Reston Write-In Successful; 'Holocaust Revisionist' Blocked From Civic Body

By Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A last-minute write-in campaign to prevent a self-described Holocaust revisionist from serving on a civic body in Reston has succeeded with a landside, the organization's former president said today.

Ken Meyercord, who had been running unopposed for an at-large seat on the Reston Citizens Association's 13-member volunteer board, received only 23 votes after his provocative views on Jews created a backlash.

Colin Mills, the write-in candidate for the at-large position on the board, received 1,157 votes, according to Mike Corrigan, the civic association's former president and a member of the election committee.

The turnout for the election, which was held Saturday and Sunday during the Reston Festival at Reston Town Center, was so heavy that elections committee members photocopied additional ballots.

"It's a fabulous result," said Debra Steppel, the former Reston Citizens Association board member behind the write-in campaign. "I'm very, very pleased."

Meyercord was gracious in conceding.

"I think Ms. Steppel should be congratulated for her efforts," Meyercord said in a telephone interview yesterday. "All Americans should be as active defending their people, although I think she's misinformed."

Meyercord, 65, said he and his wife, Samira, 64, have lived in Reston since 1977. In writings and interviews, Meyercord has attempted to challenge historical accounts of the Holocaust, expressing doubt that Nazi Germany embarked on a mission to annihilate European Jews, a plan known as the Final Solution. He has also denied that Nazis used gas chambers to murder Jews, saying such chambers did not exist, and expressed skepticism that the number of Holocaust victims reached 6 million.

Steppel, 41, said she heard about Meyercord's provocative local TV show about a month ago in a flier distributed by a religious organization. When a newsletter from the Reston Citizens Association came around about a week ago with a list of candidates for the board, she recognized Meyercord's name and swung into action, lining up 20 or so volunteers to canvass for votes during the weekend festival.

The Reston Citizens Association is a quasi-governmental body that sets the agenda for the community of 60,000, which is not officially a municipality.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company