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Strauss, Foust, Comstock, Favola Win

Results of Tuesday's elections

Dranesville Supervisor John Foust swept all 30 precincts as he handily won reelection to a second term in Tuesday's elections. Meanwhile Dranesville School Board member Jane Strauss won a hard-fought race with 51 percent of the vote.

State Sen. Janet Howell easily won reelection with 57 percent of the vote.

In the General Assembly races including McLean, Democrat Barbara Favola won the seat for the newly formed 31st Senate District while incumbent Barbara Comstock won reeelection to the 34th District House seat defeating McLean attorney Pamela Danner.

Bob Brink also won reelection running against two little-known independent candidates.

"I'm so looking forward to the next four years," Foust told about 100 of his supporters at a victory party at his home Tuesday evening. "I truly love this job."

"People didn't vote for me because I'm a Democrat, but because of the service we have given," he said surrounded by his campaign manager, family and staff.

Foust's challenger was Republican Dennis Husch, who former served on the Herndon City Council.

Newly elected Sen. Barbara Favola also stopped by the party. "I am delighted and humbled to be your state senator," she said. She defeated Republican businesswoman Caren Merrick, of McLean, who was running for the first time.

"Thank you for all our hard work. . . you all did it," Favola told the crowd of Democratic workers. "I will serve you to the best of my ability," said Favola who has served on the Arlington Board for nearly 15 years.

The Dranesville school board race was perhaps the cliffhanger as Strauss faced school advocate  Louise Epstein.

The school board contests across the county were some of most hotly contested in years because of anger at the arrogance of the administration of superintendent Jack Dale. Dale announcement his retirement in September that will become effective  when his contract ends in June 2013.

More than half the seats on the board had no incumbents  and teachers and parents called for reform.

Strauss, who has served for nearly 20 years on the board, faced a determined and negative campaign by Louise Epstein, a long-time school advocate. Epstein's campaign manager Catherine Lorenze also became a lighting rod for the campaign because of negative statements made against Strauss.

Stauss, who is now chairman of the school board, won with 51 percent of the vote.

Both the Fairfax Teachers Association and the Fairfax Federation of Teachers endorsed Epstein. FCFT President Steve Greenburg was a staunch support of Epstein. He attended her kickoff and applauded for her at public forums with the two candidates.

