No one disputes that, with homes being built and more families moving in, the southern end of Fauquier County is changing.

What is in dispute is whether its politics will change in reaction to growth issues here and in other counties. The question will be answered in no small part by Tuesday's Republican primary for the Cedar Run and Lee magisterial districts, the only contested primary races for seats on the five-member Fauquier County Board of Supervisors.

"These elections will in many ways be a litmus test," said R. Paul Lawrence, chairman of the Fauquier County Republican Party. "Everyone is trying to put on the conservative, `smart-growth' spin. It will be interesting to see how the electorate will read between the lines of all the advertising."

Traditionally, voters in the southern end of the county have elected supervisors who supported more development than supervisors from the wealthier northern end.

Retiring southern Supervisors David C. Mangum (R-Lee) and Wilbur W. Burton (D-Cedar Run) have been targets of criticism from slow-growth activists.

Now, the Republican field in each district includes a slow-growth candidate even though each claims independence from such slow-growth groups as the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Citizens for Fauquier County.

In Cedar Run, Ray E. Graham, 53, a retired administrator in Fairfax County, is sounding alarms about new residential development. And in the Lee District, Sharon Grove McCamy, 38, a writing teacher at Mary Washington College, is doing the same.

Mangum and Burton have both voiced support for their challengers, S.L. "Serf" Guerra in Lee and J. Mark Rohrbaugh Jr. in Cedar Run.

Guerra, 72, retired as an owner of a medical supplies company, and Rohrbaugh, 42, owner of a small manufacturing company, serve on the Planning Commission, and both have cast votes approving major developments, votes their opponents say reveal their "pro-growth" bent.

Mangum and Burton make up the two-vote minority on a board that only recently attained a three-vote majority in favor of stricter growth controls. Two incumbents in the majority are running again in November, and the three candidates who have filed so far for the seat of the third member of the majority bloc, who is retiring, all have identified themselves as supporting "slow-growth" policies.

In the Lee District race, Guerra is supporting a platform that stresses allowing new commercial and light industrial development to expand the county tax base. A blunt speaker, Guerra chafes at attacks on his record on the Planning Commission, such as his vote for the failed Waterfield development, a plan that ultimately would have brought 667 new homes to the county.

"These people talk about `quality of life.' Is quality of life jumping over fences chasing foxes?" he asked. "Or is it working two jobs trying to put food on the table?"

Guerra and Rohrbaugh have supported the widening of Route 28 and bringing sewer service to the Catlett-Calverton area, proposals their opponents fear will spur uncontrolled growth.

"That's the difference between Mark and I. He wants to do things that promote growth," Graham said.

Rohrbaugh said his support for sewer and lane-widening shouldn't be seen as promoting growth. "We have sewer in The Plains, and development hasn't gone crazy," he said. "We have sewer in Marshall, and it hasn't gone crazy."

Ultimately, the candidates said, the races will turn on how these issues are received and how new and old residents respond.

"I think that the counties around us have gone through some radical change. . . . We can look to Loudoun, we can look to Prince William," McCamy said. "People are very worried here."

Burton, 70, who has served on the board since 1987, put it a different way: "You've got a new faction of people that have moved into the county over the last eight, 10 years. . . . Now they have the political arm to shut the door."

Raymond E. Graham

Age: 53.

Community: Catlett (Sowego area).

Years in Fauquier: 22.

Education: BS, 1971, George Washington University.

Occupation and work experience: 27 years with Fairfax County Community and Recreation Services; 15 years as an instructor at Northern Virginia Community College; one year as a teacher in Alexandria City schools and Fairfax County public schools; now a substitute teacher in Fauquier County schools.

Political offices, civic activities: No political offices; Optimist Club; Ruritan Club; Liberty High School Booster Club; Southern Fauquier Business Owners Association; Grace Episcopal Church.

Family: Wife, Martha Ann Graham; one daughter; one son (deceased).

If elected, what will be your two highest priorities on the board? What specific measures will you support to accomplish them?

The Cedar Run District is under intense and growing pressure to succumb to urban sprawl against the wishes of the community. A handful of individuals seeks to run a sewer line the full length of the district in order to solve septic problems of fewer than 30 homes and to widen Route 28 to accommodate traffic which will only exist if runaway development arrives. After I am elected, I will solve problems using a common-sense approach calling on all of my education and experience, as well as that of our community. The septic system problems can be corrected with less impactive solutions at far less cost. The safety of our roads should not be a scapegoat for development ideas. Our citizens deserve safe conditions on the roads, and these conditions can be achieved by listening to the community and following its recommendations. Already, Route 28 has been made safer merely by lowering the speed limit, and motor vehicle collisions have been eliminated almost entirely.

The other major issue is having a county government representative who will listen to the citizens' concerns. During the past few years, many issues have arisen in which our representatives ignored citizens' outcries while bowing to development interests. The Waterfield development and boot camp proposals were the two most outrageous. I plan to form an advisory committee to keep me informed about issues and help me to work closely with all citizens. I am the only candidate in this district who will work full time for these goals. By working together, we can make a difference.

J. Mark Rohrbaugh Jr.

Age: 42.

Community: Casanova.

Years in Fauquier: 20.

Education: Graduate, commercial pilot certification course, Emery Aviation; associate degree in aviation technology, Northern Virginia Community College; graduate, Virginia Certified Planners course.

Occupation and work experience: General manager and treasurer, First Colony Homes; president, Wholesale Wood Products; partner, Calverton Self Storage.

