Joyce Sutcliffe, a community activist from McLean, has been chosen by Republican officials as the party's candidate to run against state Sen. Clive DuVal II, the incumbent Democrat from Virginia's 32nd Senate District, which includes parts of Fairfax and Arlington counties and Falls Church.

Sutcliffe, 43, will take the place of Claiborne B. (Buck) Morton, the original Republican candidate, who died recently of cancer. The GOP had until Oct. 10 to file a late entry in the race against DuVal, who is running in what once had been considered a swing district in this fall's elections.

Sutcliffe, founder and president of El Nido Civic Association and an active member of the McLean Civic Association, was chosen from five potential candidates reviewed at a meeting of local GOP leaders Wednesday. The final selection was made by a committee of representatives from the three jurisdictions.

"There was a consensus that Joyce Sutcliffe was the better known and that in the short period of time left before the election, she would be our strongest candidate," said John S. Buckley, committee chairman. "We're going to run a serious race," he said. "We don't have any illusions that it will be anything but an uphill battle, but we'll be like the Bad News Bears or the Little Train That Could: we're going to plug away."