The Springfield District Supervisor seat will remain one of the few Republican voices on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, as Pat Herrity defeated Democratic challenger Mike McClanahan to replace longtime Supervisor Elaine McConnell.
Unofficial results Wednesday morning indicated that Herrity received 15,841 votes, or 58.7 percent, to McClanahan's 11,126 votes, or 41.25 percent, giving him an easy victory.
"I had a good feeling when we found out we had lost Greenbriar East by only 30 votes, and that's not even a Republican district," said Herrity.
Running a "clean campaign" highlighting the need to "make transportation a priority, hold developers accountable and make sure our taxes don't triple again in four years" helped Herrity win the race, he said.
The race was close for most of the day and there was some confusion for voters using the State Board of Elections Web site to check results. On Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, the site still showed McClanahan ahead of Herrity by more than 90 percent. However, the Fairfax County Web site showed Herrity as the clear winner.
A well-known businessman, Republican Pat Herrity grew up around Fairfax County politics at the knee of his father, former Board of Supervisors chair Jack Herrity. He went on to serve on the Northern Virginia Technology Council, as chair of the county's Transportation Committee. Herrity is also the founder of the CFO Forum Steering Committee and a member of its Board of Directors, along with being a member of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, the chair of the Northern Virginia Government Contractors Council and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, among others.
A life-long resident of Fairfax County, Herrity, along with his wife Nancy and two children, Sean and Valeria, live in the Little Rocky Run neighborhood.
TO CONTRIBUTORS to Herrity's campaign included OnPoint Advocacy of Alexandria, which gave $12,000; Thomas Herrity of Arlington who gave $10,000; Jon Peterson of Fairfax Station contributed $10,000; Friends of Tom Davis, based in Annandale, donated $5,000, and Elaine Stottlemyer of Oak Hill gave $5,000. Over all, Herrity raised $150,815 for this campaign, most of the contributions coming from people in the real estate and construction industry and long with technology and communications.
Democratic challenger Mike McClanahan started his own company, Zebra Strategies, LLC, and is a certified trainer and presenter of Crestcom's Management and Leadership Principles & Skills. His public service record includes coaching for travel and other teams in the Burke Basketball and Braddock Road Youth Club; he has served as an at-large member of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Citizen's Advisory Council. McClanahan was also a member of the 2006 Fairfax County Bond Referendum Committee and a member of the executive committee of the Alexandria United Way and the FCPS Marketing Education program.
McClanahan lives with his wife Michelle and their son, Jacob, in Burke.
For this race, McClanahan raised $61,431 in contributions. Top donors included Edward Hart Rice of Vienna, who gave $10,500; Firefighters Local Union 2068 of Fairfax donated $6,000; Seth Stark of Fairfax gave $5,443; the MAC PAC of Burke contributed $4,100 and the Fairfax Deputy Sheriff Coalition gave $3,500. Most of McClanahan's donors came from public employees, followed by people in the finance and insurance field.
Early in the race, the two candidates tried to distance themselves from each other. Herrity said McClanahan refused to admit that illegal immigration was a serious issue in the election while McClanahan accused Herrity of taking donations from developers and asked what that could mean for the future of the county.
Longtime Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R) announced earlier this year she planned to retire at the end of this year, hoping to spend more time with her preschools in Fairfax County and Florida, along with traveling to visit her grandchildren.
McClanahan conceded the race Tuesday night, saying he was proud of his campaign. Name recognition may have played a part in his defeat, he said, in addition to Herrity's campaign raising more money.
"I think we ran a good race," he said. "We fought hard and I think we gave Pat a tougher fight than he expected."
Herrity now has the chance to share with his children the opportunity to watch their father sworn into office.
"Hopefully, my kids will be as proud of me as I was of my dad when he was sworn in," Herrity said. "It'll be a big moment for me."