Slow-Growth Board Candidates Win

At a party in McLean, Mary Lee Cerillo responds to a Northern Virginia Senate race in which a Democrat appeared headed for victory.
At a party in McLean, Mary Lee Cerillo responds to a Northern Virginia Senate race in which a Democrat appeared headed for victory. (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)
By Sandhya Somashekhar
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Eight candidates sharply critical of Loudoun County's record-setting growth won seats yesterday on the nine-member Board of Supervisors, in the first election since Loudoun became the nation's fastest-growing county.

Four Democratic challengers defeated pro-growth Republican incumbents. In addition, slow-growth incumbents won their races, including Chairman Scott K. York (I-At Large), Sarah R. "Sally" Kurtz (D-Catoctin), Jim G. Burton (I-Blue Ridge) and Lori L. Waters (R-Broad Run).

Democrats celebrated at a boisterous, smoke-filled party at an Irish pub in Sterling, where they watched returns trickle in to the sounds of a country music band. In a bitterly fought campaign, they had said unrestrained growth contributed to road congestion, school crowding and high taxes.

"What voters wanted was to get the focus back on existing communities, not on new communities," said Andrea McGimsey (D), who defeated incumbent Bruce E. Tulloch (R) in the Potomac District.

Pro-growth incumbent Steve J. Snow (R) lost to Stevens R. Miller (D) in the Dulles District.

In the Sugarland Run District, Susan Klimek Buckley (D) defeated incumbent D.M. "Mick" Staton Jr. (R). And C. Kelly Burk bested Republican incumbent Jim E. Clem in the Leesburg District.

"If the results are what they're turning out to be, it will be a resounding victory for smart growth in Loudoun County and a reflection of citizen anger over the way growth has been handled in the county," said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the anti-sprawl Coalition for Smarter Growth.

One successful pro-growth candidate was Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling), who received 53 percent of the vote. Delgaudio, an anti-gay activist who made headlines this summer by pushing for local enforcement of federal immigration laws, won a third term.

In an unusually tight and lively sheriff's race, three-term incumbent Steve O. Simpson (I) defeated former Fairfax County detective Michael E. George (D) and former Loudoun deputy Greg J. Ahlemann (R).

"I think it's over," said Simpson, surrounded by supporters at the county administration building shortly after midnight. "There are still some precincts that have not reported -- this has been very slow -- but I think I have won."

The victory provided a measure of vindication for Simpson, who ran as an independent after losing the Republican nomination to Ahlemann. With Ahlemann in third place, many voters appeared to reject his contention that Simpson was an ineffective leader who was soft on illegal immigration.

In a statement, Paul Protic, chairman of the Loudoun Republican Party, said he thought local candidates faced an anti-GOP mood that was prevalent across the state.

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