The spring promises a bumper crop of candidates for municipal offices in eight Northern Virginia cities and towns. Fifty-five candidates have registered to run for office of mayor or council seats in elections to be held May 6.

The largest and possibly the most heated campaign will be in Fairfax City where five candidates are running for the job now held by Mayor Frederick W. Silverthorne. Nine more candidates are competing for six at-large council seats.

One issue causing considerable debate in Fairfax City concerns the organization of the fire department. Last fall, the council voted to place the combined paid and volunteer department under the authority of the volunteer chief. Supporters on both sides of the emotional issue promised to work for, or against, council members who voted against their wishes.

Besides Silverthorne, who lives in the 3600 block of Heritage Lane, the other candidates for mayor are: Susanne W. Max, a current council member who lives in the 10500 block of Center Street; Lee H. Wigren, also a current council member who works as an analyst for the CIA and lives in the 10100 block of Alice Court; Dr. Frederick J. McCoy, a dentist and former council member, who lives in the 3700 block of Chain Bridge Road; and Clifford Overcash, a retired businessman who lives in the 10100 block of Toms Court.

Running for council seats are: Carl J. Hemmer, an incumbent who works for AID and lives in the 3200 block of Beachtree Court; John T. Perrin, an incumbent who works for an osteopathic association and lives in the 3500 block of Cornell Road; William T. Scott Jr., an incumbent who owns a lawn care service and lives in the 3500 block of Cornell Road; Glenn L. White, an incumbent who owns a computer consulting firm and lives in the 10600 block of Howerton Avenue; John Spence, a cartographer with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, who lives in the 11100 block of Church Street; Mary L. Roper, a former member of the city planning commission who lives in the 10100 block of Spring Lake Terrace; Eugene P. Moore, a high school teacher who lives in the 3800 block of Chain Bridge Road; Edmund L. Kanwit, a retired Federal employe who lives in the 9900 block of Broadview Drive; and William M. Calnan, who works for the State of Maryland and lives in the 3700 block of Warwick Circle.

Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at six precincts: Fairfax Presbyterian Church, 10723 Main St; United Methodist Church, University Drive and Stratford Avenue; Layton Hall School, 3705 Old Lee Highway; Fairfax City Hall, 10455 Armstrong St. Room 306; John C. Wood School, 3730 Old Lee Highway; and Christ Lutheran Church, 3810 Meredith Drive.

FALLS CHURCH -- Only three candidates are running for three at-large council seats. They are: W. John Cameron, an incumbent who works as a consultant and lives in the 800 block of Ridge Place; John C. Gannon, an analyst for the CIA who lives in the 200 block of Brook Drive; and Edward B. Straight, a former council member who works for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and lives in the 500 block of Roosevelt Blvd.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in five wards -- Thomas Jefferson School, 601 S. Oak Street; Oakwood Apartments, 501 Roosevelt Blvd.; Boy Scout Club House, 128 S. Spring Street; Community Center, 223 Little Falls Street; and American Legion Post, 400 N. Oak Street.

HERNDON -- Mayor Thomas D. Rust of the 1000 block of Monroe Street is running unopposed.

Nine candidates are competing for six at-large council seats. They are: Haley M. Smith, a carpenter who lives in the 700 block of Grace Street; Daniel B. Krisky, an attorney who lives in the 900 block of McDaniel Court; Lloyd H. Johnson, manager of a computer company, who lives in the 800 block of Vine Street; Robert P. Jansen, an engineer who lives in the 500 block of Filmore Street; William L. Burnette, a data analyst who lives in the 400 block of Virginia Avenue; Shelia P. O'Leary, a housewife who lives in the 1200 block of Wilshire Drive; Henry Zigler Jr., a delicatessen owner who lives in the 1000 block of Knight Lane; Charles F. Fisher, a property manager who lives in the 600 block of Center Street; and Howard Nachman, owner of a clothing store who lives in the 800 block of Vine Street.

Polls will open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in two precinct: Herndon Elementary School, 630 Dranesville Road; and Herndon Intermediate School, 901 Locust Street.

CLIFTON-Mayor Mynor F. McIntyre of the 1200 block of Chestnut Street is running unopposed.

Three candidates are running for three at-large council seats. They are: Robert F. Anchor, who works for the Federal Reserve and lives in the 1200 block of Chapel Road; Kenneth D. Buckley, a federal government employe who also lives in the 1200 block of Chapel Road; and Robert F. Lindholm who works for an insurance company and lives in the 1200 block of Chestnut Street.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Clifton Fire Hall, 12645 Chapel Road.

VIENNA-Mayor Charles A. Robinson Jr., manager of a national trade association who lives in the 100 block of Court House Road SW will be opposed by incumbent council member Donald Upchurch, a retired Air Force who lives in the 500 block of Roberts Drive NW.

Three candidates are running for three council seats. Incumbent Vincent Olson, a newpaper distributor who lives in the 600 block of Valley Drive SE; E. Ross Buckley, an incumbent and a U.S. Justice Department attorney who lives in the 100 block of St. Andrews Street NE; and Robert Robinson, a funeral director who lives in the 100 block of Wilmar Place.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Community Hall, 120 Cherry Street NW.

MANASSAS-Mayor Harry J. Parrish, owner of a fuel company who lives in the 9300 block of Battle Street, is being opposed by John Paul Molier, an IBM employe who lives in the 9100 block of Travelers Street.

Five candidates are contesting three council seats. They are: James H. Payne, a retired incumbent who lives in the 9100 block of Sudley Road; Louise F. Galleher, a retired incumbent who lives in the 900 block of Sudley Road; John W. Webber, a lawyer who lives in the 9500 block of Park Street; Paula A. Faraday who lives in the 9400 block of Robnel Venue; and Maurice Gerson, an IBM employe who lives in the 8300 block of Ivy Glen Court.

Polls will be open in four precincts: Prince William County Court House, 9250 Lee Avenue; Greater Manassas Community Center, 9300 Peabody Street; City Hall Annex, 9027 Center Street; and Marsteller Junior High School, 8370 Sudley Road.

MANASSAS PARK-Incumbent Mayor Jay F. Murphy, a federal employee who lives in the 100 block of Lambert Drive is running against two candidates. They are: Robert Murphy, a Giant Food employee who lives in the 8600 block of Madera Court; and Wendell Hite, a Lorton security guard who lives in the 8200 block of White Pine Drive.

There are five candidates for three at-large council seats. They are: incumbent Frances Embrey, who works for a glass company and lives in the 200 block of Cabbel Road; Robert Maitland, an engineer who lives in the 200 block of Kent Drive; Douglass Parks, a concrete superintendent who lives in the 100 block of Denver Drive; Donald Tickner; disabled, who lives in the 100 block of Forrest Street; and John Bowling, a food store employe who lives in the 100 block of Colburn Drive.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the town courthouse, 101 Manassas Drive.

LEESBURG-Maynor Kenneth B. Rollins, an attorney who lives in the 200 block of Valley View Avenue is running unopposed.

There are four candidates for three at-large council seats. They are: incumbent Stanley D. Herrell, owner of a glass company who lives in the 50 block of Sycolin Road; Charles A. Bos, owner of a car import company who lives in the 100 block of North King Street: Howard M. Willis Jr., owner of a catering company who lives in the 200 block of Ayrlee Avenue; and James M. Bles, a farmer who lives in the 50 block of Cornwall Street.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Rescue Squard on Catoctin Circle and the Volunteer Fire Station on West Loudoun Street.