An article on Loudoun County elections in the Metro section last week incorrectly stated the votes cast for Leesburg Town Council member Charles Williams. He won reelection with 1,350 votes. In the Hillsboro election, John Ware received 14 votes, but was not elected to the Town Council.
Despite the fears of many local officials, supporters of political extremist Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. had no significant impact in yesterday's municipal elections in Leesburg and other Loudoun County towns.
"There'll be no laughing LaRouchies in Leesburg as a result of the vote today," said Frank Raflo, a Leesburg political veteran who represents the town on the County Board of Supervisors.
In an unexpected surge early last month, in the final 48 hours before the registration deadline, more than 110 persons signed up to vote, most of them associates of LaRouche, officials said. The new registrants prompted fears from officials, including Raflo and Leesburg Mayor Robert E. Sevila, that the LaRouche organization would stage write-in campaigns for the mayoral and Town Council elections in Leesburg and the towns that dot the countryside of western Loudoun.
The fears proved to be unfounded. Although write-in candidates were elected to mayor and council seats in Hillsboro and received votes in many of the towns, it appeared that none of the candidates was associated with LaRouche, county officials said.
"We do not involve ourselves in covert campaigns, write-in campaigns or similar nonsense . . . ," said Barbara Boyd, Virginia coordinator of the LaRouche-affiliated National Democratic Policy Committee, in a statement before the election.
Boyd called the publicity over the spurt in voter registration among LaRouche supporters "the latest attempt of the media and certain liberal Democratic opponents of Mr. LaRouche in Loudoun, particular Mayor Sevila and Supervisor Raflo, to inject citizens with their own foolish paranoia."
LaRouche, a perennial presidential candidate who lives in a $1.3 million estate protected by armed guards near Leesburg, began moving his political operations along with several hundred employes to the county last year. Two supporters of LaRouche sent shock waves through national Democratic Party circles when they won upset victories for the party's nominations for Illinois lieutenant governor and secretary of state.
Sevila, who was unopposed in yesterday's election, said publicity over the LaRouche supporters' registration may have dissuaded the organization from attempting to exert similar influence in Loudoun. He noted that voter turnout in Leesburg, 30 percent yesterday compared with about 25 percent in municipal elections two years ago, may have been higher because residents were concerned about the possible impact of the LaRouche organization.
Sevila said his estimate of the number of LaRouche supporters registered to vote in Loudoun, reached by examining registration rolls, is about 200. Although the number seems small, he said, he noted that in many Loudoun municipal elections, where both the voter turnout and the total number of registrants is low, a small number of votes can swing an election.
In the western Loudoun town of Hillsboro, for example, only 14 write-in votes yesterday elected John Ware to the Town Council.
Three current members and a former member of the Falls Church City Council, all of whom ran unopposed, were elected to new four-year terms. They are Mayor Carol DeLong, council members Gary Knight and Elizabeth Blystone and former member Elizabeth Havlik. The new council will elect a mayor and vice mayor after it convenes July 1.
Three Northern Virginia mayors ran unopposed for reelection: George T. Snyder in Fairfax City, Richard C. Thoesen in Herndon and Charles A. Robinson Jr. in Vienna. In the Prince George's County town of Berwyn Heights, Mayor William Armistead was reelected with 169 votes of 222 cast.