Who Will Represent the 34th District?

Who Will Represent the 34th District?

Two Republicans vie for party nomination for the open state Senate seat representing the 34th District.

Next Monday, June 10, Fairfax County Republicans will conduct a primary to determine their candidate for the state Senate seat representing the 34th District. Two candidates, Del. Jeannemarie Devolites (R-35th) and former School Board member Louis J. Zone, are vying for the nomination.

The winner of the primary will face Democrat Ron Christian, a minister and community activist, in the November elections.

Voters may cast their ballots at all 34th District polling places, from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, are welcome to vote.

The 34th District is currently represented by Sen. Leslie Byrne (D), who is not seeking re-election. The district includes the Town of Vienna and the greater Vienna area, Oakton, Fairfax City, Penderbrook and portions of Reston, Braddock and the Fairfax area.

Del. Jeannemarie Devolites

After four years or two terms in the House of Delegates, Jeannemarie Devolites said she chose to run for the state Senate because there are no Republican women in that legislative body.

"It gives me the opportunity to represent the perspective of a working mother," said Devolites in an earlier interview.

If elected to the Senate, Devolites said she would continue to push legislation in her areas of expertise, which include technology policy and health and civil service policy. A bill that she had co-sponsored during this past session, which would charge Internet spammers with felonies if they continued to send junk e-mail, was recently signed into law by Gov. Mark Warner (D).

In addition to continuing to provide constituent services at the same level as she does now, Devolites said voters should nominate her because of her track record, as 62 percent, or 75 pieces, of legislation she carried have passed.

"I believe that I’ve established an excellent record," Devolites said.

Louis J. Zone

Former School Board member and founder of the annual ViVa! Vienna festival, Louis J. Zone said he decided to run so voters could have a representative who persists in fighting for adequate transportation and education funding for Northern Virginia. Unhappy with the current delegation’s inability to bring adequate funding to the area, Zone said he would focus on building coalitions and strategizing with fellow Republican senators to get prime committee assignments, as other state locales have done.

"I do have a passion for certain ideas," said Zone, in a March interview. "I’ve lived in this area for 38 years, and I’ve heard the same complaints for 38 years."

Zone’s biggest gripe was the defeated sales tax referendum, because he said it showed the current delegation’s inability to convince the rest of Virginia to give the area its share of tax revenue. The sales tax referendum, which was defeated during last November's election, would have provided $5 billion for 20 years to fund public transportation projects and road construction and improvements.

The sales tax referendum "had no organized vision of what to do to solve problems. … We go at it for two years and give up the hunt. … Everybody thought that funding is what you need to solve the traffic problem, but no one was looking at the bigger issue," Zone said.