Residents preparing for the upcoming Town Council elections were required to have the necessary paperwork into the state board of elections Tuesday, March 7 in order to be placed on the May 2 ballot.
Vying for a seat on the seven member council, 14 candidates, including six incumbents, were circulating petitions over the last two months to gather the required 125 resident signatures. Included in that mix were two mayoral candidates.
Ten residents have filed as candidates for the town council race, while two candidates are listed for the mayoral race.
Council candidates include five of the seven existing council members. These are former mayor and vice mayor Carol Bruce, Dennis Husch, Steve Mitchell and Harlon Reece.
While council member Ann Null collected the necessary signatures over the last two months, she indicated did not want to run, assuming someone she could support would run in her place. She is officially not running.
Also not running for a second term is Vice Mayor Darryl Smith. Because of a recent appointment as Chief of Police for the Town of Purcellville, Smith opted not to run for re-election.
Running for a second term as mayor, Mayor Michael O'Reilly has only one opponent, Steve DeBenedittis. DeBenedittis is a long-time resident of Herndon and became involved in the town governmental process this summer during the day labor debates.
Returning candidates from the last elections include current Planning Commissioner William Tirrell, American Legion Post 184 member Dave Kirby and Connie Hutchinson, president of the Herndon Dulles Visitor's Center. Tirrell and Hutchinson ran for mayor last term; this year they are running for council. Kirby also ran for council last term.
New candidates include Help Save Herndon member Bob Rudine who became active in town politics this summer during the day-labor public hearings. Rudine has also attended recent community meetings and events to gather signatures and prepare for the upcoming election.
Initially gathering signatures with Rudine was fellow Help Save Herndon member Susan Powell. Powell also became active in Herndon politics during the summer day-labor debates, but has decided not to run.
The final new candidates include Charlie Waddell and Jorge Rochac. Current president of the Dumbarton Square Home Owners Association and the Herndon Community Association Coalition, Waddell hardly ever misses a Planning Commission or Town Council meeting. A long-time Spanish-translator for the Herndon Police Department, Rochac retired last year from the position that kept him on-call 24-hours a day. With his new free time Rochac volunteers in the community and teaches English to non-English speaking residents at the Herndon Official Workers Center.
After turning in petitions March 7, council candidates will begin their public campaigns, knocking on doors and speaking with voters in an attempt to get people out to vote. If elected, residents serve a two-year term starting July 1, 2006.