Deciding to retire after serving nearly a quarter of a century on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors did not come easily to Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R-Springfield).
After working so hard and accomplishing so much, she could not just walk off into the sunset unless she believed the fellow Republican vying to succeed her was up to the task. That's why she is delighted Pat Herrity is that person — and why she is wholeheartedly supporting him.
"If I left, I wanted to be sure the district was in capable hands, and Pat has them," said McConnell. "I know he can do [the job], and I’m trusting in him to see the big picture."
Noting that Herrity’s father, Jack — a former supervisor and Board of Supervisors chairman — brought her into politics, McConnell said she has watched Pat grow up and knows the whole Herrity family.
"So Pat’s got a good background and certainly understands politics, being around it, his whole life," she said. "And I think he’s got a good business background; I’ve been the only one on the Board for 24 years that’s had my own business."
Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) is also endorsing Herrity and even emceed his recent campaign kickoff in Clifton. "I was 22 when I started with Jack as an assistant," said Frey. "I did that for five years and then ran his campaign for Supervisor in 1983; so I’ve known Pat since 1978."
And he, too, is pleased that Pat Herrity entered the race. "He’s obviously got deep roots in the community and has a history of family love and commitment to the county," said Frey. "And Pat’s already demonstrated it with all his involvements — technology, transportation, Chamber of Commerce, rugby."
As for his becoming a supervisor, Frey said, "I think he’d be a great Board member. His background has prepared him well, and his personality and temperament would suit him well, too. Pat’s extremely determined, but easygoing and easy to get along with; he works well with others."
"He’ll also be able to work well with Prince William and Loudoun representatives whose decisions often affect us — and whose residents drive into our communities," said Frey. "And many people from those counties have already expressed support for him."
Likewise, David Guernsey, president and CEO of Guernsey Office Products in Chantilly — and chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance — also believes Pat Herrity would make a terrific Springfield District supervisor.
"I’ve known Pat many years," said Guernsey. "He was on the Board of Directors when I was chairman of the [Fairfax County] Chamber of Commerce. He’s been involved with me in various transportation initiatives and understands this complex issue and its importance."
Besides that, said Guernsey, "Pat’s a moderate business guy and a hard worker; he does his homework and follows through. And it’s nice to have someone [running for McConnell’s seat] who actually walks the talk."
— Bonnie Hobbs