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Votes

ABC-Endorsed Endorsed Ticket Sweeps RA Election

Jennifer Blackwell, Mark Watts win two at-large seats; Kathleen Driscoll McKee wins South Lakes seat.

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

Current RA President Jennifer Blackwell (at-large) won re-election with the most votes, 5,063 (30 percent). Because the campaign dovetailed the governing documents referendum, Blackwell’s bid for re-election was both tiring and exhilarating, winning on both fronts. “I’m excited and thrilled to be re-elected by the membership,” said Blackwell after a “strenuous” campaign season.

Newcomer Mark Watts received 3,864 votes, enough to win the second at-large seat.

IN THE CLOSEST race, Kathleen Driscoll McKee edged Gerald Volloy by 202 votes to become the new South Lakes district director. “I am very honored and completely humbled by the faith that the South Lakes residents have demonstrated in me,” said McKee, who agreed weeks earlier to step down from her staff position with Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill). Each director will serve a three-year term.

The three candidates agree on several issues, such as endorsing the governing documents revisions, protecting Reston’s natural environment and on maintaining Reston’s recreational facilities. Blackwell, who was also re-elected as president of the new board, can now turn the board’s attention to a variety of new issues this year. In addition to responding to the study on parks and recreation, she said that RA’s five-year strategic plan will need updating. The board will also hear the result of a management audit for the covenants administration, which may require board consideration

EACH CANDIDATE benefited from the ABC election machine, which encouraged members to vote, write letters to the editor and helped distribute flyers. All elected members of the RA board now consist of ABC-endorsed candidates.

“I was pretty elated when they called my name,” said Watts, a principal accountant at Cocke, Szpanka & Taylor, CPAs. “I’m just ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.” He added that his opponents were all well qualified for the job.

Rod Koozmin, a Reston Citizens Association board member and the only candidate to oppose the revisions to the governing documents, mounted a strong grassroots campaign, which earned him 18 percent of the vote, or 3,075 votes. But his bid for one of the two at-large seats fell short. George Kain and Richard Chew, at-large seat candidates, received 2,666 votes (16 percent) and 2,142 votes (13 percent), respectively.

The results were not announced until the final minutes of RA’s 40th annual meeting Tuesday night, April 11 at the Sheraton Hotel in Reston. Candidates sat in anticipation for about two hours to hear the results at the end of the annual meeting. In past years, RA notified candidates with the results before the meeting started. Blackwell had the task of emceeing the event without knowing whether she’d won or not.