Jack November 09, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Sure the incumbant has some advantages and sure her record needed to be challenged. But not in the way it was done. Any credible candidate would have won this race by 5-10% with a positive campaign that simply played on what people were thinking (i.e. it is time for someone new).
Mozart November 09, 2011 at 04:30 PM
Maybe it's too soon after the election for the defeated candidates and their supporters to assess what went wrong. I think the Republicans might have fared better had they persuaded Epstein to run for an at-large seat and endorsed Stuban. He was a good candidate who didn't have a chance without a party endorsement. Kendall was viewed as a Tea Party candidate; Brown-Kaplan was viewed as a single-issue candidate; and Mancheno-Smoak, while gracious, did not communicate her priorities clearly.
jody bennett November 09, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Bobbi, the editor.....do you have inside information to FCPS....Did this really happen? You reported that Dale retired in September.... "The school board contest across the county were some of most hotly contested in years because of anger at the arrogance of the administration of superintendent Jack Dale. Dale retired in September."
Concerened Citizen November 09, 2011 at 04:47 PM
@Mozart when you are the Chair of the School Board and an 18 year incumbent and you BARELY hold your seat it speaks volumes... IMO this is her LAST term and she retires on her own terms.
Mozart November 09, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Catherine Lorenze and the advocacy groups associated with her had a slate of candidates, but it became clear that their primary goal - to which the vast majority of their energies and rhetoric were dedicated - was unseating Strauss. They failed. I don't know if that speaks volumes or just speaks to a poor campaign and a lack of success. If this does turn out to be Janie's last term, you're right that she leaves on her own terms.
Sophia Bruner November 09, 2011 at 05:08 PM
To Jodi Bennett, I believe what Ms. Bowman meant to report was that in September, Dale announced he would retire at the end of his term - which is not until mid 2012.
Bobbi Bowman November 09, 2011 at 05:25 PM
In September Superintendent Dale announced that he would retirement when his contract ends in June 2013. We used too much shorthand in the early morning hours of today. Many thanks.
jody bennett November 09, 2011 at 05:31 PM
Understand Bobbi...
Ray Fridley November 09, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Interesting results from yesterday's elections. Maybe Northern Virginians will have the privlege to see a new meaning given to "Comstock Load", be it good or bad.
Ruth Tatlock November 09, 2011 at 08:04 PM
I agree that Lorenze turned off a lot of people. For me, her statement that she loves to be a "king maker" who would "go crazy" if she'd have to work with those she had critized, did it. She was in this to build her lobbying business in wealthy McLean; at least, that's what I think FWIW.
McLean Parent November 09, 2011 at 09:28 PM
As as supporter of Louise Epstein, of course I was disappointed in the results. In the end, 500 people changing their votes would have made a difference in the outcome. Did Epstein lose because of the Lorenze factor, the negative tone of the campaign, or simply the result of the Democratic party going all out to save Janie's seat? (As Stuban's poor showing demonstrated, most people lazily vote the party line.) Or was it because Strauss, in many cases, simply adopted Epstein's positions in a politically adept way to neutralize the opposition? Put another way, Strauss ended up with 6,000 fewer votes than the last election and she really had to fight very hard to retain her seat. I hope she realizes that she has a mandate to keep the many promises she made during the campaign, including her still mysterious plan to reduce class sizes. And then I hope she decides to retire after serving 22 years on the board, and finally make way for a new generation of leaders.
Mike Darcey November 10, 2011 at 03:42 AM
500 votes is the operative point. Yes, Lorenze cost her 500 votes at least, likely more like 1500-2000 votes. Janie did have to fight hard to retain her seat, but the Lorenze/negative factor was responsible for the defeat in the end. I too hope Janie learned a lot in this election. That is what elections are for. The voters spoke for reform, just not the reform served up by Lorenze.
jody bennett November 10, 2011 at 04:03 AM
Mike are you saying there were mostly likely 1500-2000 Democrat votes who were planning on voting for Louise....
jody bennett November 10, 2011 at 04:05 AM
Sorry, I should have said 1500-2000 Democrat voters....
SK November 11, 2011 at 03:57 PM
I agree. Since when did telling the truth or challenging complacency become negative. I am hard pressed to see how we will be able to cope until the next election and hopefully this is a wake-up call to all incumbents. Thank you Louise for all your hard work and hopefully our school board "machine" will recognize that more needs to be done to meet the needs of our kids and just being good at politics is not enough. Run again and you have my vote!
Mozart November 11, 2011 at 10:56 PM
I agree that a challenger has to attack an incumbent's record to have a chance of winning. However, in this election, there's no doubt that Epstein lost votes because people thought she ran a negative campaign (since the statements made by her campaign manager had a decidedly nasty edge and many assumed that they met with Epstein's approval). Ms. Epstein and others will have four years, if they wish, to decide if they'd do it exactly the same way next time around, or attempt a more moderate approach that is perhaps more in tune with the sensibilities of Dranesville residents. You can probably get the vote of every voter in the district who doesn't know how they "will be able to cope until the next election" and still lose.
