Favola Merlene

Nicole Merlene (right) challenged Sen. Barbara A. Favola, D-Arlington. 

Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington on Tuesday topped challenger Nicole Merlene, the policy director for a trade association, to win a Democratic primary.

Favola had apologized soon after saying of Merlene at a forum: “I know there’s a new flavor that you can look at, maybe think about, maybe it’s tantalizing.”

Merlene criticized Favola for accepting donations from Dominion Energy. Favola said in March that she would no longer do so.

The district is chiefly in Arlington, but includes parts of Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

Favola has served in the Senate since 2012. She previously served on the Arlington County Board for 14 years.

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