Prince William County Democrats will decide three contested races in their June 14 primary, while Republicans will decide two.
Both their parties will decide contested races for county sheriff and Gainesville district supervisor. In addition, Democrats will choose between an incumbent and a challenger for Neabsco district supervisor.
Five candidates are seeking to replace Prince William County Sheriff Carl A. Rollins Jr., 59, who is retiring after 24 years with the sheriff's department. He was first elected in 1971 and served three terms.
During Rollins' tenure the sheriff's office lost much of its importance because of the creation of the Prince William County Police Department in 1970 and the transfer of control of the new Prince William-Manassas regional jail to a newly created jail board in 1981.
Democratic candidates Wilson C. Garrison, David C. Mabie and Bernie Wilkinson all say they want to enlarge the role of the sheriff's department.
Garrison, 40, a Prince William police detective, said he would like to reinstate the service of providing funeral escorts. The service was abandoned a year ago.
"I feel like it's a courtesy that a taxpayer may last receive," Garrison said.
The county native worked for the sheriff's department for two years early in his career before spending five years with the Warrenton Police Department. He has held Prince William police positions for 13 years.
Wilkinson, 51, a sheriff's deputy for the last 15 years, said he was the first to suggest the return of the funeral escorts. "I said that back in March. He [Garrison] got a lot of mileage out of it," Wilkinson said.
A member of the County Democratic Party for 15 years, Wilkinson is a member of the Masonic Lodge and president of the county's Fraternal Order of Police.
Mabie, 39, is a county police investigator and a native of New York state who has lived in Prince William for the last 13 years. He is president of the Northern Virginia Crime Clinic, an information exchange for law enforcement officers.
Mabie said he would create a "rank structure" in the sheriff's department apart from current distinctions of sheriff and deputy. He favors increased training and office computerization.
"The sheriff's department handles a tremendous amount of paperwork," Mabie said.
GOP candidates for sheriff are Harry M. Hittle, 41, a county police sergeant, and Frank E. Bolton, 46, a professional auctioneer.
Hittle said he has lived in Northern Virginia for 35 years and has been in law enforcement for 20 years, including seven years in Arlington and 13 years in Prince William. He is a staff member of the Northern Virginia police academy and was an organizer of the Prince William County Police Officers Association.
The department's needs are apparent, Hittle said. "Vehicles are a problem, for example," he said. "They need newer motor vehicles. They also need a closer relationship with law-enforcement training facilities."
Bolton said he was reared in a rural Tennessee sheriff's department.
"I was raised in jail by my father, who was a sheriff, and we lived there and I grew up in there," Bolton said. "I grew up knowing the sheriff's office very thoroughly."
Bolton is a precinct chairman and was a delegate to a Republican National Convention. He said he would begin a volunteer program for senior citizens and young people within the sheriff's department.
In the GOP primary race for Gainesville district supervisor, four candidates have filed, including the present tiebreaker member of the county Board of Supervisors, John Dempewolf. The other candidates are Ronald A. Butler, Celia (Sue) Coe and Guy Anthony Guiffre.
Butler, who recently retired from the Army, is director of marketing for a local hotel chain and has served on the board of directors of the county Chamber of Commerce for the last seven years. He formerly was a vice president of the chamber.
A native of Chesterfield County, Butler, 48, said he wants to improve county senior-citizen support programs.
"We created a government that the average person doesn't understand anymore," Butler said. "To keep the channels of communication open, we have to remove the obstructions to understanding."
Coe, 44, is a member of the Gainesville-Haymarket Planning Association, the Prince William Historical Commission, the Prince William League for the Protection of Natural Resources and county women's organizations.
A real estate agent, Coe has lived in Prince William since 1964. She said she favors "adherence to the comprehensive plan," county development and higher teachers' salaries.
"I think the tax rate must be kept at a level that individual homeowners can afford," she said. Revenues can be better managed, she said, allowing raises for teachers.
