Fairfax voters elected the first female sheriff in the county’s history Tuesday, as Stacey Kincaid, a 26-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, cruised to a double-digit lead over her closest opponent.
In an interview, Kincaid said she had thought about running for sheriff throughout her career.
“I’m looking forward to moving our agency forward, not only as the first woman but also as the only person on the ticket who has any experience with the sheriff’s department,” she said Tuesday night.
The Fairfax race was one of dozens of local elections in the Washington suburbs. From Arlington County to College Park, suburban voters took to the polls to elect candidates on city councils and county and school boards.
Turnout appeared to be higher in Virginia, with a gubernatorial race dominating the ballot. But in Maryland, voters in Rockville and College Park lined up to elect new mayors in contested races, and Takoma Park became the first municipality in the nation to open polling places to voters as young as 16.
In the Fairfax sheriff’s race, Kincaid (D) faced off against Bryan A. Wolfe, a retired Fairfax City patrol officer who loaned his campaign $100,000. Also running were two independent candidates, including one who dressed up like a cowboy and produced a rap video to promote his campaign.
Kincaid will take over the job, which involves overseeing the county jail and courthouse. She has vowed to increase the diversity of the department and hopes to reduce recidivism and improve mental health services to inmates.Fairfax voters also passed a biennial school bond for $250 million that will fund construction of two new elementary schools in the eastern end of the county and the renovation of about two dozen schools across the county, including three high schools.
In Prince William County, voters selected Loree Williams for the Woodbridge seat on the School Board. She said she would advocate for early childhood intervention programs and be an advocate for underperforming students.
“I’m feeling very grateful,” she said Tuesday night. Williams beat incumbent Steven Keen, who was appointed early this year.
Loudoun County voters approved four bond measures to fund road projects, parks and other facilities. One $10.8 million bond will pay for additions at a middle and high school in the southern part of the county.
In Arlington, G.N. “Jay” Fisette Jr. (D) retained his seat on the County Board, fending off a challenge from Green Party candidate Audrey Clement.
James S. Lander was elected to a second term on the Arlington County School Board. He was unopposed on the ballot Tuesday, after surviving a close race for the Democratic endorsement. Arlington voters also rejected a question about whether the county should have its own redevelopment and housing authority. Arlington provides affordable housing through partnerships with nonprofit and for-profit developers that usually manage the projects they develop.
Falls Church voters elected four new council members and overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to sell the city’s water system to the Fairfax County Water Authority in exchange for $40 million and some land, based on a deal brokered last year that culminates years of litigation.
Across the Potomac River in Montgomery County, Rockville residents selected council member Bridget Newton as their new mayor. Endorsed by two-term mayor Phyllis Marcuccio, who stepped down, Newton defeated Mark Pierzchala, another council member.
In Takoma Park, hundreds of voters, including some teens, turned out to vote despite uncontested races for council and mayor.
“There’s been a nice energy with the young voters,” Chief Election Judge Marilyn Abbott said of the scattering of teens who lined up in the pre-school hours and during several days of early voting. “Some of them had their parents with them taking pictures,” she said.
College Park hosted its first contested mayor’s race in more than two decades. Incumbent mayor Andrew Fellows, who has been in office since 2009, defeated challenger Robert J. McCeney, a middle school science teacher.
Meanwhile, there were eight council seats for four districts and a total of 10 candidates with contested races in districts 1 and 3 in College Park. All the incumbents defeated their challengers, while two newcomers, Alan Hew and P.J. Brennan, joined the council in unopposed races.
In Bowie, Mayor G. Frederick Robinson defeated challenger Richard Dahms. Voters also approved an advisory question lengthening council and mayoral terms to four years from two years.
Greenbelt elects its council every two years and then the council selects a mayor. All seven incumbents retained their seats Tuesday.
Eight candidates ran for five council seats in Laurel, and incumbents Frederick Smalls, Donna L. Crary, Valerie M.A. Nicholas and H. Edward Ricks and Michael R. Leszcz all held onto their seats.
Steve Hendrix and Tom Jackman contributed to this report.