Manassas residents will soon know who has been elected to three seats
on the City Council and four on the School Board in an election that mostly been low-profile, but has generated buzz in some circles.
Mayor Harry “Hal” Parrish II (R) is running unopposed.
Polls close at 7 p.m. In 2010, about 9 percent of registered voters went to the polls in the city election and about the same percentage showed up in 2008, according to the city registrar’s office.
This year, economic development and schools issues have been on the minds of many Manassas voters. Despite contests for every seat except the mayor’s, fund-raising and campaign spending has been relatively low.
In the five-candidate contest for three council seats, incumbent member Mark D. Wolfe (R) has raised the most in recent months, $3,474, according to recent financial reports. Democrat Patricia Richie-Folks followed with $1,738 and Republican Ian T. Lovejoy with $1,225.
Council member Jonathan L. Way (R) and independent Jerry Carman have largely self-funded their campaigns.
Richie-Folks faces a formidable challenge: a Democrat hasn’t been elected in Manassas since 1980, according to the registrar’s office.
Parrish said that in Manassas, it’s not necessary to raise large sums of money to run successful campaigns. He noted that council member J. Steven Randolph (I) has run several campaigns with few dollars.
In this election, Parrish said he thinks school issues and the ability to vote for School Board members may help drive turnout. Incumbents Scott M. Albrecht, Arthur P. “Art” Bushnell, Kermit Holmes Dance and R. J. “Jack” Magee, Jr., face three challengers in Ilka V. Chavez, Ellen M. Purdy and Charles W. Sutherland.
Parrish continues to encourage residents to come out before 7 p.m.
“We’re not going to pass health care legislation in the city of Manassas ... we will hire teachers and police officers,” Parrish said. “Those are very important decisions and very important actions.”