John and Melissa Graves stood next to Bruce Phillips. The Graves represented the Republicans; Phillips the Democrats. No matter — they were both interested in getting the word out about their respective parties during this week’s Democratic and Republican primaries. Manning tables outside Woodley Hills Elementary School, they were interested in recruiting volunteers.
Doug Jones said they had a table at Woodley Hills because it is a strong Republican district.
“We do it for party-building and to have a Republican presence at the polls,” Jones said.
Reg Smith manned a Democratic party table at Hollin Hall Senior Center, while Tom Burgess represented the Republican party at Stratford Landing Elementary School.
Burgess said that he was at Stratford because that district is thought of as a bellwether district. In last year’s presidential election, there was only a five-vote difference for president — 1184 for President George W. Bush and 1179 for Senator John Kerry.
“The district is pretty evenly split,” Burgess said.
Burgess is responsible for canvassing the Stratford Landing district and reported later they doubled voter turnout at the Stratford Landing polling site and beat Waynewood, which had consistently seen a higher turnout, and Fort Hunt.
“Did we double turnout in Stratford? Yes. The last Republican Primary, we counted 99 Republicans at the polls that day. Today, it was 195,” Burgess said.
His district was also consistent with the state election results for lieutenant governor. Stratford cast 82 votes for Leslie Byrne, 61 for Petersen; Waynewood — 33 for Byrne and 22 for Petersen; Fort Hunt — 41 for Byrne, 43 for Petersen.
ELECTION OFFICIALS didn’t expect a large number of voters in the 44th District.
At 8:40 a.m., Fort Hunt had 42 voters — 21 Democrat and 21 Republican. Stratford Landing’s numbers were similar — 34 Democrat votes and 41 Republican votes. At 9:15 a.m., Hollin Hall Senior Center showed that 39 Democrats had voted and 26 Republicans. At 10 a.m., Woodley Hills had 17 Democrat votes and 36 Republican votes.
At the Kingstown Library, which has 2,190 registered voters, 30 Democrats and 23 Republicans had voted as of approximately 2:45 p.m.
"It's been extremely slow. Usually we have a real rush in the morning. Today that rush was six people," said Thomas Julian, precinct chief officer.
Walt Whitman Middle School had similar results. Of their 2,827 registered voters, 78 Democrats and 65 Republicans had voted as of 3:05 p.m.,
"It's been very slow. The most people we've had at one time was three or four," said Pauline Wade, precinct chief officer.
THE MOUNT VERNON District Democratic Committee (MVDDC) was pleased with the turnout and distributed a press release congratulating the winners of the Democratic primary.
“Despite a heat index of 100 degrees and a heat advisory warning, Democratic voter turnout was strong for a spring primary. We look forward to a solid ticket for the fall gubernatorial elections,” said Scott Surovell, MVDDC co-chair.
"David Englin, who won the Democratic primary for the state delegate seat in the 45th District, will have our wholehearted support along with Kris Amundson of the 44th District, Greg Werkheiser of the 42nd District, and Mark Sickles of the 43rd District. Englin really showed us the power of grassroots operations. He and his volunteers will energize our operations in the northern part of Mount Vernon.
"With Leslie Byrne as our candidate for lieutenant governor, we have a winning ticket along with Tim Kaine for governor and Creigh Deeds for attorney general. Our mission this year is to 'Keep Mount Vernon Blue' in the statewide fall elections.
Surovell also said that through a lot of volunteer effort, they have doubled the number of identified Democratic voters in the Mount Vernon District.
“Last fall we won the Mount Vernon District for Kerry-Edwards. This fall we are going to win it for Tim Kaine, defeat Dave Albo and put more Democrats in the State Legislature. We won't waste any time preparing for the fall elections," Surovell said. "Any Democrat who wants to help us win is welcome to stop by our annual picnic in two weeks to meet some of the candidates and the local Democratic leaders."
The picnic is from 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, June 26 at Occoquan Regional Park, Gazebo 2. For more information, contact Chris Ambrose at 703-314-7556 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Krizek, who served as Libby Garvey's Mount Vernon deputy campaign manager, said, “Libby and Elsie ran the traditional Mount Vernon Democratic effort, getting the long-time party loyalists to volunteer and get out the vote of the core Democrats coupled with support from respected locally elected officials; Supervisor Gerry Hyland and School Board members Dan Storck and Brad Center for Libby and Amundson for Elsie.
“This worked well, especially for Libby who had made more inroads with the Dem loyalists in Mount Vernon and Lee. However, in a six-way race, and with Mosqueda essentially going after the same voters as Garvey, Libby's numbers weren't as high as they would have been.
“Moreover, Englin ran a very spirited campaign and expanded his base of support, with at least 11 pieces of direct mail (to only five for Libby and six for Mosqueda) to a larger universe of potential voters, from beyond the traditional core Democrats, which should be good for the party. You have to give him credit for raising the money early, and early money is the key for creating such an aggressive and effective direct-mail plan, and for working so hard to win this race.”