Despite a layer of dense fog that accompanied early morning thunder and rain, there was nothing foggy about the choices that party regulars made Saturday in Dranesville District.
As expected, the Democrats nominated John Foust and the Republicans nominated Joan DuBois, both by decisive margins.
Three other challengers, Democrats Fred Mittelman and Merrily Pierce of McLean and Republican Bob McConahy of Great Falls, said a range of considerations kept them from gathering more votes
And the rain, fog, thunder and lightning that had been predicted to cancel soccer games in favor of dark horse candidate Fred Mittelman, didn’t translate into votes. He got 23 of 526 votes cast, or four percent.
Two-time McLean Citizens Association President Merrily Pierce, who stressed her commitment to environmental issues and experience working for former Fairfax County Board Chairmen Audrey Moore and incumbent Chairman, Kate Hanley, won 199 votes, or 38 percent.
With 304 of 526 votes cast, McLean attorney Foust had 58 percent of the vote, plenty to claim the nomination on the first ballot.
That was a relief to the 541 people who presented credentials and were admitted to vote in the “assembled caucus” at Langley High School.
They were required to sign a pledge that they won’t“support any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee in the next ensuing election,” wording that could be construed to include every contest on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Republicans, who voted during a six-hour party canvass at the McLean Government Center, did not require a pledge.
Voters were asked to show a photo ID before voting in one of several electric voting booths.
The Democrats used paper ballots that required about 45 minutes to count. During that time, several incumbents spoke to those who attended the caucus. The voters were not permitted to leave the Langley High School Auditorium once the doors were closed for the vote.
Each candidate spoke for five minutes and took five minutes of questions.
The Republican candidates, DuBois and Bob McConahy of Great Falls, did not present any comments during the canvass, but both greeted voters outside.
Dubois received 455 votes to earn the Republican nomination while McConahy garnered 203 votes.