Fairfax City Mayor R. Scott Silverthorne has won reelection for a third term, a welcome change of pace for the 50-year-old after a tough year of financial and health troubles.
The city of Fairfax was among the local jurisdictions holding elections Tuesday for municipal offices. It was a largely low-key, low-turnout affair with incumbents holding onto office.
Silverthorne, who followed his father’s footsteps as mayor, defeated challenger Tom Ammazzalorso.
Silverthorne campaigned for reelection after what he called a terrible year in his personal life. He lost his job with the National Association of Manufacturers, filed for federal bankruptcy protection by September and then lost his home to foreclosure.
Weeks later, doctors told him that a lump on his neck was a squamous cell carcinoma, a sometimes aggressive but usually nonlethal form of cancer.
“Now I’m bouncing back,” said Silverthorne, who added that his cancer treatments ended two months ago and that he has found part-time work. “The city of Fairfax made me the comeback mayor.”
Silverthorne was greeted with sympathy but also with questions about whether he was fit to continue serving in office. He had already been facing criticism for the city’s decision to sell land it owned in Loudoun County without public bidding.
While his health problems were not a major campaign issue, Ammazzalorso, a high school history teacher in Prince George’s County and a former Republican official, sent out a mailer questioning Silverthorne’s fitness to oversee the city’s finances, given the mayor’s personal financial problems.
Ammazzalorso, 43, said the race came down to their competing visions for the city: Should Fairfax stay a small, bedroom community or grow and become well-developed, as the incumbent mayor sought?
“We are at serious risk of trying to physically jam into 2.6 square miles an insane amount of development, and if he does that, it’s going to be extremely painful for everyone,” Ammazzalorso said.
In Fredericksburg’s mayoral election, incumbent Mary Katherine Greenlaw beat back a challenge from Richard Dynes, the vice chair of the city’s planning commission. Greenlaw was first elected mayor of the city — population 28,000 — in 2012.
In the 8,000-resident Loudoun County town of Purcellville, Mayor Kwasi A. Fraser won a second two-year term after easily beating town councilor Joan S. Lehr. But he is looking at governing with an almost completely different six-person town council after voters denied new terms to incumbents Patrick McConville, Melanie Fuller and John Nave.
In Prince William County, Dumfries Councilor Helen Reynolds appeared to have lost her seat. Quantico Councilor Earlene J. Clinton was hanging on by one vote.
In local races in Fairfax and Fauquier counties, races were uncontested or incumbents were reelected.
Correction: Earlier versions of this article said Haymarket Councilor Matthew E. Caudle appeared to have lost his seat. He had withdrawn from the race, although he still appeared on the ballot. The article has been corrected.