The Nov. 7 election includes the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Nine members are elected by voters in local districts to serve four-year terms. Twenty-one district candidates are in the race, with seven incumbents.
The Springfield District incumbent is the sole Republican serving on the Board of Supervisors.
Candidates were asked to provide a short bio and share a story of their interaction with a voter that led them to a commitment to take action, with a tight word limit. Candidate responses are printed here in the order they appear on the ballot.
For information on how and where to vote, see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/
More than 30,900 Fairfax County voters have already voted, out of more than 714,000 active voters on the rolls. More than 680,000 voters have yet to vote.
Puneet Ahluwalia (R)
Candidate for Board of Supervisors, Dranesville District
My wife and I immigrated here from different countries more than 30 years ago. We sent our three children to public schools, started and managed several successful as well as unsuccessful businesses, and committed our time to nonprofits devoted to religious freedom.
Before coming to America, I worked as a writer and a journalist, gaining a unique appreciation for the value of speaking the truth against self-dealing in public office. I’ve seen some of the worst behavior imaginable when politicians are left unaccountable and unchecked. I’ve also seen the very best of human nature when leaders put honesty, decency, and the well-being of those they serve above themselves.
I’m running because I believe our local politicians are going down the wrong path. They’ve pursued an ideology-based agenda that sets up a small group of elites to impose values inconsistent with integrity, truth, and economic well-being. And they’ve enriched themselves with a $2,500 monthly pay raise while increasing our taxes and failing to perform the least of their responsibilities: supporting law enforcement, improving schools, and addressing our infrastructure needs.
Response: Though I’m a Republican, I was helping moderate Democrat Ed Nuttal in his primary for Commonwealth Attorney. At one event, a gentleman living within a mile of the CIA HQ at Langley relates how he wrestled an intruder in his home’s living room while trying to protect his wife and young daughter. The burglar had broken in by shattering the glass window in their kitchen. Photos after the event showed the room sacked and bloody.
The intruder was arrested but released when Ed’s opponent refused to prosecute. Sadly, this crime victim’s story is no longer rare. Crime prevention is a problem rife with social, economic, and cultural implications. But at the bare minimum, we should expect the government to act after the fact to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate those who harm.
Nearly 300 vacancies exist in Fairfax County’s police force. Our prosecutors refuse to prosecute. And highly qualified officers are fleeing Fairfax County for friendlier jurisdictions. We’ve failed our people and left our children and families vulnerable.
James N. "Jimmy" Bierman (D)
Candidate for Board of Supervisors, Dranesville District. I am a 37-year-old McLean native and work as an attorney at the Department of Homeland Security. I’m also a public servant and community leader. My commitment to public service includes serving as chair of the Fairfax County Police Civilian Review Panel, where I worked with individuals and agencies with a variety of perspectives to ensure that our government works for the people. As past Chair of the Dranesville District Democrats, I also worked across the district mobilizing volunteers and educating voters on the issues impacting our community. I want to protect our progress and fight for positive change in education, housing, the environment, public safety, transportation, and more.
Response: While knocking on doors in Herndon, a woman lamented that her daughter, a teacher, can only afford to live in Fairfax because she lives with her sister, “and that’s because her sister’s a doctor.” From Herndon to McLean, I have heard concerns about our affordable and workforce housing supply. Whether it’s young individuals worried they can’t ever buy, older couples worried about staying in their homes, or families in the middle, how we protect and expand housing access matters to our community.
I will take an all-of-the-above approach to housing affordability. We must leverage opportunities, especially with transit-oriented development, to add housing where we can also include corresponding infrastructure support such as renovations to schools, better roads and parks.
I want to ensure that we protect our existing neighborhoods and expand tax relief programs to help seniors, fixed-income families, and people with disabilities remain in their existing homes. I am committed to working with the Redevelopment and Housing Authority staff on strategic plans to preserve existing affordable units and buildings. I support pilot programs to help teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other county employees live in the communities they serve.
I have always believed that in a democracy, a representative, reflective, and responsive government can help solve collective action problems and make things a little better for people every day. I grew up in McLean and have seen the changes the Dranesville District has gone through. I want to give back to the place that helped raise me. I am proud of our community and want to build a brighter future for your family and mine, my wife and son. www.biermanforsupervisor.com
Hunter Mill District
Indira S. Massey (R)
Indira S. Massey (R), Candidate for Member of Board of Supervisors, Hunter Mill District
Indira and her husband, Peter, have lived in Fairfax County for three years. Indira holds a bachelor’s degree in international economic relations and a master’s in English translation. As an entrepreneur and writer, her professional experiences include publishing and advertising.
