Joe Morrissey, who in 2014 was accused of having an affair with his secretary who at the time was a teenager, won the Virginia Democratic primary.
The former state legislator went against incumbent senator Rosalyn Dance and won by over 10 points despite Gov. Ralph Northam’s endorsement of Dance in the final weekend of the campaign.
Morrissey’s victory in the Democratic primary was unexpected, as the former legislator was sentenced four years ago and jailed over the sex scandal that involved a minor. He was in his fifties at the time while the minor was 17 years old. She worked at his law office.
Morrissey initially denied any wrongdoing, but then pleaded guilty in 2015 to a misdemeanor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction, Fox News reported.
The Democrat spent six months in jail for the crime but managed to continue serving in the state legislature during the sentence.
Republicans immediately jumped on Morrissey’s victory in the primary, tweeting a mock congratulatory note and adding, “You’ll fit right in with [Virginia Lt. Gov.] Justin Fairfax,” referring to sexual misconduct allegations against Fairfax by two separate women.
But despite the past legal problems, voter strongly endorsed Morrissey’s platform that consists of a number of progressive measures, including higher minimum wage and marijuana decriminalization.
“People try to blow things up more than what it is,” voter Melvin Washington told the Associated Press. “Ain’t none of us perfect.”
Morrissey is posed to easily cruise to victory as the seat has long been held by Democrats and is considered a safe seat.