- The Washington Times - Monday, August 5, 2002

The two candidates vying to replace Virginia state Sen. Warren Barry, who resigned in July to take a job in Gov. Mark R. Warner's administration, found out yesterday that few voters in District 37 seem to know a special election is being held tomorrow.
Democrat Cathy Belter and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, both Catholics, spent much of the day meeting with church congregations in the district, which stretches from Burke to Bull Run.
Mr. Cuccinelli emphasized his pro-life stance for church members.
"I am the pro-life candidate in this election and with two more votes in the state Senate, we can override Governor Warner's veto of partial-birth abortion and make sure that procedure never takes place in Virginia again," Mr. Cuccinelli told parishioners at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in Fairfax, which was similar to a message he delivered earlier at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Fairfax.
At St. Mark's, Mr. Cuccinelli was introduced by parishioner Michael Meunier, a Cuccinelli volunteer and president of the U.S. Copts Association, which represents 750,000 Coptic Christians throughout the country.
"He is supporting good issues and he is family- and religion-friendly," said Aida Habashy of Vienna, Va.
Mrs. Belter spent the morning at the First Baptist Church of Vienna and later the Korean Central Presbyterian Church in Vienna. In the afternoon's sweltering heat, Mrs. Belter walked around the Fairfax County 4-H Festival in Herndon.
Mrs. Belter, who is pro-choice, highlighted roads as the biggest differences she sees between herself and her opponent.
"I support the transportation referendum," said Mrs. Belter, referring to the Nov. 5 ballot question asking voters in nine Northern Virginia jurisdictions to raise the sales tax by one-half of 1 percent to fund transportation initiatives in the region.
Mr. Cuccinelli is opposed to the referendum.
"We need to have better access to getting to work, and [the funds] are not coming out of Richmond, so it's up to us to get it done," Mrs. Belter said.
"We need the referendum to pass," said Dan Lohmann, an undecided voter from Franklin Farms, after meeting Mrs. Belter at the festival.
Republicans hold a 21-18 advantage in the state Senate. Both sides are watching this race closely. The district leans Republican Mr. Barry was a Fairfax Republican but Democrats have poured thousands into the campaign.
Many observers also view this election as a preview for the fall transportation referendum.
The polls in District 37 are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Unlike the special firehouse primaries in which voters were limited in the locations they could vote, all precincts will be open.

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