As a legal immigrant, I’ve experienced firsthand the blessings of individual liberty and the American Dream. I will work hard for the people of Hunter Mill and aim to deliver solutions to Fairfax County that prioritize the values and interests of my constituents.
Response: I believe that law enforcement officers are the heroes of our local community. We should empower these professionals to enforce existing laws and protect our families. Supporting our police goes beyond funding. We can help law enforcement by encouraging and restoring trust in our police officers. We need more police, not less. I will back incentives for law enforcement recruitment and work with officials to better understand how we can strengthen our law enforcement agencies and their effectiveness.
I pledge to staunchly oppose any efforts that seek to increase taxes. I am determined to block the funding of programs that force political ideologies on our families and communities. Vigilance and careful spending are the first steps in keeping indoctrination out of our institutions and education systems.
I will combat any measures that seek to further expand the role of government in our daily lives. I am committed to bringing common-sense solutions that will benefit all and placing a check on government overreach. I am against pay increases for members of the Board of Supervisors. www.indiraforva.com
Walter L. Alcorn (D)
Walter L. Alcorn (D) I am 56, served four years as Hunter Mill District supervisor, and championed community engagement in land use decisions, affordable housing, pedestrian/bicycle safety, fully funding public schools, preservation of open space, and local climate action. I offer voters continued good government and skilled representation on the county board.
Response: Late last year, a General Assembly member approached me about the possibility of a casino on the Silver Line. My immediate reaction was negative, but I decided to investigate further.
I found that property around Silver Line stations is among the most valuable, if not the most valuable, real estate in the DMV (e.g., office rents charged by Boston Properties in their new buildings by the Reston Town Center Station). Casinos are usually placed in economically stressed areas.
I also considered the potential impact on the community. Last year, the Reston comprehensive plan task force recommended that Reston's comp plan embrace equity as a fundamental planning principle, and my board colleagues ultimately channeled this idea to be a county-wide policy. Given that casinos often feed off people with lower incomes and marginalized populations, the casino idea strikes me as inherently at odds with equity.
If big developer donors somehow get their way into the General Assembly and authorize a casino on the Silver Line, I will work to persuade my fellow County residents to vote against a casino and convince my fellow Board members that a Silver Line casino is truly a dumb idea. https://walteralcorn.com/
Brian R. Murphy (R)
Brian R. Murphy (R) Candidate Board of Supervisors, Providence District. My professional career is in real estate finance and investments. I was the Chief Financial Officer of Triangle Development Company. I expanded my expertise into the home building industry's acquisition, development, and construction sides to become a general partner in the building and development of my subdivisions.
I've been a Realtor for over thirty years, using my experience to help new and move-up homeowners navigate the ups and downs of the real estate market while focusing on raising healthy and happy families.
Response: While canvassing at Oak Marr Farmers Market, a senior citizen approached me and expressed concern about her fixed income and the recent assessment change on her condominium, threatening her ability to pay the new tax. Eviction and dissatisfaction with what “they” were doing with all the money worried her.
This year, the county changed real estate assessment procedures. They shifted real estate taxes from a property tax to a tax on unrealized capital gains.
This was done by taking all of last year's market sales, calculating a factor based on capital gains in those sales, and applying that factor to last year's assessed value to get to everyone's bill this year.
Their justification for the change was a misinterpretation of the Code that says real property in Virginia shall be assessed at fair market value. A property tax is levied based on the cost to Fairfax County to provide the goods and services mandated under their charter from Richmond prorated to your parcel.
The fair market value clause protects the little guy from government eminent domain. The ‘highest and best’ valuation practices ensure fairness for the little guy. It is, at best, an unhealthy mix of public facility and a competitive real estate market.
Traditional assessments considered lot size, improvement value, type of use, zoning designation, and county budget. Thus, the assessed value and asking price of a property in the real estate market differ greatly.
