Republican voters in the 37th District preferred John Mason’s experience in the primary. Mason, who had served as mayor of the City of Fairfax from 1990 to 2002, won, defeating political newcomer Jim Kaplan.
"Jim came by a little while ago to concede, he shook my hand and said he would support me," Mason said. "Now the hard part begins."
Losing only the Mantua precinct, Mason said he plans to focus his campaign on gaining support in that area, in addition to running a "clean campaign" against David Bulova, his Democratic opponent.
"In the end, the issue was experience versus youth," Mason said of Kaplan. "The votes said experience does matter. They want someone in Richmond who has experience and credibility."
Mason, 70, took, 1,683 votes (60 percent), while Kaplan finished with 1,106 votes (40 percent). Mason will now face David Bulova to fill the seat vacated by Del. J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen (D-37). Petersen, who occupied the seat for two terms, left to focus on his run for lieutenant governor. The swing district narrowly favored U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) over President George W. Bush by a 51.8 to 48.2 percent margin.
Mason was a latecomer to the primary, filing his petitions on the last possible day. The late start didn’t hurt his fund raising, however. As of June 1, Mason had outraised Kaplan, taking in $43,145 to Kaplan’s $36,701, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
His Democratic opponent, Bulova, has raised $93,747. Scott McPherson is running as a Libertarian for the 37th District seat without a primary opponent. He has raised $2,133.
Mason, who lives in the City of Fairfax, works as a transportation consultant, giving him insight into one of Northern Virginia’s top issues. He ran on a platform touting his years of public service and his experience in transportation.