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Votes

Covert Matters

Hot Day at Polls and No Food

— I found the way to Cora Kelly Rec Center about midday Saturday. Took several turns, wrong ones of course, down Commonwealth Avenue, Mount Vernon Avenue then on to Dewitt and Hume. Eventually I got the nerve to stop to ask for directions.

Several unlicensed enterprising children were selling lemonade in front of their house. I was hoping no city hall inspectors were sneaking around. Fortunately for me, the smiling boys’ father came to my rescue. His refreshment at the moment came from a brown bottle, looked like a cold beer. Not lemonade.

“Voting today?” he said. “Nice crowd there. No food though.” Where upon he gave me good directions through Del Ray’s streets where the good citizens were walking with cell phones strapped to their ears, drinking from various cups in their hands and ignoring traffic lights and turning cars, mine for one.

I was a bit disappointed to find no card tables filled with goodies of homemade pastries, subs overflowing with pepperoni, spicy green peppers, mayo, lettuce to help defray some charitable expenses at Cora Kelly. At least some political insider from Del Ray’s Main Street or some of the activists from Old Town could intervene with tuna sandwiches, cookies and cakes and plain old water. But, no.

For sure, Chick-fil-A, missed a good chance to feed the dedicated people walking in to vote. The party atmosphere, at least in my opinion, would have been enlivened with chicken sandwiches and spicy chicken nuggets.

There was Rob Krupicka, the city councilman, greeting people, smiling and glad-handing as fast as he could. Congressman Jim Moran was there talking non-stop to some people and he wasn’t even on the ballot. Councilman Tim Lovain, even though he wasn’t on the ballot either, was working the crowd. I didn’t see Republican Councilman Frank Fannon but his reelection signs were everywhere up and down Reed Street.

No other candidates for the November city council race in November seemed bothered to be around, at least while I was doing my duty. My timing must have been off because I didn’t see the mayor or his independent opponent, or the sheriff, the commonwealth’s attorney or the clerk of the court. They’re safely ensconced and can stand confidently idly by and thanking the Lord they don’t have to endure this hot August day.

Krupicka was confident he was going to win the Democratic nomination for the 45th District House of Delegates seat. He garnered 1,540 votes and his political compadre Karen Gautney had 891.

I thought certainly I’d see local reporters sneaking in an out, and taking voter polls and mooching free chips or water. I’m sure they were busy at the farmer’s markets, cutting the grass, planning vegetarian meals or hounding the police for a line or two of any assaults, robberies or car wrecks.

I sauntered past the sign reading “no campaigning past this point” into the Cora Kelly gym. No basketball today. Lots of tables were set up and Craig Fifer, the Democratic party chairman, was busy making sure everyone went to the right table, filled out the right paper and voted right.

To my surprise an election official explained I came from the wrong side of the street. I couldn’t vote. The event was only for those from Quaker Lane to Arlington and a portion of Fairfax County to which I’m not familiar.

Disappointed I didn’t see the hard-working reporters, Rob Krupicka proved to be the best media expert and the most accurate. Moments after the polls closed, and I mean split seconds, Delegate-to-be Krupicka was online claiming victory. He did win and acknowledged the good campaign of his opponent. He faces a Republican challenger on Sept. 4 in a special election to fill the seat vacated by David Englin.

I’m sure Mr. Krupicka will be a good reporter and get his facts right. I think I’ll come up with a recipe book, “There’s Only One-Way to Make Chicken Sandwiches.”