If elected, I will petition the Attorney General to issue a ‘cease and desist’ writ against Fairfax County for violating the Dillon Rule, which requires General Assembly approval before any local government can levy a new tax. I urge Fairfax County residents to support Republican district candidates to restore a Republican majority on the Board of Supervisors. www.brianmurphy4supervisor.com/home
Dalia Palchik (D)
Dalia Palchik (D), running for reelection for member, Board of Supervisors, Providence District. Palchik, 40, was born in Argentina, moved to Fairfax County at age six. She worked in international microfinance, as a medical interpreter, and as a classroom world language teacher. She is the first Latina to serve on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and offers a fresh and thoughtful perspective on issues, big or small. She looks forward to continuing the work towards bringing intentional transit-oriented development to Fairfax, finding creative ways to increase affordable housing, and expanding quality and affordable childcare and early childhood programs.
Response: In early 2021, a resident from a vulnerable community reached out to my office about the difficulties they were facing in receiving financial assistance for public water and sewer services. With the well on the property no longer being a viable source of water, the family has been struggling to find an affordable option to access clean water. After engaging with several county agencies and learning that there are no ready options to provide assistance to families needing access to public water services, I presented a board matter directing staff to work with Fairfax Water to explore options to help families like this. Access to clean water is a right that no family should struggle to achieve. I am happy to share that we were successful in helping them get access to public water and sewer services.
Although this issue relates to one particular family, we know there are challenges across the county with water or sewer connections. In order to help address that, I worked with the county agencies and budget staff to help create a targeted pilot program to help address the issues here and for those in need across the county.
Dalia currently serves as the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission Chair. Additionally, she serves on the State Executive Council for Children’s Services, the Successful Children and Youth Policy Team, the Council to End Domestic Violence, the Fairfax Food Council, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. www.daliaforsupervisor.com
Keith S. Elliott (R)
Keith S. Elliott (R) Candidate Board of Supervisors, Sully District. I am married and a father of four; my oldest is 36, and my youngest is 7. I am a lifelong Fairfax County resident who grew up in McLean and moved to Centreville in 1987.
I was at a backyard barbecue with friends, and we started talking about our taxes. That following week, I did some research and found out that no one else was going to run against Kathy Smith. I decided to step up and run in this race. I never thought about entering politics.
My profession has been in real estate brokerage, property management, and association management. I would love to use my knowledge of that to help residents get into home ownership and generate wealth through owning a home.
Finally, I am a man of faith, and I would always use my two ears to listen, serve the community, and base all my decisions on what the majority agrees on.
Response: I entered this race because of the cost of our real estate property taxes. When I knocked on doors, many folks also told me about the car tax cost.
What I discovered was that the Democrats on the county board have a spending problem. They look for ways to maximize county income through taxation and then find ways to spend it. I want to address this issue head-on by assigning a task group to audit the financials and find items that would be considered non-essential. From there, we can review those items and make the hard decisions as to whether they should be eliminated from the budget. The plan would be to reduce spending to phase out the car tax and then reduce the real estate tax.
Additionally, there have been whole communities, and many others have contacted me about land issues. One is a data center that would require the Board to approve new zoning and variances in height for it to be approved. This would affect that community and our environment because it would be built too close to the community and right along Cub Run Stream, which feeds our Occoquan watershed. I reviewed the plans and spoke with the folks, and I agree with them. I would not approve of this data center. https://keith4fairfax.com/
Kathy L. Smith (D)
Kathy L. Smith (D) Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sully District Supervisor 2016-present; serve on Virginia Association of Counties Board-Chair of Education Committee; former Fairfax County School Board-Sully District Rep (2002-2015) and PTA president at Poplar Tree Elementary, Rocky Run Middle School and Chantilly High School; served on Board of Fairfax County PTA
BA in Elementary Education and Sociology
Response: I was approached by an advocate who was helping people without cars access a health clinic that is located in Reston. The bus ride took over 2 hours because there wasn’t a direct route. County staff was reviewing bus routes in the western part of the county, and I told the advocate about the process and asked her to share the need with the staff.
The county was also in the process of finalizing the plans for the Sully Community Center, and we were able to add a health clinic and the Women, Infants, and Children’s program. This was an important addition to the community center because people from Sully would not need to travel as far for health care.
We also opened the 901 bus route, which goes from the Centreville United Methodist Church Park and Ride lot to the Herndon Metro Station when the Silver Line opened. This route also stops by the Sully Community Center. I appreciate the ability to work with the community. members to solve problems. www.kathysmith.org