Supervisor Audrey Moore, who started her public career as a housewife fighting for parks, has staffed her campaign for the top elected position in Fairfax County with advisers who have lots of energy but little or no professional political experience.

Three-term County Board Chairman John F. Herrity, a lawyer and insurance company owner whose campaign has been blessed with more money, did the opposite: he opted for the pros.

The differences between the campaigns of Democrat Moore and Republican Herrity for the chairman of the county board are as great as the well-publicized differences between the candidates. The election is Tuesday.

Moore's campaign manager, Linda (Toddy) Puller, is a mother of two, a Democratic precinct organizer and a tour guide at the Smithsonian's "First Ladies Hall."

Moore's television campaign was designed by a free-lance volunteer.

Herrity's inner circle consists of Tom Herrity, his 25-year-old son who helped run the successful reelection campaign last year for Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), Washington attorney William J. Madden, Fairfax businessmen Joseph D. Ragan, and White House lobbyist Thomas Korologos.

Herrity also hired Michael E. Murphy and Alex Castellanos, the media advisers who produced a television ad often attributed with saving the reelection bid of Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) in 1984.

That ad pointed to inconsistencies in Gov. James B. Hunt Jr.'s record.

Hunt had led in the polls by 20 percentage points before the commercial ran. Murphy and Castellanos have tried similar ads against Moore.

Madden and Korologos met Herrity in the early 1970s when all three lived within blocks of each other in West Springfield.

Ragan, a coffee distributor who was the manager of Herrity's first campaign for board chairman in 1975, met the candidate at a Knights of Columbus meeting 20 years ago.

Moore turned to new recruits this year.

Because she had never run a countywide race she had no guru to show her the way to win Dranesville, Springfield, or the rest of Fairfax outside her base in the central Fairfax Annandale District.

Moore also has less money than Herrity -- at last report $275,000 to Herrity's $468,000 -- so she needed aides willing to work for little money.

Most of those she could find were women who were retired or raising children at home.

She called Janice Spector, a former New York Times reporter and disaffected member of the county's Republican Party, took her to lunch and hired her as spokeswoman. Friends told her about Puller, who had coordinated the field efforts for several Democratic candidates. After another lunch she made Puller the campaign manager.

Rayma Miles, a retired school teacher who was disgusted by an anonymous, foul letter that attacked Moore and was mailed to residents, walked into Moore's headquarters and volunteered to go door-to-door on behalf of the campaign.

Herrity disavowed any knowledge of the letter and Moore herself said she was certain the Herrity campaign had nothing to do with it.

For more than 40 hours a week for the last two months, Miles has organized Moore walks through 44 neighborhoods.

"I think he {Herrity} underestimated her at the beginning," said Spector. "He underestimated our strength, our ability."

Ragan said that might be true. "There may be an element of that, but I surely didn't," he said. "The people who had Jack's ear knew he was behind {but} we didn't think she could raise that much money."

Until last month, Moore was saying she probably could not afford television commercials. Her refusal to take money from land developers restricted her cash flow, but a steady stream of small donations and frugal spending allowed for a last-minute $120,000 TV blitz that began Sunday. Michael J. Ellis, a free-lance writer, wrote and produced all five of Moore's new ads free of charge.

"It was a bit frightening at first, but we knew we had the right issues, the right candidate," said Puller. Asked how she decided how many mailings, phone calls and television spots to make, she said: "I was kind of guessing. I really work from instinct."

Democrats with longtime experience and a computer that pinpointed swing precincts, likely contributors, and likely voters also helped, Puller said.

"She has run a very good campaign," Ragan said. "Audrey has made very few mistakes. She stuck to her one issue {linking Herrity to development} and only got sidetracked on roads a couple of times."

For their part, some of Herrity's advisers believe their biggest mistake was not hitting Moore earlier on her votes against I-66, the Springfield bypass and the Dulles Toll Road.

Over the years, the county board took numerous votes on those major expressways. Records show that Moore supported them at times, but also voted against them at times.

The Democrat contends that she disagreed only with details of the roads; Herrity says she was never a genuine supporter.

Ragan and Madden believe Herrity wasted thousands of dollars on his initial blitz of ads that sought to associate him with all the good things that had come to Fairfax: prosperity, good schools, lower taxes, excellent fire and police services.

Those ads, which ran in June, did nothing to erase the negative impression Herrity had among 40 percent of the county's registered voters, according to a Washington Post poll.

Because Herrity was so well known, the better strategy, his advisers decided, was to play up Moore's negative image.

In early October they did. Herrity's "no, no, no ad," which highlighted Moore's votes against roads with large red "No" stamps that plunked down next to her photograph on the television screen, were credited with cutting Moore's lead in the polls.

Murphy, of Murphy & Castellanos, disagreed with the suggestion that Herrity should have attacked Moore's transportation record earlier.

"Fairfax County is an affluent, upscale place. It has smart folks. You don't have to hammer them," Murphy said. "We could have been doing it earlier, but people catch on fast, they listen at the end."

Tuesday, Herrity unveiled a new ad that hit Moore for her highway votes.

That commercial juxtaposes Moore's voice saying "I voted for every one of these roads" with a newspaper headline reading, "Moore voted against major roads." Another voice then says: "You can't have it both ways, candidate Moore."

Rather than move to the defense and try to counter Herrity's attacks -- which is what the Republicans had hoped the Democrats would do -- Moore stuck to blaming Herrity for a feverish pace of traffic-generating development.

Several of the ads Moore began running on Sunday paint Herrity as the architect of a "reckless development policy" that brought so much construction to Fairfax, it amounted to "dropping the entire city of Newark right on top of our neighborhoods." The ad ends: "Thanks for nothing, Jack."

As the race draws to a close, Madden said, "there has not been too much pulled out of the hat." Both candidates knew early that the issues of traffic and development would dominate the campaign, he said, and they did.

As the countdown to Tuesday begins, Spector said Moore's camp is "feeling confident that our message is the message of Fairfax County. All the polls document that transportation and development are linked; you can't tear them apart."

Tom Herrity maintains: "Growth is not the issue, traffic is."

Moore is ahead in the polls, but Herrity is hopeful. As Korologos put it: "Jack is a fast-finisher. He's like Silky Sullivan, a horse who started 40 lengths back" but still won.