Steve T. Descano

Key Facts

Party Democrat
Status Incumbent


Steve Descano graduated from West Point and from Temple University with a Juris Doctor. Descano is a former federal prosecutor and US Army Aviation Officer. He is currently the chief operating officer and general counsel of Paragon Autism Services which works to provide behavioral therapy to children on the autism spectrum [1, 2, 3]. Descano is currently the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. While Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney, he faced two recall attempts which claimed that Descano was not being tough enough on offenders and not prosecuting misdemeanors [6, 7, 8, 9]. Descano responded that he was trying to build a more just legal system; his office began prosecuting misdemeanors again once they received more funding [6, 7, 8, 9].

Key Issues

Criminal Justice

Descano wants to create a victim-centered approach to prosecution. He created a special task force for the most traumatic crimes such as sexual abuse and domestic abuse. His prosecutors stay on the same cases to forge a relationship with the victims [1, 2].

Gun Policy

Descano wants to reduce the amount of gun crime [1, 4, 5].


Descano removed the cash bail system [1, 2, 4, 5, 7].

Social Programs

Descano wants to address low level misdemeanors with programs instead of jail time to decrease recidivism. He created the Taking Root diversion program to get people individualized service plans to interrupt the cycle of crime. He helped expand the Drug Treatment Court to provide rehab services to people who have committed crimes as an alternative to prosecution [1, 2].


Terry McAuliffe, former Virginia Governor; Gerry Connolly, Congressman; Don Beyer, Congressman; Don Scott, Minority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates; Barbara Favola, Senator of the Senate of Virginia; Janet Howell, Senator of the Senate of Virginia; Jennifer Boysko, Senator of the Senate of Virginia; Karrie Delaney, Delegate of the Virginia House of Delegates; Dan Helmer, Delegate of the Virginia House of Delegates; Paul Krizek, Delegate of the Virginia House of Delegates; Irene Shin, Delegate of the Virginia House of Delegates; Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District Supervisor; Rodney Lusk, Franconia District Supervisor; John Foust, Dranesville District Supervisor; Walter Alcorn, Hunter Mill District Supervisor; James Walkinshaw, Braddock District Supervisor; Laura Jane Cohen, Springfield District School Board Member; Cesar Del Aguila, Town of Herndon Council Member; Naila Alam, Town of Herndon Council Member; Pradip Dhakal, Town of Herndon Council Member; Atif Qarni, former Virginia Secretary of Education; Votevets; Repro Rising Virginia; Baltimore DC metro Building Trades Council; Mid-Atlantic Pipe Trades Association; Engage PAC; New Virginia Majority; Working Families Party; MPower Action; CASA in action


1 Steve Descano 
2 Fairfax County 
3 LinkedIn 
4 Facebook 
5 Twitter 
6 Ballotpedia 
7 Washington Post: Fairfax County top… 
8 Washington Post: group begins recall…
9 Washington Post: group launches effort…