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Friday, February 27, 2015

Mason Republicans planning 'firehouse primary'

A couple of local Republicans have talked about the possibility of running against Mason Supervisor Penny Gross this year, says Curtis Anderson, Mason District chair on the Fairfax County Republican Committee. No one has come forward but if there are more than one candidate, the committee will hold a “firehouse primary” to select a candidate.

The details haven’t been set yet but it probably take place in a high school on a Saturday in late April or early May. Any registered voter who shows up would be allowed to vote, but they would have to sign an oath stating they would support the winner of the primary.

According to Anderson, local Republicans rejected the option of a state-run primary because they don’t like the idea of having taxpayers foot the bill for a political election process, or they don’t want people voting for a weak candidate who can be easily defeated in November. Since Virginia doesn’t require voters to declare a political party, anyone can vote in a state-run primary.

In addition, at least one local resident is considering running for Mason supervisor as an independent and another resident is weighing the possibility of running in a Democratic primary. No one is ready to make a public announcement yet.

Anderson believes Mason Supervisor Penny Gross, who launched her re-election campaign for a sixth  term on the Board of Supervisors Feb. 15, may be more vulnerable this year than in the past, even though “the Democrats have an advantage in this area.”

“Any time you’re up against an incumbent, it’s an uphill battle,” he says. “Gross has name recognition and money, but she upset a lot of people on land use issues,” including Seven Corners, Bailey’s Upper Elementary School, the Willston Center, and redevelopment plans for Columbia Pike. “There’s a feeling that she is more interested in what developers want as opposed to what residents want.”

All Fairfax County supervisors, as well as the board chair, all school board members, all members of the General Assembly, directors of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, Fairfax County sheriff, clerk of the court, and commonwealth’s attorney are up for election this year.

Anderson hasn’t heard of any potential opponents to Mason school board member Sandy Evans, noting, “Sandy has a pretty strong group of people supporting her.”

School board elections in Fairfax County are nonpartisan, so there won’t be any primaries. Candidates would, however, seek endorsements from a party, which would give them a boost on the campaign trail.

Members of the General Assembly whose jurisdictions include parts of Annandale and the Mason District – Del. Kaye Kory, Del. Vivian Watts, Sen. Dave Marsden, and Sen. Dick Saslaw, all Democrats – are running for re-election.

Incumbent supervisors John Cooke (Braddock), Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill), John Foust (Dranesville), Jack Herrity (Springfield), Jeff McKay (Lee), and Lynda Smith (Providence) are all planning to run again.

In the Braddock District, Janet Oleszek, a Democrat, plans to run against Cook, one of two Republicans on the BoS. A Democratic candidate is also expected to challenge Herrity, the other Republican. School board member Kathy Smith (Sully) is planning to run for the Sully BoS seat being vacated by Michael Frey.

Several Democrats are planning to run for the Mount Vernon seat on the BoS to succeed Gerry Hyland who will retire at the end of the term, including Jack Dobbyn; Candice Bennett; Tim Sargeant, a member of the Fairfax County Planning Commission; and school board member Dan Storck (Mount Vernon),

Dalia Palchik has announced her intention to seek the Democratic endorsement to challenge school board member Patty Reed (Providence). Karen Corbett Sanders plans to seek the Democratic endorsement for the Mount Vernon seat on the school board.

20 comments:

  1. Patty Reed has done a good job in the Providence District. Her challenger is an elitist who went to TJ and teaches at an elite private school in NW DC. Schools in the Providence District suffered for a long time because the School Board members from the district cared only about Oakton HS and TJHSST. Reed has stood up for other schools in the district as well and deserves to be re-elected if she runs.

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    1. Dalia Palchik is typical of what you’d expect from a Fairfax Democrat. However, Patty Reed was happy to go along with that ridiculous resolution to grant the school board independent taxing authority. That farce was just another indicator of the present school board's determination to transform the school system into a public prep school regardless of the cost. The real tragedy is that Patty Reed and her counterparts have been quite willing to give Mason short shrift while funneling huge amounts of money to schools in outer beltway districts inhabited by affluent parents with a massive sense of entitlement. So, there’s a lot of elitism going around these days. The truly sad part is that liberal darling Sandy Evans has done precisely nothing to represent Mason's interests. The schools are in worse shape than ever. Evans' contribution has been to ride the coattails of others who actually have some sense of the dire situation in Mason. That hardly qualifies as leadership.

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    2. "2/27/15, 2:21 PM"
      +1

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  2. This could be interesting if the GOP can recruit someone like Buzz Hawley or Danny Smith. The problem, however, is that GOP is a toxic label in these parts. So, the most likely way to defeat Penny Gross would be through a primary challenge. I'm not counting on that though.

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  3. I say let's nominate return to sender.

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    1. My vote is with the return to sender dude.

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    2. I like "Return to Sender" as candidate as well!

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  4. build roads and schools, how hard can this job be

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  5. I think she's going down this year.

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    1. very doubtful IMO. All she does is win. no viable candidate has emerged to really challenge her.. Republican or Democrat. As anon 10:14 noted "Gop is toxic in this area". I just want to see someone who doesn't believe every solution is to build a school and someone who will aggressively address what is causing the overcrowding problems by getting to the root of the problem.

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    2. agreed

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  6. With Sandy Evans, I feel she dropped the ball when the Bailey Upper School went down and fell in line with Penny plan. Since that happened, I feel she has done a much better job listening to her community and acting on it, like with the Willston Center. With Penny, it feels like "ok I'll listen because I have to", then "are we done here?, I have developers I need to meet with to do what I really want".

    I do agree a GOP candidate may be toxic, but a strong independent has a very good shot if they can overcome funding challenges.

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    1. Matt: I have yet to identify anything Sandy Evans has ever initiated. She seems to be taking her marching orders from Kaye Kory and that Barcroft clique. Upper Bailey's is a response to another segment of Penny's constituency wanting a big, fancy social services building at Willston. She's referred to them is passing and they seem to be highly influential.

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  7. we need an independent to beat Gross who is willing to listen to all voices in the community. she is beatable. her over confidence and lack of interest in the citizens will get her this time.

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    1. You'll only get an independent to run if no Republican enters the race. Otherwise, they're just going to end up weakening each other.

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    2. i'm not sure of that. i think dems are more like to vote for an independent vs a republican.

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  8. A Democrat should step up and challenge Gross. There is a growing sense in Mason that it is time for a change. Penny Gross is vulnerable this election.

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    1. Swapping one spendthrift Democrat for another is pointless. For example, replacing Bob Hull with Kaye Kory accomplished nothing but sticking us with Bob Hull in a skirt. Mason needs to be represented by someone with the expertise to balance development and spending. I doubt if there's a local Democrat capable of that.

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    2. Agree that there is a growing sense that Penny is past her day and Mason needs a change. A well qualified candidate who can make the case for new leadership and better representation can win.

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