The list of candidates seeking seats in the Virginia House of Delegates continued to grow this week as six Northern Virginians, including two incumbent legislators, announced their candidacies.
In Fairfax County, divided under the state redistricting plan into four districts with three seats each, five candidates added their names to the already long list of contenders.
In the newly created 49th District, covering Falls Church and northeastern Fairfax County, four candidates announced this week: Gwen Cody, of Annandale; Conrad J. Marshall, McLean; Elaine Andrews Lailas, of McLean, and incumbent Martin H. Perper.
In the new 52nd District, which covers southwestern Fairfax County, Mark L. Glaser, of Springfield, announced his candidacy.
The sixth House candidate is David Speck, a Republican incumbent from Alexandria, who announced for the new 21st District of Alexandria, which will send two legislators to the House.
Speck, who is seeking a second term in office, was a member of the House education committee in the last session, and, sponsored several bills relating to tenant rights and condominium conversions.
In the 49th District, two Democrats -- Lailas and Marshall -- and two Republicans -- Cody and Perper -- will be seeking party nominations for the seats.
Lailas, a past presidetn of the Virginia chapter of the American Association of University Woman, is making her first bid at elected office. Lailas is an educator who has taught in many Virginia schools, including Northern Virginia Community College, where she was a part-time instructor. She said she intends to focus on education issues in her campaign and added that she would like to see legislative support of the Equal Rights Amendment and extension of the Voting Rights Act.
Marshall, a McLean lawyer, said he plans to seek revisions in several criminal statutes, including a change that would require a seven-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of using a firearm in a criminal act. Marshall is a former chairman of the Dranesville District Democratic Committee and a past member of the Virginia State Bar's legislative committee.
On the Republican side, Cody, who make an unsuccessful bid for the county Board of Supervisors two years ago, described herself as a conservative who opposes both the Equal Rights Amendment and extension of the Voting Rights Act. She says equal protection laws already are codified and that Virginia no longer needs supervision in ensuring equal representation for minorities. Her major focus, she said, would be on improving transportation in Northern Virginia. In particular, Cody says she supports construction of the Dulles Toll Road. Cody is legislative chairman for the Fairfax County Taxpayer's Alliance.
The other Republican, incumbent Perper, is seeking his third House term. First elected in 1977, Perper is a member of the House finance committee and this year sponsored bills to outlaw drug paraphernalia and provide increased property tax relief for senior citizens.
In the 52nd District, Glaser, a Democrat who is a special education teacher in Fairfax County, is making his first bid for public office. Glaser said he supports handgun registration and would like to see alternatives to imprisonment for persons convicted of nonviolent crimes. Glaser also said the legal age for beer drinking in the state should be raised from 19 to 21. He said he supports ratification of the ERA, and abortion in cases of incest, rape, birth defects and to protect the life of the mother.
Party primares have been set for Sept. 8 and the general election for Nov. 3.