With Labor Day passed, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is off and running for reelection this fall in races that reflect the diverse and changing nature of this rural county.

Although all eight seats on the board of supervisors are up for election, two races in particular represent how the county is changing. Both pit old-guard incumbents against younger men, one who currently works outside the county and the other a retired federal bureaucrat. The outcome of either race, Loudoun residents say, could change the balance on the board and significantly alter the future direction of county policy.

James F. Brownell, the incumbent Republican who has represented the Blue Ridge district for 16 years, is being challenged for the first time since 1971. His opponent, Ben Fordney, is a member of the Round Hill Town Council and a former employe of the U.S. Information Agency.

Although Fordney grew up in Hamilton and has been active recently in local politics, the majority of his adult years were spent outside Loudoun County.

Brownell, one of the most conservative politicians in the county, is the only farmer left on the Board of Supervisors and is seen by several political observers in his rural district as representing the views of its people.

Fordney, however, said Brownell has not adequately represented the people in the county's western towns, the centers of commerce in the largely rural Blue Ridge district.

"We assume Brownell will be difficult to unseat, but the response I've gotten is that his support is soft in many areas," Fordney said. "I'm hoping that with a combination of new people unfamiliar with him and people in the district who are dissatisfied with him, I'll be able to win."

Fordney said he plans to visit all 3,400 voters in his district and is sharply criticizing Brownell for not being aggressive enough in representing the area.

Brownell, who works full time on his dairy farm, said he can't possibly get to every home and will rely instead on his record and reputation.

"I think it's time we had a referendum on me," Brownell said. "I've tried to represent the wishes of the majority of the people, and I think I'll win."

Brownell said he is fiscally conservative and "the last man on earth the teachers would ever endorse." He said he has tried not to meddle in the affairs of the western towns.

"When they asked for help, I've always been there," Brownell said. "But they don't want the county in the middle of their meetings, and I'm not going to do that."

Despite their differences, Brownell and Fordney agree on many issues that matter most to residents of the Blue Ridge district, including the need to preserve farmland and to keep the schools open.

Frank Raflo, the Democratic representative from the Leesburg district, is another longtime board member, but unlike Brownell, Raflo has only narrowly held on to his seat in the past.

In 1979, Raflo, who's been on the board for 13 years, came close to losing reelection in a three-way race against a teacher running as an independent and a Republican woman. The Loudoun Education Association came out against Raflo, and he squeaked in with only 41 percent of the vote.

For Republican Brian T. Kelley, who has been planning to run for local office for many years, the 1979 race proved that Raflo could be unseated.

Kelley believes teachers in the Leesburg district are still dissatisfied with Raflo's performance, and he is hoping for their endorsement. He also criticizes the incumbent for not doing enough to attract industry and business in the county.

"There's so much high-tech industry in Fairfax County, but our reputation in Loudoun County for being a bureaucratic mess is so bad we're not attracting any of it," Kelley said. "Mr. Raflo may have become too encumbered in the county bureaucracy to be effective. I'm willing to look at things a little differently." Old-Guard Incumbents Challenged in Loudoun By Wendy Swallow Special to The Washington Post

With Labor Day passed, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is off and running for reelection this fall in races that reflect the diverse and changing nature of this rural county.

Although all eight seats on the board of supervisors are up for election, two races in particular represent how the county is changing. Both pit old-guard incumbents against younger men, one who currently works outside the county and the other a retired federal bureaucrat. The outcome of either race, Loudoun residents say, could change the balance on the board and significantly alter the future direction of county policy.

James F. Brownell, the incumbent Republican who has represented the Blue Ridge district for 16 years, is being challenged for the first time since 1971. His opponent, Ben Fordney, is a member of the Round Hill Town Council and a former employe of the U.S. Information Agency.

Although Fordney grew up in Hamilton and has been active recently in local politics, the majority of his adult years were spent outside Loudoun County.

Brownell, one of the most conservative politicians in the county, is the only farmer left on the Board of Supervisors and is seen by several political observers in his rural district as representing the views of its people.

