Stacey Kincaid, a 26-year veteran with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department and self-proclaimed “rookie politician,” handily won the Democratic nomination for sheriff during a special election Tuesday night, July 23 at W.T. Woodson High School. The final vote was 605 to 315 votes, according to Democratic officials who counted each ballot by hand.
Kincaid competed against interim Sheriff Mark Sites for the Democratic nomination. Sites was sworn in as sheriff on July 1 after former Sheriff Stan Barry retired, and he will serve until a new sheriff is elected in November.
“I was humbled and honored,” Kincaid said Tuesday night after her victory. “Mark Sites ran a spirited campaign, so, yes, I was surprised by the vote count.”
A graduate of Frostburg State College, Kincaid began her career with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office in 1987. She said a summer internship at the sheriff’s office “sparked my interest in a career as a deputy sheriff.” In 2008, she received the agency’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.
LAST WEDNESDAY, July 17, Kincaid and Sites participated in a debate hosted by the Fairfax County Young Democrats and moderated by George Burke, chairman of the 11th Congressional District Democratic Committee.
Kincaid said that while she is focused on the three main functions of the sheriff’s office—running the county’s jail, performing security at the courthouse and serving civil process—she also wanted to “bring the agency forward.”
“As the largest sheriff’s office in Virginia, we should be the role model for the commonwealth,” she said, adding that she wanted to focus on diversity inside the department as well as in community outreach efforts.
“When I say diversity, I am talking about diversity of thought, values and beliefs, not just skin color,” Kincaid said. “We need the office to respect and reflect the diversity in our community. … Listening and learning is an important part of forging a relationship with the community.”
Kincaid said she supported President Barack Obama’s position to expand background checks and place a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The sheriff’s office has historically processed applications and performed background checks for people who want clearance to buy machine guns and silencers, Sites said.
“If you want to own a gun to keep yourself safe, I’m not sure that you need an arsenal or weapons of that magnitude to do so,” Kincaid said.
Kincaid said one of her first acts if she wins the general election in November is to sign the civil service agreement.
“It lets employees know that they will not be terminated for an unjust reason. It protects them from political intervention,” she said.
She said she would also make pay parity a priority and make the promotion and hiring process more fair and equitable. “I do not believe our budget is sufficient, and it hasn’t been for many years,” Kincaid said. The sheriff’s budget is currently $63 million annually.
KINCAID, who has served on the governing board of the county's Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness, was endorsed by the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, members of the Fairfax County School Board and the public safety unions, including SEIU Virginia 512, Fairfax Deputy Sheriffs Union, and the Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics-Local 2068.
“I’ve been impressed by her desire to integrate the office into the community while always looking to save taxpayer dollars,” said State Senator Chap Petersen (D-34), who endorsed Kincaid along with Sen. David Marsden (D-37). “She’s focused on making the sheriff’s office the best around. I’m proud to endorse her for sheriff,” said Petersen.
“It’s been a challenging profession, but it’s also been very rewarding,” Kincaid said.