* Was elected Commonwealth’s Attorney of Norfolk, Virginia in 2021
* Is supported by billionaire George Soros
* Advocate of soft-on-crime reforms to the justice system
Ramin Fatehi was born in 1978 in Suffolk, Virginia. When he was still a baby, his family moved to Tehran, Iran. Fatehi’s father was an Iranian neurosurgeon and his American-born mother worked as a nurse. The family returned to the United States in 1985 to live in the Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia. Ramin Fatehi graduated in 1996 from the Norfolk Academy, one of Virginia’s top-ranked private schools. He subsequently earned a B.A. degree in History from Yale University in 2000, and a J.D. degree from the Columbia University School of Law in 2003.
After completing his legal education, Fatehi clerked for Justice Elizabeth B. Lacy of the Virginia Supreme Court from 2003-2004. He then worked as an associate for a corporate law firm named Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Washington, D.C. from 2004-2005.
Fatehi re-entered the public sector to serve as an Assistant Public Defender for the city of Richmond, Virginia in 2005. In 2006 he became an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Chesapeake, Virginia, where his work focused on prosecuting fraud and economic crimes. From 2011-2012, Fatehi prosecuted white-collar crimes, fraud, and child-exploitation cases as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville.
In 2012, Fatehi joined the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office as an Assistant C.A. for the independent city of Norfolk, Virginia. There, he specialized primarily in prosecuting insurance fraud throughout the Hampton Roads area while also handling violent crime, high-value embezzlements, and various special projects. From 2019-2022, Fatehi was Norfolk’s Deputy C.A. In that position, he oversaw the office’s Drug Team, whose purpose was to prosecute drug distribution and possession cases.
In 2021, Fatehi decided to run for the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney of Norfolk. Advocating for a variety of leftist policies designed to overhaul the criminal justice system, Fatehi’s campaign website described the candidate as “a Proud Democrat and Norfolk’s champion for criminal justice reform” – a man who had “led the charge in Norfolk to decriminalize and legalize marijuana possession, to abolish cash bail, to abolish the jury trial penalty, and to make the justice system honor the principle that Black Lives Matter.” Fatehi’s platform also called for:
In April 2021, the Virginia-Pilot asked Fatehi to enumerate the three highest-priority changes he would seek to enact if elected. Fatehi answered:
In the same interview, Fatehi was questioned about his plan for dealing with “systemic racism in law enforcement and the justice system,” to which he replied:
“It informs everything I do. For too long, the criminal system has produced one brand of justice for the wealthy, connected, and privileged, and another, harsher brand of justice for everyone else, especially for poor people and people of color. I know as a prosecutor and former public defender that systemic racism—including mortgage redlining, neighborhood disinvestment, and the origins of the ‘war on crime’—has fed mass incarceration, harmed families, wasted taxpayers’ dollars, and made us less safe by undermining trust in the system…. [W]e must stop criminalizing poverty, homelessness, mental illness, substance-use disorder, and childhood and start rebuilding faith that the criminal system in fact seeks justice for all.”
Leftist multibillionaire George Soros donated more than $227,000 to Fatehi’s campaign for C.A. during the 2021 election cycle. This included over $177,000 that he contributed via the Justice and Public Safety Political Action Committee, a super PAC that Soros had unveiled in 2019 to promote the election of radical leftist prosecutors throughout Virginia — a state whose wealthy northern suburbs near Washington, D.C. had become increasingly Democrat blue in recent years. Soros also contributed more than $50,000 to Fatehi’s campaign via Democracy PAC, another Soros-founded super PAC whose purpose was to bankroll the campaigns of leftist candidates for political offices nationwide.
On the strength of the massive support provided by Soros, Fatehi won the Democratic primary for Norfolk C.A. in June 2021 with nearly 61% of the vote, defeating fellow Democrats Megan Zwisohn and Amina Matheny-Willard. The National Iranian American Council publicly congratulated Fatehi for his victory. Other leftwing supporters of the Fatehi campaign included Steve Descano, Rep. Bobby Scott, the New Virginia Majority, and the Working Families Party. The latter issued a statement praising Fatehi after he secured the Democratic nomination:
“Voters in Norfolk took a bold stand for criminal justice reform. Ramin Fatehi ran on a progressive platform that says ‘no’ to a system of mass incarceration that has disrupted families for generations and ‘yes’ to community solutions that reduce harm, keep people out of prison and at home with their families. There’s still more work to be done and the Working Families Party is ready to fight side by side with Ramin to make sure he prevails in [the general election in] November.”