Fordney, however, said Brownell has not adequately represented the people in the county's western towns, the centers of commerce in the largely rural Blue Ridge district.

"We assume Brownell will be difficult to unseat, but the response I've gotten is that his support is soft in many areas," Fordney said. "I'm hoping that with a combination of new people unfamiliar with him and people in the district who are dissatisfied with him, I'll be able to win."

Fordney said he plans to visit all 3,400 voters in his district and is sharply criticizing Brownell for not being aggressive enough in representing the area.

Brownell, who works full time on his dairy farm, said he can't possibly get to every home and will rely instead on his record and reputation.

"I think it's time we had a referendum on me," Brownell said. "I've tried to represent the wishes of the majority of the people, and I think I'll win."

Brownell said he is fiscally conservative and "the last man on earth the teachers would ever endorse." He said he has tried not to meddle in the affairs of the western towns.

"When they asked for help, I've always been there," Brownell said. "But they don't want the county in the middle of their meetings, and I'm not going to do that."

Despite their differences, Brownell and Fordney agree on many issues that matter most to residents of the Blue Ridge district, including the need to preserve farmland and to keep the schools open.

Frank Raflo, the Democratic representative from the Leesburg district, is another longtime board member, but unlike Brownell, Raflo has only narrowly held on to his seat in the past.

In 1979, Raflo, who's been on the board for 13 years, came close to losing reelection in a three-way race against a teacher running as an independent and a Republican woman. The Loudoun Education Association came out against Raflo, and he squeaked in with only 41 percent of the vote.

For Republican Brian T. Kelley, who has been planning to run for local office for many years, the 1979 race proved that Raflo could be unseated.

Kelley believes teachers in the Leesburg district are still dissatisfied with Raflo's performance, and he is hoping for their endorsement. He also criticizes the incumbent for not doing enough to attract industry and business in the county.

"There's so much high-tech industry in Fairfax County, but our reputation in Loudoun County for being a bureaucratic mess is so bad we're not attracting any of it," Kelley said. "Mr. Raflo may have become too encumbered in the county bureaucracy to be effective. I'm willing to look at things a little differently."

Raflo, who has been active in local politics for 30 years, refuses to discuss his opponent, preferring instead to rest on his record, which he said is "sufficient for reelection."

"I've never been anti-education," Raflo said. "My school board representative proposed the 10 percent teacher salary increase this year, and I've always supported school bond referendums. This time, I think that message is getting through better."

On many issues, some that matter most to the Leesburg district, the two candidates agree. They both rate themselves as fiscally conservative, and both strongly support getting more state funds for local transportation improvement.

But as with the Brownell-Fordney race, the image they are portraying to the voters differs. Raflo, who publishes a local community newsletter, is banking on his image as an experienced local politician to attract support, while Kelley, a telecommunications professional who works in McLean, hopes his "new blood" will win him the seat.

The other races in the county also are heating up, and some are fueling accusations of unfair campaign practices.

The Board of Supervisors voted 6-to-2 Tuesday to reactivate a fair campaign practices committee originally set up before the board's 1979 race.

Loudoun County Republican Party Chairman J. Winston Porter spoke out against reactivating the committee at the board meeting, calling it an "incumbency protection act." There are six Democrats on the eight-member board and the vote to reactivate the committee split along party lines.

Porter said candidates were adequately protected by the law against illegal and slanderous campaign practices, but Democratic board members, supported by the Loudoun County League of Women Voters, disagreed.

The committee will be made up of two Democrats, two Republicans and three persons selected by the League of Women Voters.

In other supervisor races, board chairman Thomas J. Dodson is unopposed and board member Travis Sample is not seeking reelection. Running for his Dulles District seat are Democrat Ann Kavanagh and Republican James E. Clarke.

Opposing Democrat Betty Tatum in the Guilford District is Republican Richard P. Mason. Running against Republican Andrew R. Bird III in the Sterling District is Democrat Carolyn Lehner, and in the Broad Run District incumbent board member Carl F. Henrickson is being challenged by Steve Stockman, who is running as an independent but has been endorsed by the GOP.