Surprises are Few in Local Elections

Surprises are Few in Local Elections

When all was said and done, Election Day 2003 brought few surprises to voters in the Sully and Springfield district. The Republican incumbents won their races for seats in county and state government, and the Democratic incumbents on the School Board also held onto their seats.

On the state level, Republican Delegates Gary Reese (R-67th) and Tim Hugo (R-40th) ran unopposed, garnering 8,905 and 9,400 votes, respectively. State Senators Ken Cuccinelli (R-37th) and James K. "Jay" O'Brien (R-39th) were also victorious.

Cuccinelli racked up 16,762 votes to beat Democratic challenger Jim Mitchell, and O'Brien totaled 14, 092 votes to best his challenger, Democrat Greg Galligan. Each incumbent had served just a year in their Senate posts after winning special elections; this time, they'll both serve four-year terms.

On the county level, Republican Supervisors Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) and Elaine McConnell (R-Springfield) were each re-elected to office. Frey's served as Sully District supervisor since that district began in 1992, and McConnell — who first ran for office in 1983 — has served more than two decades as a supervisor.

MCCONNELL WAS unopposed; she received 18,339 votes. And Frey cruised to an easy victory over Democratic challenger Georgette Kohler with 11,907 votes. He'll now begin his fourth term in office.

In the race for seats on the Fairfax County School Board, incumbents Kathy Smith and Cathy Belter both shone as bright spots for the local Democratic Party. Each successfully fended off serious challenges by Republicans to retain their seats on the board. Smith received 9,819 votes to win against Carl Cecil, and Belter collected 12,064 votes to beat Scott Martin.

Chantilly resident Lynn Terhar, also a Democrat, was running for an at-large seat on the School Board, but did not win. Voters instead chose Janet Oleszek, Steve Hunt and Ilryong Moon.

And in this area containing a large proportion of moms, dads and school children, residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of the $290.6 million school-bond referendum, with vote totals of 142,587 to 45,930. This result is good news for the local area, because the referendum contains $1.3 million in planning money for a new, western Fairfax elementary school, $2.6 million for a 14-room modular addition at Chantilly High and $8.7 million for a 24-room, brick-and-mortar addition to Westfield High.

Although Centreville's Colin Powell Elementary just opened in September, school officials say it will soon need relief. Already, some 1,500 homes are being constructed around Powell, and 1,200 more homes — mainly townhouses and multifamily — are being built nearby.

The new school will be on Deming Drive, near the county Government Center and will have 36 classrooms. "It would open in 2007," said Gary Chevalier, director of Fairfax County Public Schools' Facilities Planning Services. "Its cost is estimated at $19 million."