorse Steve Descano to be the next Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney."

Descano sat down with Governor McAuliffe this week to discuss how he would lead the office as Fairfax County’s head prosecutor, as well as his overall vision for moving Fairfax’s criminal justice system forward.

“I’m honored by Terry McAuliffe’s heartfelt endorsement of our campaign. I admired the Governor’s bold leadership in Richmond and am touched and inspired by his support. I hope to continue his impactful work as Fairfax County’s next Commonwealth’s Attorney,” said Descano.

Descano and McAuliffe had a lively discussion about the restoration of rights, the elimination of a “second-class citizenship” in Virginia, and Steve’s experience as a federal prosecutor, veteran, and loving father.

“I think about my family often, and particularly about my beautiful daughter, Charlotte. I think about the Fairfax she’s going to grow up in. I think about the promise this county holds for her and so many countless others. The Fairfax County I think of treats every one of its residents equally, holds bad actors accountable, meets challenges head on, and provides all of its communities the potential for a better tomorrow. I’m proud to have our former Governor’s official endorsement, I’m committed to bringing our community’s values to the courtroom, and I’m eager to continue this conversation with every voter in Fairfax County,” Descano concluded.

The primary election for Commonwealth’s Attorney will take place on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. The general election will coincide with other state elections on November 5th.

Steve lives in Burke with his wife of 15 years, Ryanne, and their daughter Charlotte, 7. For more information about Steve’s vision for the office of Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney and to sign up for his email list, visit Also, connect with Steve on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up-to-date about campaign announcements and events.

For media inquiries, contact Jack Kiraly at 202-838-6905.


The Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney is the lead prosecutor for the county, heading an office of prosecutors that takes on thousands of cases every year. The Commonwealth’s Attorney determines how the office handles those cases, including the office’s policies on charging, pleas, and sentencing, among other issues. An elected position, the Commonwealth’s Attorney serves four-year terms and is elected in non-gubernatorial state elections. This position represents all of Fairfax County, as well as the city of Fairfax.

Steve Descano