New candidate enters Commonwealth’s Attorney race

Image of Fahey in suit
Jonathan Fahey (Image from

Former federal prosecutor Jonathan Fahey entered the race for Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney on Tuesday and was swiftly denounced by his Democratic opponent, who said Fahey supported failed criminal justice policies and had illegally campaigned while still a government employee.

Fahey, a Falls Church resident Jonathan, has been registered to run for Commonwealth’s Attorney since at least June, but did not formally announce his candidacy until Tuesday. He is running as an independent.

Fahey worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Justice Department from 2002 until this year. He also served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Fairfax County from 2000-2002, according to his LinkedIn page.

Fahey is running against Steve Descano — also a former federal prosecutor — in the November general election. Descano beat three-term incumbent Ray Morrogh in June’s Democratic primary, campaigning on a platform of criminal justice reform.

On his website Fahey touts his courtroom experience, saying he will be prepared for the Commonwealth’s Attorney job “from day one.” He also says the office must have a trusting relationship with the police, and says he will “be fair to everyone involved in the criminal justice system” by “putting public safety ahead of politics and never prioritizing special interests.”

On other issues, Fahey said he will work to combat the opioid crisis and fight gangs, saying that “Fairfax County has one of the largest MS-13 populations in the country.” He also lists school safety and gun violence as key issues, saying he will “aggressively prosecute gun laws, especially when guns are brought on school grounds.”

“I will also work with other community leaders to find ways to make sure that all children are safe at school,” Fahey says.

Fahey says Descano, who earned his law degree in 2010 after serving as an Army helicopter pilot, is not experienced enough and doesn’t understand the role of the Commonwealth’s Attorney as it relates to working with law enforcement.

“As one of the largest counties in the country, we cannot risk electing someone who needs on-the-job training and fails to appreciate the value of a constructive relationship with our law enforcement partners,” Fahey says on the site.

Descano immediately hit back at Fahey, saying in a press release that Fahey was Republican posing as an independent and had violated the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from various political activities.

“Jonathan Fahey solicited the endorsement of the Fairfax County Republican Committee ahead of the June 11th primary, a clear violation of the Hatch Act as he was still serving the Trump Administration,” Descano said in a press release. “Local Republican leaders then rushed to gain the necessary signatures to place Fahey on the ballot as an independent in order to mislead voters. Since then, Fahey has spent months quietly collecting a government salary while knowingly violating the law and beginning his run for public office.”