Voters in Fairfax and Vienna selected Jeannemarie Devolites to represent the Republican party in the race for the 34th Senate District. Devolites, a current member of the House of Delegates from the 35th District got 73.1 percent of the vote to beat former School Board member Louis Zone. A total of 4,742 people voted for Devolites compated to 1,745 for Zone. She will face Democrat Ron Christian in November.
Devolites said she was pleased with the result but added: "I'm exhausted. I've been on the phone for four solid days making get out the vote calls."
"[A primary] gives me an opportunity to knock on doors and getting to these new precincts to get to know people."
Devolites also said she thought she had an edge over Christian.
"We consider it a successful campaign even though we lost," said Zone, speaking on his cell phone as he was on his way to the Vienna Inn to celebrate. "I'll get up tomorrow and go to work. I'm not downtrodden."
"We worked hard," he added. "We didn't have the money to spend that she did."
Devolites outspent Zone 10 to one in the primary contest.
THE 34TH SENATE district is the only open Senate seat in Fairfax County. Current Senator Leslie Byrne is not eligible for reelection because the Republican-led redistricting of 2001 redrew the district's boundaries in such a way that Byrne now lives outside the 34th District.
Like elsewhere in Fairfax County, the 34th Senate District race was characterized by its low turnout.
"We're certainly not overworked," said election officer Eileen Connolly, who helped voters sign in at Fairfax High School. Poll workers like Connolly (no relation to Democratic Board Chairman candidate Gerald Connolly) arrived at their polling place at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning and didn't leave until around 8 p.m.
Zone noted that voters in Vienna have been asked to vote three times in four weeks: for town council, in a Republican caucus and in a Republican primary.
"They're burned out," he said. "Volunteers are burned out."