Bill Pascoe, the challenger for the 47th District House of Delegates seat, readily admits he is not a typical Virginia General Assembly candidate. He registered to vote in Arlington in March, after living in the county for less than a year, and says that until recently, he did not pay attention to state politics.

Despite this, the 27-year-old Republican, on a leave of absence as a foreign policy analyst for the conservative Heritage Foundation, is waging a door-to-door affront to a 10-year incumbent whom Pascoe describes as "out of touch" with his constituents.

James F. Almand, 38, a general practice lawyer and the Democratic incumbent, is described by some colleagues as one of the most active members of the legislature. He said he has introduced more than 115 bills and resolutions that have been enacted.

"He just urges a thing in a quiet manner and people just seem to go along," said 48th District Del. Mary A. Marshall, a fellow Democrat. " . . . It's not well known how extraordinarily effective he is."

Voters in the district, which includes western Arlington and a slice of Fairfax stretching from Baileys Crossroads to Seven Corners, will have a clear choice in the Nov. 3 election. Except for the lottery, which they both oppose, Pascoe and Almand hold distinctly different views on a wide range of issues.

Almand is a tenants advocate who has been a leader in legislation preserving low- and moderate-income housing. He helped create a mechanism by which landlords are given financial incentives to stabilize rents and was instrumental in the formation of the Virginia Housing Authority, which grants low-interest loans to developers to build moderately priced units. He is a founder of the Northern Virginia Housing Coalition.

"I think we've got to have housing for all types of people," Almand said. "{People} want a diverse community."

Pascoe opposes requirements that developers build a certain number of moderately priced units in any given apartment complex. He favors increasing the financial incentives to the private sector to encourage construction of moderately priced housing, and is against rent subsidies in any form.

"We need to take low- and moderate-income people and help them become moderate and high income," Pascoe said.

Pascoe also would like to boost Northern Virginia's share of the educational funding pie. Almand said he would not support changing the funding formula to increase state support of area schools, citing a need improve education elsewhere in the state.

Almand supports Gov. Gerald L. Baliles' windfall tax plan, which redistributes about $173 million to lower-income earners. Pascoe said the money should go back to those who earned it.

On the issue of day care, Almand said Virginia needs a state office and more state funds to increase the reliability and availability of day care. "If we expect people to get off the welfare rolls, we at least ought to provide them with the opportunity to have their children looked out for while they are at work," he said.

Pascoe said governmental regulation of the business discourages the private sector from providing the much-needed service. "You show me a government source and I can show you a private sector that can do it better and cheaper," he said.

Pascoe said he discovered his proclivity for politics at Boys' State Virginia, an annual mock legislative session for high school students. "I've lived in this area all my life," said Pascoe, who grew up in Fairfax County. "I've never been interested in local politics. I can't explain why, but my personality is that I go full out into everything I do. I don't have a lot of time to join a lot of things . . . . I love my work. I'm a policy analyst."

He said the governor's tax reform plans piqued his interest in the local race.

According to his latest financial statement, Pascoe raised $2,505 by the Aug. 31 filing deadline. The Utah-based conservative political action committee of Howard Ruff, a well-known financial analyst, contributed $1,500.

Almand has raised $4,582 and has an additional $14,000 left over from his last campaign, he said.

Almand has been in the legislature since 1978. He serves on the Courts of Justice, General Laws, Militia and Police, and Claims committees. He is a member of the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and the advisory committee to the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Commission.

He was an Arlington assistant commonwealth's attorney from 1974 to 1977 and is a member of at least 16 local organizations.

"Once you develop seniority, you can be a more effective representative for your constituents," Almand said. " . . . I have been active from the very beginning. In my first term I introduced 18 bills, which is something you're not supposed to do."

He said he is "very happy" in his position and has no immediate political aspirations except reelection.