Though Hunter Mill voters didn't flock to the polls last week, local candidates still managed to fare extremely well. Given the off-year election, most election observers were predicting low voter turn-out. Their predictions were proven true. The county's unofficial returns found only 32.8 percent of registered voters went to polls on Election Day. In the Hunter Mill district which includes Reston, Vienna and parts of Herndon, 33.5 percent of eligible voters voted; Reston voters fared only marginally better at 33.7 percent. Of the nine Fairfax County districts, Hunter Mill tied for fourth with the Mt. Vernon district.
Four years ago in a similar off-year election, 37.1 percent of Hunter Mill voters took to the polls in 1999. And despite having 7,000 additional registered voters in Hunter Mill in 2003, the 1999 election actually saw 59 more votes cast than last week's contest.
Those Reston voters that did cast a ballot, voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic-backed candidates. It was a good night to be a candidate from Reston, especially if you were a Democrat and an incumbent. To the surprise of some, state Sen. Janet Howell (D-32) of Reston, had little problem with Republican Dave Hunt of Great Falls. Hunter Mill supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D) easily defeated fellow Restonian Doug Bushée, a Reston Association board member and first-time candidate. Del. Ken Plum (D-36), also of Reston, didn't have an opponent. As expected, School Board member Stuart Gibson of Reston had no problem with Arthur Purves of Vienna.
More votes were cast for Gerald E. Connolly (D), the chairman-elect, in the Hunter Mill District than any other district in Fairfax County. Hunter Mill has the second most registered voters, and had the second most actual voters, this election.
— Jeff Green