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Connolly Triumphs in Fairfax

GOP Keeps Lead In Va. Assembly; Democrats Gain

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 5, 2003; Page A01

Gerald E. "Gerry" Connolly (D) won his bid to become the top elected official in Fairfax County yesterday, after a campaign in which he urged voters to trust in the wealthy suburb's steady progress and to reject the anti-tax campaign offered by Republican Mychele B. Brickner.

Connolly's victory in the race for chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors stymied a push by social conservatives and tax opponents set on extending the Republican Party's success of the past four years to Virginia's most populous jurisdiction. Connolly will replace Katherine K. Hanley (D), who did not seek reelection because she plans to challenge Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) in a congressional primary next year.

_____Virginia Elections_____
Connolly Wins, Brickner Concedes in Fairfax Race (The Washington Post, Nov 5, 2003)
Glitches Prompt GOP Suit Over Fairfax Tabulations (The Washington Post, Nov 5, 2003)
Fairfax Voters Reject Tax-Cap Effort (The Washington Post, Nov 5, 2003)
Growth Backers Take Majority on Board of Supervisors (The Washington Post, Nov 5, 2003)
Connolly Victory Sends Signal (The Washington Post, Nov 5, 2003)
Democrats Pick Up Seats in House (The Washington Post, Nov 5, 2003)
Democrats Keep 5-0 Grip on Board (The Washington Post, Nov 5, 2003)
Sheriff, Pro-Growth Supervisor Defeated (The Washington Post, Nov 5, 2003)
_____Full Coverage_____
Metro (The Washington Post, Sep 13, 2004)
After Gambling's Demise, Town Looks to Roll Dice Again (The Washington Post, Sep 12, 2004)
Brazil Faces Energetic Foe in At-Large Race (The Washington Post, Sep 9, 2004)
2004 Va. Elections
_____Fairfax Elections_____
Fairfax To Probe Voting Machines (The Washington Post, Nov 18, 2003)
Hanley Ends Effort to Challenge Moran (The Washington Post, Nov 14, 2003)
Falls Church Backs School (The Washington Post, Nov 13, 2003)
More Fairfax Elections News
_____Full Coverage_____
Metro (The Washington Post, Sep 13, 2004)
After Gambling's Demise, Town Looks to Roll Dice Again (The Washington Post, Sep 12, 2004)
Brazil Faces Energetic Foe in At-Large Race (The Washington Post, Sep 9, 2004)
2004 Va. Elections

Fairfax also was responsible for three of the handful of changes in the 140-member General Assembly.

Democrat Stephen C. Shannon won the House seat vacated by Republican Del. Jeannemarie A. Devolites in Fairfax County's 35th District. In the 34th Senate District, Devolites claimed victory last night in her bid to replace Democrat Sen. Leslie L. Byrne, who did not seek reelection. Democrat Mark D. Sickles defeated Republican Del. Thomas M. "Tom" Bolvin in a rematch from two years ago in the 43rd District.

Statewide, Democrats increased their numbers by at least two in the House of Delegates, making what they said were their first gains in that chamber during a regularly scheduled election since 1975.

Many legislators across the state ran unopposed, and Republicans maintained firm control of both the House and Senate.

Democratic Gov. Mark R. Warner's decision to wait until after the elections to announce his plan for changing Virginia's tax code muted the debate over state taxes and spending in most legislative races. GOP candidates did not follow through on a threat by some Republicans to make Warner's delay a campaign issue. Republican leaders were content to avoid linking myriad campaigns to a single, statewide theme.

Instead, each campaign stressed local concerns. Candidates in Northern Virginia focused on transportation problems, education, property tax burdens and development; a campaign on the Eastern Shore involved a debate over the death penalty. In the final days, several races turned particularly nasty, with accusations of threatening phone calls, altered photographs and outright lies.

In Loudoun County, pro-growth candidates, supported by developers and some residents who thought that the limits on new home construction had gone too far, appeared to have taken control of the Board of Supervisors. The board's outspoken, slow-growth chairman, Scott K. York, who was running as an independent, was in a close race last night.

This year's board campaigns in Loudoun continued the political struggle between anti-growth forces and development supporters that began four years ago. In 1999, anger over congestion and the loss of open space led to the ousting of several supervisors, as voters replaced them with candidates who promised to slow the pace of building, especially in the county's west end.

The current board followed through on that promise, reducing by 80,000 the number of homes that could be built. Developers have sued the county, saying that the restrictions rob property owners of their rights. This year, developers contributed a total of more than $460,000 to candidates supporting less-restrictive policies.

"There's no question that this is an important test as to how far the pendulum swung in the last election, whether it was too far or just enough," said Mark Looney, a land-use lawyer who has done work in Loudoun.

Prince William County voters ousted Sheriff E. Lee Stoffregen III after a bitter race that centered on Stoffregen's efforts to expand his department's police powers. They also kicked out county Supervisor Ed S. Wilbourn III (I) while reelecting board Chairman Sean T. Connaughton (R-At Large).

Prince William voters interviewed yesterday said that they were concerned about unrestrained growth in their rapidly developing suburb.

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