Political offices, civic activities: Vice chairman, Fauquier County Planning Commission; chairman, Vint Hill Economic Development Authority; member, Warrenton Fauquier Airport Board; member, Fauquier County Excellence in Education Committee; served on the Service District Task Force; Chamber of Commerce 1998 Business Person of the Year; received the Ruritan Club's Walter Nourse Trophy for community service.

Family: Wife of 20 years, Damaris; two daughters; one son.

If elected, what will be your two highest priorities on the board? What specific measures will you support to accomplish them?

Fauquier County must increase its tax base from business and clean industry. As chairman of the Vint Hill Economic Development Authority, I have already begun this process. The Federal Aviation Administration is coming to Vint Hill as well as Science Applications International. This means jobs and tax base for Fauquier County. This tax base can be used to keep our teachers' salaries competitive with surrounding counties without increasing the real estate tax rates at the expense of homeowners and working farms.

I believe in getting our citizens involved in the planning process. We need to incorporate citizens planning groups as was recently done in the New Baltimore Service District. This can work for our villages along the Route 28 corridor -- "people" planning their neighborhoods, their communities and their future. Our comprehensive plan will be better with citizen involvement.

By working together, we can accomplish these goals.

S.L. "Serf" Guerra

Age: 72.

Community: Midland.

Years in Fauquier: 15.

Education: BS in chemistry, George Washington University; master's program in biochemistry, Georgetown University; Virginia Certified Planning Commissioners graduate seminar V.P.I. and State University 1995, 1996, 1997.

Occupation and work experience: Chemist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for two years; biochemist at National Institutes of Health for three years; representative for Scientific Research Instruments for mid-Atlantic states for 33 years; retired, 1988.

Political offices, civic activities: Fauquier County Planning Commission; Fauquier County Capital Improvements Program; Fauquier County Library Board; State Library of Virginia Board (chairman, 1998); trustee, St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Bealeton; member, Remington Lions Club.

Family: Eight children, 17 grandchildren, one great-grandchild.

If elected, what will be your two highest priorities on the board? What specific measures will you support to accomplish them?

My highest priorities are: Maintain a safe and healthy community; preserve a growth rate of less than 1 percent. Both of these priorities can be adequately maintained by responsible management and sound financial practices. I will bring 33 years of management experience in the scientific research field coupled with the past seven years of serving Fauquier County on the Planning Commission and chairing the Capital Improvements Program. Also, chairing the board of the Library of Virginia in 1998 afforded me an opportunity to meet many members of the legislature and prominent officials throughout our commonwealth. Specifically, by actively pursuing an increase in the commercial-industrial tax base relative to the real estate tax base, positive financial independence can be assured. This will allow adequate compensation for our employees and dissuade their migration to higher paying areas. We cannot afford a "brain drain" if we are to enjoy the quality of life that we seek.

Our present agricultural economy needs to be vitalized. Growing products that are price-controlled by more efficient producers in the Midwest should no longer be sustained. Instead, our farmers should diversify and concentrate on commodities that generate a higher profit for consumption in our affluent region.

The education of our children is the specific responsibility of our Board of Education. But what are we doing for our elders? I propose we promote a community near a shopping area offering food sales, restaurant, library, post office, bank and medical facility -- all within walking distance. We have such an area in Lee District! With no children to impact our school system, this would be a definite tax positive and fulfill a humanitarian need as well.

Sharon Grove McCamy

Age: 38.

Community: Morrisville.

Years in Fauquier: 30.

Education: Salutatorian, Fauquier High School, 1979; BA in English, University of Virginia, 1983; master's in English, George Mason University, 1994; graduate work, Catholic University of America.

Occupation and work experience: English teacher, Mary Washington College, 1996 to present; taught English at George Mason University and Germanna Community College and developmental English at Lord Fairfax Community College.

Political offices, civic activities: Vice chairman, Fauquier County Library Board of Trustees; member, Library Board of Virginia; recording secretary, Piedmont Republican Women's Club; member, Healthy Families Fauquier Committee; member, Morrisville United Methodist Church.

Family: Married to Michael McCamy since 1986; daughter, Katie.

If elected, what will be your two highest priorities on the board? What specific measures will you support to accomplish them?

My highest priority for the term will be to work to give Lee District citizens a real say in Lee's future. It has been my observation that citizens have had too limited a role in local government decisions. I believe that government can and must be more inclusive in its planning efforts in regard to those whose lives are impacted by such effort. We need government decisions that support education, public safety and recreation needs of citizens -- we need decisions that support Fauquier's traditional community values. I'll create more opportunities for local forums; I'll work to keep citizens better informed about developing issues through technology and maintaining easy local access. (I've made a point of having my phone number and e-mail access listed on all campaign materials.) I'll also work for creation of a citizen planning committee for Lee District's service district, along the lines of the New Baltimore plan. We're facing some real growth questions (i.e. sewer lines and growth that will follow a four-laned Route 28); citizens need to be participants in how we address those questions.

My second priority for the term is to have an impact on the budget process. I think that we need to have at least a two-year budget in order to better incorporate dollars for facilities. While the county has a separate multiyear capital budget, every year the supervisors reallocate capital dollars. The two budgets need to be more specifically linked, and we can do that with a two-year budget. I also support no new taxes. We're paying $1.06 now, which is high for our population base. With a budget of $114 million for a population of 54,000, we should be able to meet our needs for education, public safety and recreation. Tax dollars should go first to citizens' needs -- i.e. education, public safety and recreation.