Will Radle November 11, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Mozart, campaigning for public office is the strongest peaceful stance we can make in petitioning our government to redress grievances. Your comment infers that people become politicians because they want to become an officeholder rather than because they want better governance. As for me, it's not about "going negative" for some Machiavellian strategy, I remain confident most Fairfax County residents do want fair treatment for Fairfax County taxpayers and students and we want our politicians to advocate our community's best interests. We want and deserve effective solutions to the challenges confronting our community. Thank you for letting me share. A. Will Radle, Jr. Creating a Culture of Listening http://fairfaxstation.patch.com/blog_posts/creating-a-culture-of-listening
Mozart November 12, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Will - my comment did not imply that people who run for public office do not want better governance, so I am not sure why you would infer that. People who run for public office make decisions about how they want to campaign, who is authorized to speak on their behalf, and what those who are authorized to speak on their behalf are authorized to say. In the case of this one local election, I have noted, as have some of Louise Epstein's supporters in retrospect, that statements made by her campaign manager on her behalf may have cost her a fair number of votes, if not the election itself. That observation does not mean that she didn't enter the race with good intentions, and of course it had nothing to do with your own recent efforts to be elected to the Board of Supervisors.
Rob Jackson November 12, 2011 at 04:01 PM
John Foust won so handily because he combined fiscally conservative policies with listening to his constituents and working to address their concerns. While I believe Fairfax County still needs to work even harder to provide services more efficiently, transfer funding to programs that work, and combine administrative functions with the Schools, John Foust looked for savings as hard as any supervisor I've seen in Fairfax County. The voters rehired John for the good job he has done.
Will Radle November 12, 2011 at 04:45 PM
Mozart, would you consider my true statements about the BoS chairman's record of cutting education funding, thereby increasing classroom sizes and reducing teachers' take home pay year after year as "attacking an incumbent's record" or "going negative"? Thank you for the clarification. I remain the most accessible, transparent and accountable politician. Actively participating in community blogs is just one method I use to meet higher standards. A. Will Radle, Jr. Creating a Culture of Listening http://fairfaxstation.patch.com/blog_posts/creating-a-culture-of-listening
Bob November 12, 2011 at 11:45 PM
There are plenty of parents that hate dealing with FCPS because FCPS does drive them crazy - start with the Clifton community and how about the families who have dealt with FCPS' punitive discipline and grading policies - how about the families who have had to fight for what should be a no-brainer - decent class size. Lorenze was right - I would "go crazy" working with those out-of-touch FCPS bureaucrats too. FCPS has major problems - Lorenze just has the courage to say it out loud.
Bob November 12, 2011 at 11:46 PM
Strauss won't get it - she said as much in the Fairfax County Times stating, "I'm still trying to figure out what this election means." Well DUH... it means get off your butt and represent your district for change.
Mozart November 13, 2011 at 03:42 PM
Bob's comment is the definition of churlish. This was a close election and the voters have re-elected Janie Strauss.
Judy Bowns November 13, 2011 at 04:04 PM
The energy from Louise's supporters who continue posting is 'negative' at best and additionally smacks of seventh grade wording--I know since I taught seventh graders. I suspect Louise would be all for moving forward with the issues she feels so passionately about, and as I said in an earlier post, this is a GOOD thing since what we all want is what is best for our students, right? So, Bob and others, I am NOT going to suggest you 'build a bridge and get over it' since I would then be lowering my standards to yours. Let's elevate the discussions here...be pro-active and move the concerns you have to the newly elected school board. Champion your cause(s) in a constructive way and we will have the results all are hoping to find...and the kids will be the winners (as well as having even more positive role models.)
Will Radle November 13, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Thank you Judy for remaining focused on our community's highest priorities. Let us come together to keep politicians accountable for investing in our greatest priorities. A. Will Radle, Jr. Creating a Culture of Listening http://fairfaxstation.patch.com/blog_posts/creating-a-culture-of-listening FairfaxAdvocates@gmail.com http://YouTube.com/WillRadle1
jody bennett November 13, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Judy, since you have pointed out that Louise's supporters smacks of seventh grade wording....since you taught seventh graders, would you care to comment on Strauss's supporter's postings?
Ruth Tatlock November 13, 2011 at 05:12 PM
Judy and Jody, Please, quit your seventh grade polemic! You're embarassing our seventh graders.
Will Radle November 13, 2011 at 05:36 PM
"For both parties, the most disagreeable way of responding to a polemic is to be angry and keep silent: for the aggressor usually takes the silence as a sign of disdain." -Friedrich Nietzsche
jody bennett November 13, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Will are you addressing me, Judy or Ruth Tatlock?
Will Radle November 13, 2011 at 07:16 PM
There has been enough said about the past SB campaign. I support the shared desire to move forward in creating effective solutions to the challenges confronting our community.

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