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Votes

Herrity Wins Republican Primary for Springfield Supervisor

Candidate will face Democrat in General Election.

John Peterson, a 30-year resident of Burke, had always liked Pat Herrityís father Jack, chairman of Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors from 1976-1988.

Peterson, the White Oaks Republican Party precinct captain, said he decided to support the younger Herrity in the Republican primary for Springfield supervisor partially because of a fondness for the elder Herrity, who died last year.

"I liked his father very much and I liked his politics. I think Pat shares a lot of his views," said Peterson while campaigning for Herrity outside the polls at White Oaks Elementary School June 12.

Herrity won the Republican nomination for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisorsí Springfield District seat in a landslide victory over his opponent Stan Reid. He will face Democrat Mike McClanahan in November's general election.

With 3,067 votes, Herrity generated more than twice the support of Reid, who collected 1,413 votes. Herrity also won 23 of 25 Springfield precincts even though he jumped into the race four months after Reid.

The success of his campaign can be attributed to "a solid organization, a solid team and hard work," said the winner.

The Herrity campaign had more volunteers greeting voters at the polls on primary day than Reid. At least one Herrity supporter was stationed at every Springfield precinct during peak hours, said Herrity.

An extended network of friends and family also came out to the polls to support the candidate. Herrity's home precinct, Newgate, had the highest voter turnout in the Springfield District Republican primary. Out of the 425 people who voted in the Republican primary at Newgate, 324 supported Herrity.

"This is not normal. This precinct has much higher voter participation than others," said county election worker Beth Methfessel mid-afternoon at Newgate.

The winner also had the weight of the Republican Party establishment behind him during the campaign.

He announced his intention to run for office in tandem with the retirement of Springfield supervisor and six-term incumbent Elaine McConnell (R). McConnell and the two other Republican county supervisors, Michael Frey (Sully) and Joan DuBois (Dranesville), endorsed Herrity in the race.

The Republican nominee also raised a good deal of money in the days leading up to primary. During the week before the primary, his campaign reported receiving at least $7,500 in donations and in-kind contributions. This is half as much as the $14,000 Herrity had available on June 4, the time of the last campaign finance filing deadline.

"A lot of it is coming in from a successful business fund raiser," said Herrity.

Reid did not report receiving any large donations--$500 or more--in the week before the primary, according to campaign finance reports.

On Tuesday, Reid said he felt the primary was going well. Reid had campaigned since December primarily by going door-to-door and speaking with residents one-on-one.

"The people whose doors I knocked on have been coming up to me and remembering me. People are responsive to that type of politics," said Reid during the middle of the primary. He could not be reached for comment after the results were posted.

Looking forward, Herrity said he would continue to emphasize issues like transportation, rapid growth and illegal immigration in the general election. The county has not provided enough leadership on the issues that matter most to voters, according to Herrity.

"I think people are ready for a change," he said.

Though Springfield has traditionally been represented by a Republican, the district voted for Democrats Gov. Tim Kaine and Sen. Jim Webb in two recent statewide elections.

"I think we definitely going to win. Springfield is not the same as it was," said McClanahan. "I think I am definitely a better fit for Springfield."