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Longtime Alexandria Prosecutor Won't Run For Fifth Term

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Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, left, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Sengel guard the ballot box during a Democratic caucus.
Michael Pope
Sheriff Dana Lawhorne, left, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Sengel guard the ballot box during a Democratic caucus.

Alexandria's longtime chief prosecutor won't seek a fifth term in office next year. 

Randy Sengel was first appointed to the Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney post  in 1997, when former Commonwealth's Attorney John Kloch became a Circuit Court judge. Since then, he's been elected to four separate four-year terms. Now, Sengel says, it's time to retire after a career prosecuting everything from embezzlement and petty theft to sexual assault and murder.

"The ones that took the most time and the most effort and the most commitment are the child homicide cases," said Sengel. "Those are the ones that stick with you."

Sengel is known for a love of Bob Dylan, a dry wit and an understated style.

"I'm not somebody who seeks the limelight or believes in sound bites on television or anything like that," Sengel said. "I'd just rather buckle down and stay ... under the radar to the extent I possibly can." 

One activity that has kept him in the public eye is campaigning for office, which he will not have to do this year. Instead, he is endorsing assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bryan Porter, a native of Alexandria and the son of longtime T.C. Williams High School Principal John Porter. Bryan Porter, a former Alexandria police officer, has been a prosecutor since 2001. 

The Alexandria Democratic Committee will decide if the party's candidate will be chosen in a primary or a caucus, although right now Porter is the only candidate who's expressed interest in the job.

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