Dempewolf, 37, is an engineer employed by IBM. A New York state native, he has lived in Prince William County for seven years. He was elected at-large to the tiebreaker position on the Board of Supervisors and was appointed the board's representative to the social services commission's annual legislative meeting of the Virginia Association of Counties.
Dempewolf said he favors a branch library for western Prince William and wants better communications between the Gainesville supervisor and constituents, which he said are poor now.
"I don't think the current representation on the board has been responsive to the wishes of the constituents," Dempewolf said.
Guiffre, a Manassas architect, has lived in Prince William for 16 years and is the state legislative liaison for the Catharpin Citizens Association. Guiffre, 44, also is a volunteer firefighter.
"The county has become quite a bedroom community and we need to swing around back to some industrial development," he said.
Guiffre also favors replacing the current school board members and wants improved scholarship in the county's high schools.
In the Democratic primary race for Gainesville supervisor, incumbent Donald L. White is opposed by John E. Bonfadini, who opposed 50th District delegate Harry Parrish in that race last year.
Bonfadini, 44, is president of the state teachers association, the Gainesville Democratic Committee chairman, a registered lobbyist on energy issues and secretary of the Prince William electric cooperative.
"We're going to have a lot of growth pains, and we need to make sure we end up with quality growth," he said. Bonfadini also stressed that communication must be improved between the Gainesville supervisor and residents because the elected official "has to be a spokesman for the people."
White, 52, is completing his second term as Gainesville supervisor. He is a self-employed accountant, a Fairfax County native and a resident of Prince William since 1961.
White is the board's representative on the executive board of the Virginia Association of Counties. He is also board representative to the Northern Virginia Planning Commission.
"We have an industrial complex; we have a tourism council. I would like to see them brought under the umbrella of our economic development department," White said. "We've continued to have financial stability that has resulted in an increase in our bond rating."
Another Democratic incumbent, Neabsco District Supervisor John D. Jenkins, faces opposition from Edward Rodriguez. Jenkins said he would continue the policies he has followed since being appointed supervisor in October and would seek additional improvements for commuters using I-95.
"I want to see a study of the traffic patterns in east Prince William," he said. "And I want to continue the things I've already started."
Jenksins, 43, is an Alabama native who moved to the Washington area in 1957 and has lived in Prince William for the last 13 years. He is the computer operations coordinator for Fairfax County schools.
Rodriguez, 34, is a vice president of the leasing division of a Woodbridge auto dealership. He also is chairman of the Neabsco District Democrats and a member of the metropolitan Washington United Way allocations committee. A Texas native, he has lived in Dale City since 1976.
"I would like to have a more enthusiastically sought industrial base to broaden our tax base and stablize taxes," Rodriguez said. He said he would apply a businessman's approach to running the county.
Rodriguez also favors elected rather than appointed school board members and said he would establish community meetings to inform residents of board actions.
Democratic candidates running unopposed include Joseph D. Reading, incumbent Brentsville supervisor; Richard Psitzner, incumbent, Coles supervisor; and Kathleen A. Seefeldt, board chairman and incumbent Occoquan supervisor.
Unopposed Democrats for the Dumfries and Woodbridge districts are, respectively, Edward C. King and Andree McCarty. George Dowd is the unopposed Democratic candidate in the race for 28th District senator. Also unopposed is 29th District Sen. Charles J. Colgan, 51st District Del. David G. Brickley and 52nd District Del. Floyd C. Bagley. The Democratic candidate for the 40th District delegate's post is Vernon Miles.
Clerk of the circuit court Charlton E. Gnadt and commonwealth's attorney Paul B. Ebert are unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Unopposed Republican candidates are Jim Howard, Neabsco district; Eileen M. Barnes, Dumfries district; Charles Orndorff, Coles district; and Donald Kidwell, Woodbridge.
John Chichester is unopposed in the GOP primary race for the 28th District Senate seat, and Michelle McQuigg is unopposed for the clerk of the court.
Republican Delegates Harry Parrish, 50th district, and Bob Harris, 40th District, also are unopposed.