Frank Francois, a black business executive and retired Army officer, will be nominated by Fairfax County Republicans Monday to fill what has been regarded as the minority seat on the County School Board.
County Board Chairman John F. Herrity said yesterday he will nominate Francois, 52, president of Potomac Marketing and Sales of Alexandria, to fill the School Board seat held by longtime member Robert E. Frye, a Democratic appointee. Democrats have launched an effort to win Frye's reappointment, but with Republicans now holding a majority on the county board, the GOP nominee seems certain to win.
Herrity said he and other Republican supervisors interviewed "eight or nine" candidates for the seat, one of two at-large appointments and one that traditionally has been filled by a minority person.
Board Vice Chairman Martha V. Pennino, a Democrat, said she has "every intention" of renominating Frye, who is also black, but doubted she would be able to gather enough support to win. "But, who knows what might happen between now and Monday," she said.
Frye was targeted by the board's Republicans after his support last month of the board's controversial decision to close Fort Hunt High School. Republicans have generally opposed the closing.
The 48-year-old Frye, who has served on the board since 1978, was unavailable for comment yesterday. He said last week that he wanted to serve another term, and described himself as frustrated by the opposition he was facing.
Francois, a resident of the Mount Vernon area, said he is a political independent and that he has not been active in Republican politics. His firm brokers for companies selling cosmetics, jewelery and other items to military commissaries and exchanges.