- The Washington Times - Monday, November 3, 2003

Virginians go to the polls today to elect all 140 members of the General Assembly and local leaders in places such as Arlington and Fairfax counties.

Republicans are expected to maintain or strengthen their majorities in the House and Senate. With about two-thirds of the races uncontested and a new Republican-drawn district map that favors the GOP, only a handful of competitive campaigns have emerged. Virginians have from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. to cast their ballots.

In Maryland, voters in five suburban cities will elect mayors and council members. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Gaithersburg, Greenbelt, Rockville and Takoma Park. Polls in College Park are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

One of Virginia’s more competitive General Assembly races has unfolded in Fairfax County, where Sen. Linda “Toddy” Puller, Fairfax Democrat, faces Republican challenger Christian N. Braunlich of Alexandria.

In the Senate, where the Republicans control 23 of the 40 seats, the GOP has 12 uncontested races and the Democrats have seven, leaving 21 seats at stake.

House Republicans, who now hold a 64-34 majority in the 100-member chamber, are uncontested in 38 races, and Democrats are uncontested in 23 House races. With challenges to the two independent delegates, a total of 39 seats are at stake today.

Voters in Fairfax County will elect members to the Board of Supervisors and decide the contest for board chairman between Providence District Supervisor Gerald E. Connolly, a Democrat, and Republican School Board member Mychele Brickner.

The voters also will select members of the Fairfax School Board, the director of the Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Fairfax sheriff. In the race for sheriff, Sheriff Stan G. Barry, a Democrat, faces Republican challenger James Aubrey Vickery.

In Arlington County, the four candidates are vying for two seats on the County Board. The contenders are two Democratic incumbents, Paul F. Ferguson and J. Walter Tejada, along with Republican challenger Richard K. Kelsey and independent challenger Sarah J. Summersville.

Voters in Arlington County will decide the school board race between Larry E. Fishtahler and incumbent David M. “Dave” Foster.

They also will decide the race for Arlington Commissioner of Revenue between Ingrid H. Morroy, a Democrat, and Tim C. Russo, a Republican.

The Virginia State Board of Elections advises voters to address questions about the election to the local voter-registration office. If the local office can’t help, call the state board at 800/552-9745.

Questions about Maryland municipal elections should be directed to the local election authority.

In College Park today, voters will choose a mayor and four council members.

Traffic flow, pedestrian safety and rebuilding Route 1 are key issues. The election will decide the contest among five candidates vying for three at-large council seats in Gaithersburg, where school crowding, traffic jams and rapid growth are hot campaign topics.

In Greenbelt, seven candidates are running for five at-large seats and campaigning on crime reduction and improved management of city finances.

And in Takoma Park, voters will choose a mayor and six council members. A plan to expand Washington Adventist Hospital is among the candidates’ issues.

Voters in Rockville will cast ballots on a nonbinding referendum on whether the mayor and council should hold four-year — rather than two-year — terms and will select between two candidates running for mayor and among eight seeking four at-large City Council seats.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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