At a tie vote nearly to the end, the two remaining chairman candidates were in hiding.
"Not yet," said Randy Minchew, chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee, as he announced another Republican candidate winner to the School Board at Holiday Inn’s Carridock Hall in Leesburg. Committee members were waiting for the appearance of Robert "Bob" Gordon, Republican contender against incumbent Scott York, who was running as an Independent.
By then both candidates knew Alfred "Al" Van Hyke, Democrat, was out of the running after capturing 19.11 percent of the vote, according to an unofficial account from the Office of Elections. York was at Raspberry Plain in Leesburg with some of his supporters as he listened to the results in a separate room. He was ahead 258 votes before the 1,450 absentee votes were counted, a process the Office of Elections said could take until the next day. So far, he had received 15,024 votes or 40.66 percent and Gordon, 14,766 votes or 39.96 percent.
AT ABOUT 12 A.M., Gordon walked into the banquet room at Carridock Hall where his supporters were waiting. "I’ve been over in my office biting my fingers counting," he said. "I remain optimistic, but it’s very, very tight. … I’m very, very proud of the race we’ve run together and that we’ve taken back Republican control of the Board of Supervisors."
Gordon’s words brought clapping and the chanting of "Bob, Bob" from Republican Committee members. "I’ve enjoyed every bit of this. … Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, I don’t regret it one bit," he said.
Committee member Suzanne Volpe, former Board of Elections secretary, said that absentee ballots tend to favor Republican candidates, Gordon said. If Volpe is right, he plans to support controlling residential growth, limiting government spending and setting priorities for road projects.
"Certainly, we’re in a tough fight, but I think by the end of the day, we will be over the top," said York at about 12:05 a.m. Wednesday on his way home from the Independent candidates’ victory party at Raspberry Plain. "We will have to wait and see and what happens when the numbers all come in."
If the numbers are in his favor, York plans to continue the current Board of Supervisors work on Smart Growth, or slowing the rate of growth in the county, and on the Revised Comprehensive Plan and revised zoning ordinance county planning documents. He plans to work on improving the county’s road infrastructure and encouraging economic development to offset the cost of growth. "It takes an awful lot to defend yourself against the onslaught of stuff from the Gordon campaign," he said, adding, "We were able to hold our own."
Sterling resident George Hidy was not so sure. "It’s scary. Builders bought the election," he said about incumbent supervisors Charles Harris (D-Broad Run) and William Bogard (I-Sugarland Run) losing to their opponents, according to the unofficial election results. "It’s sickening. Dirty politics means buy anything," he said at the Independent candidates' party.
BACK at the Carridock Hall, the Shockeys were "so happy," as Patricia Shockey, Citizens for Property Rights member and Hamilton resident, said. "We brought it home to them [the current board]. This is a repudiation of Smart Growth. … Nobody ran away with these elections but our people. This is so wonderful."
"Now we’re back to normal growth and common sense in the county," said Jack Shockey, Patricia’s husband and president of CPR.
"The voters are wising up to the fact the county is going to grow and … development is going to happen here. It’s people in western Loudoun that are going to be preserved [under the current board], not the people in eastern Loudoun," said Ken Reid, Leesburg resident and a member of the Loudoun County Republican Committee. "We had a unified party and that really helped."
Democrat supporters of Al Van Huyck turned out at the Leesburg Restaurant to support him and other Democratic candidates. He was not surprised he lost when a few days ago, members of Voters to Stop Sprawl encouraged voters to not split their vote between York and Van Huyck and to vote for York. "What surprised me Republicans were able to beat candidates of good quality," he said.
"There’s sensible people in the west. The people in the east will get a clue. They have four years to think about it," said Cascades resident Denise Pierce at the Democratic victory party.
Incumbents Sally Kurtz (D-Catoctin) and James Bogard (I-Blue Ridge) in the western end of the county won reelection and candidates Charles "Chuck" Harris (D-Broad Run) and William Bogard (I-Sugarland Run) in the eastern end lost to their opponents. Incumbent Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) also won reelection against his Democratic opponent Douglas Reimel.