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Votes

ABC-Endorsed Ticket Sweeps Election

Beyer, Bushée, Smyers elected to RA board.

All three candidates for the Reston Association Board of Directors who were backed by the Alliance for a Better Community have been elected.

Newly-elected RA directors Rick Beyer (at large), Robin Smyers (Lake Anne/Tall Oaks) and Doug Bushée (North Point) said Tuesday night that they are eager to start working on the issues facing the Reston community.

“I’m relieved about the election,” Smyers said, “But I know the hard work is just getting started.”

The three candidates agree on several issues, such as protecting Reston’s natural environment, closely monitoring how the organization spends its money, and on most points of RA’s governing documents review.

Both Smyers and Bushée defeated their opponents by wide margins. Smyers received 62 percent of the vote in her race against Vera Hannigan. Receiving 70 percent of the vote, Bushée, the North Point incumbent, easily withstood a challenge from new Reston resident Eugene Cannon.

Bushée said he hopes his opponent and the other RA candidates will not be discouraged and will continue to play a role in the community.

“Hopefully these candidates that did not win will stay active in Reston,” he said. “We’d love to have them serve.”

For the seat representing all of Reston, the vote was closer. Beyer, who took 45 percent of the vote, narrowly beat Mike Corrigan, who received 38 percent. Corrigan, the Lake Anne/Tall Oaks incumbent, had run on a platform promising to investigate alternative forms of governance.

The results of the 2004 RA election were officially announced Tuesday night at the annual RA Members’ Meeting at the Reston Sheraton. The overall turnout was about average for an RA election, said Karen Monaghan, RA’s director of communications.

THE WINNING candidates were all backed by ABC, a community group dedicated to promoting candidates it endorses for Reston organizations.

The endorsements may very well have been a factor in the election’s outcome because ABC provided an organized vote-getting machine that included direct mail, flyers handed out across Reston, and an organized letter writing campaign for community newspapers.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Joe Stowers, ABC’s secretary. “We’re never certain about our victories, but we always try to win by a good margin and I think we did in this case.”

In the last five years, Stowers said, ABC has had a 100 percent victory rate in RA elections. In other elections, candidates backed by the organization have won between 90 and 95 percent of the time.

Down the road, ABC may begin to appoint campaign managers to the candidates they endorse to bring an even greater level of organization to Reston elections, Stowers said.