Dale Polen Myers, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, this week shed her affiliation with the Republican Party and made good her vow to run for reelection as an independent after failing to win the GOP nomination.
Myers's reentry into the race Tuesday -- the deadline for filing -- creates a rematch with Supervisor Scott K. York (R-Sterling), who beat her by nearly a 3 to 1 margin in the Republican primary last month.
Myers said she will announce in the coming weeks how her general election campaign will differ from her primary bid, during which she characterized York as a no-growth "extremist." Myers said she believes that a large number of Democrats voted in the primary and that York twisted her record, and she said those two factors explain her loss.
"I think, first of all, the records have been totally distorted -- this idea that I was responsible or at the helms of this growth that's happened in the county," Myers said.
York said that Myers was ignoring voters' will and that he would prevail in November. "This is the same kind of arrogance she's had for the past four years with the voters out there and for the process," York said. "We beat her fair and square. Now she's complaining about the process. She's blaming everybody else but herself and her policies."
Loudoun Planning Commissioner Alfred P. Van Huyck, an independent candidate for chairman, said he would bow out of the race to avoid splitting the slow-growth vote with York and leaving the field open for Myers. But he said he would wait several weeks before doing so to make sure that Myers is serious about her candidacy.
Van Huyck, who dubbed himself a proponent of "smart growth," said he was disappointed that Myers decided to run. He said he wanted to elevate the level of debate with York and focus on the best ways to deal with the county's growth, which is bringing about 1,000 new residents a month to Loudoun.
"There is no question that the county would like to have a serious race where the real issues that the county cares about are debated in a thoughtful way," Van Huyck said. "It's just not going to happen. . . . You will simply have a repeat of the debate that took place previously."
But there apparently will be a three-way race even if Van Huyck withdraws. James G. Kelly, a political novice, filed Saturday to run as an independent for board chairman. Kelly wants to change the zoning designations throughout Loudoun in an effort to slow development, a step that some county officials said could be illegal.
Kelly, who had raised no money by the end of May, also is running for supervisor from the Dulles District.
Election rules allow him to be on the ballot in two places. If he should win both seats, he could select which one he wanted, and there would be a special election to fill the other position.
In a brief telephone interview, Myers declined to say who would run her next campaign. In the primary, she relied on advice from a Richmond firm called Conquest Communications & Data. She also was assisted by Loudoun residents Richard and Judy McCary. Richard McCary said that Myers has not asked him to help on her independent campaign and that his wife would not be a part of the campaign.
Five former Loudoun County Republican Committee chairmen joined the current chairman, Tom Berezoski, in issuing a written statement May 28 calling on Myers to stay out of the race.
But Myers said Monday that she had not seen the statement or press accounts about it. Further, she said that she had been out of town on business until late last week and that no Republican officials had contacted her to discourage her from running.
"The only conversations I've had with different Republicans have been people who have encouraged me to do this," Myers said.
Berezoski said he spoke with Myers last Thursday and asked her to stay out. He said that at her request, he faxed a copy of the statement and press accounts of it to her home.
"She called me real early on Thursday morning," Berezoski said. "She asked me what I had written. . . . She asked me if I would fax it over to her."
In other contests, no opponent filed to run against Republican nominee Eugene Delgaudio for the seat of Sterling District supervisor.