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Wingert, Aaron Win Seats

The Reston Association (RA) Board of Directors will have a new president on Wednesday.

The results of this year's Reston Association Board of Directors election were announced Tuesday evening and challenger Vicky Wingert defeated incumbent Glenn Downing in the at-large race. Downing has been president of the board for the last year.

Barbara Aaron, who was running unopposed, took over the Hunters Woods seat.

Wingert received 4,866 votes in the election, 61 percent, while Downing received 3,079 votes, 39 percent.

Wingert said she was glad when she first heard the election results, last Friday.

"I was glad it was over," Wingert said. "The whole election process goes on a long time."

Even though she found the process grueling, Wingert said both she and Downing ran clean campaigns.

"I think the tenor was respectful," Wingert said. "We stuck basically to the issues, we didn't drag each other through the mud."

Downing agreed that both candidates stuck to the issues while campaigning.

"There wasn't any mudslinging as far as I know," Downing said. He pointed out that although the campaign was a civil one, it was not quite as popular as some past, less civil, campaigns. Last year, in the at-large race between Suzi Jones and Vera Hannigan, there were 517 more votes cast.

ALTHOUGH WINGERT was executive vice president of RA for 12 years, she hasn't been active in the association for the last two years. For that reason, she said, she needs to do some "homework."

"There are quite a few things I need to get up to speed on," Wingert said. "Southgate is one, there is also Dulles rail."

Wingert said she is excited to join the board, though.

"I think it will be interesting to view the issues from the other side of the table," she said. "Being on the staff for so long, looking at policy direction and implementation will be refreshing."

Throughout the campaign, Wingert said that, as a board member, she would try to focus on the "core responsibilities" of the homeowners association. Those responsibilities include protecting open space, maintaining facilities and enforcing covenants. During the campaign Downing advocated ideas such as bringing a university to Reston or incorporating Reston as a town.

"[Downing] called the shots the way he saw them," said Gerald Volloy, current RA executive vice president. "While some people may not have agreed with him, he always had the interest of the community at heart."

According to Volloy, Downing worked "tirelessly" as the RA Board president. "I can't think of anybody who has put in as many volunteer hours as Glenn Downing," Volloy said.

Although Downing was sad to hear the results of the election, he said he was also happy. Now that he is no longer a member of the board, Downing said he will have more time to pursue other interests.

"Last year, I probably put in 1,500 hours working on RA," Downing said.

At the RA Board of Directors annual meeting on Wednesday evening, the board will hold elections for a new president and vice president. Board members will vote on appointees to each position.