|Mason Supervisor Penny Gross speaks to supporters after wining the Democratic primary.|
Gross will face independent candidate Mollie Loeffler, a longtime neighborhood activist and former president of the Mason District Council, in the Nov. 3 general election.
Swanson beat Gross in six precincts: Barcroft, Holmes #1, Holmes #2, Ravenwood, Sleepy Hollow, and Poe. She got more than 71 percent in Ravenwood and both Holmes precincts.
Approximately 9.5 percent of registered voters voted in the primary.
“I’m thrilled to be your nominee. I’m thrilled to be your supervisor,” Gross told a crowd of supporters at her campaign headquarters in Annandale after the final results were announced.
“Taking the high road paid off,” Gross said. “If you know me and most of you do, you know that I have always taken the high road – positive, enthusiastic, moving forward; I love my community. I live in this community. I would never trash my community nor would I trash anybody in it.”
“Time and time again I’ve heard from folks who expressed real dismay at what was being thrown at me and expressed real pleasure that we didn’t stoop to that,” she said.
In an apparent allusion to Swanson’s receipt of an $87,000 campaign contribution from Leadership for Educational Equity, Gross said: “Mason District cannot be bought. We know that we need to raise more money for the general election but we know that we are going to be broad based and cannot be beholden to any particular donor.”
“I must congratulate my opponent,” Gross said. “She made a good try.”
A statement issued by Swanson after the election thanking her supporters says: “Months ago, I decided to run for Mason District Supervisor because of all of the energy I heard from people like you about improving this community. During this campaign, I’ve spoken with thousands of you who shared my concerns about the direction of our county government, about needed investments in our schools, and about development decisions that haven’t always seemed to reflect the best interests of residents. And in those conversations, I heard a shared vision for the future that we all want to build here in Mason District.
“Although we weren’t victorious in tonight’s primary election, I am more committed than ever to that vision,” Swanson says. “I plan to remain deeply engaged with the Democratic party and in continued efforts to make our community stronger. My dedication to our community never hinged on the outcome of one election, and I will continue to work hard alongside you to effect change here in Fairfax County.”
In other election results, Fairfax County school board member Dan Storck (Mount Vernon) beat three other candidates to win the Democratic primary for Mount Vernon supervisor. Storck got 43.6 percent of the vote compared to Planning Commission member Timothy Sargeant (40.6 percent), Jack Dobbyn Jr. (9.9 percent), and Candice Bennett (5.8 percent).