In Re-Match, Purves No Match for Gibson

In Re-Match, Purves No Match for Gibson

Hunter Mill school board member wins in landslide.

As expected, the voters of the Hunter Mill District sent school board representative Stuart Gibson back to the Fairfax County School Board by a wide margin on Tuesday, according to unofficial results.

Eight years after defeating Vienna resident Arthur Purves, the president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, Gibson, a federal tax attorney, did it again in 2003.

A member of the school board since 1996, Gibson, a Reston resident, was easily reelected. With 177 of 225 precincts reporting, Gibson had received 12,041 votes to Purves' 2,708 votes.

With his election never in doubt, Gibson could enjoy the results of some of the other school board races. "I'm very excited to work with a really great crop of up and comers on the school board," he said. "[A night like this] has been a long time coming and I am very happy."

During the campaign, Gibson largely ignored his perennial opponent. In the candidates' only public face-off, Gibson accused Purves of being out of touch with the feelings of a majority of the district's residents. A fiscal conservative and a vocal proponent of prayer in school and phonics education, Purves opposes so-called family life education and the county's funding formulas for new construction projects.

Ever the campaigner, Purves said the county should brace itself for "big tax increase" after the election and he vowed to run again in the future. "I spent $500 and Stu Gibson spent $14,000, I don't know who got more for their money," Purves said after conceding defeat. "I didn't run to win, I ran to make a point."