AN ARTICLE WEDNESDAY INCORRECTLY SAID THE FAIRFAX COUNTY COUNCIL OF PTAs HAD ENDORSED KAYE KORY IN A SCHOOL BOARD RACE. THE COUNCIL DOES NOT ENDORSE CANDIDATES. (PUBLISHED 07/03/99)
Kaye Kory, a PTA president and parent activist, defeated businessman Rafael Franchi in a special election yesterday to fill a vacant seat on the Fairfax County School Board, according to unofficial returns.
Kory carried all but two of 25 precincts and received 1,927 votes to Franchi's 967 to win the Mason District seat. Candidate C.W. "Levi" Levy received 34 votes, and three were cast for write-in candidates, according to unofficial totals.
Kory, 51, will fill the unexpired term of board member Alfred H. "Fred" Ward, who resigned last month for health reasons.
After her victory, Kory said: "This is really a victory for the community, not just me. It's concerned parents and property owners who have decided they want to have a voice and keep their schools among the best in the county."
Kory said her priorities on the board will include ensuring that older Mason District schools achieve equity with newer schools in the county.
She also wants to bring more enhancements and accelerated programs to Mason's middle schools and to close the achievement gap among the district's diverse students.
The special election win means that Kory will have the benefit of incumbency in the November election. Kory, Franchi and Levy all intend to seek a full four-year term on the board then.
Kory has a 14-year record of involvement in Fairfax schools as a PTA officer and parent activist. She is president of the Glasgow Middle School PTA and a member of the board of the Fairfax County Council of PTAs. She was endorsed by Ward, the council of PTAs and the Fairfax Education Association, as well as the county Democratic Committee.
Franchi, 72, is a Fairfax County businessman who has worked to improve achievement and opportunities for the county's Hispanic youth. He served on the appointed School Board from 1994 to 1996. He was endorsed by the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers and the county Republican Party.
Franchi said the truncated campaign made it difficult for him to organize and get his message out. He said he does not intend to let last night's results discourage him.
"I am not a quitter," he said. "I am going to run in November, I'm going to organize better, I'm going to raise more money."
Franchi said Kory had the advantage of Ward's endorsement and assistance from Supervisor Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason). He said he believes he was hurt by not having the support of Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), whose home district is Mason. Davis did not get involved in the race.
"I didn't have the support of the Republican leader of Mason," he said. "But I'm coming back, and I think I will be able to win in November."