Tuesday is Election Day. Soon the yard signs and the phone calls, and the radio and television ads (“I’m so-and-so, and I approved this message”) will be history. A new Congress will be elected, and Virginians will move on to the local and state elections that will occur next year. Just think, the number of seats up for election in 2011 – in Fairfax County alone – will exceed 50. All of the 10 member Board of Supervisors, the 12 member School Board, nine State Senators, 17 state delegates, and three directors for the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District will be on the ballot. The number of General Assembly seats may change when the census data is released for the decennial redistricting exercise next spring.
Voters must focus, though, on getting to the polls on Tuesday. Whether you vote in the 8th, 10th, or 11th Congressional District, your regular polling place will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Two Mason District precincts will vote in new locations for the General Election. Skyline precinct has a new permanent polling place at the National Association of Power Engineers Building, 5707 Seminary Road in Falls Church. The new location has plenty of parking, and I appreciate the willingness of the NAPE management to host the polling place. Voters in Annandale’s Masonville precinct will vote at the Westminster School, 3819 Gallows Road. The move is temporary; the Lacey Center/Masonville School has been demolished to make way for a new elementary school, but voters will return there in 2012. In-person absentee voting will continue at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, through Saturday. You may vote absentee today and tomorrow from 2:30 until 7:30 p.m, and from 9 to 5 on Saturday.
Jim Moran has represented the 8th Congressional District since 1991, and served in local government long before that. His seniority on the House Appropriations Committee, and his ability to bring needed funding to meet Northern Virginia’s challenges, is one reason to re-elect him. His willingness to fight for transportation improvements for BRAC at Seminary Road, and his strong voice on behalf of the constituents affected by that project, is another one. Jim can be counted on, and merits our support.
Gerry Connolly is facing his first re-election at Congressman from the 11th District, but he also brings a strong background of service at the local level to his work on the Hill. Gerry understands that the job of the 11th District Congressman is to protect our world-class education system, enhance our enviable quality of life, and help grow Northern Virginia’s economy. Gerry’s support of Rail to Dulles, dedicated Metro funding, and securing $61 million to complete the Fairfax County Parkway to accommodate 22,000 new employees at the Geospatial Agency demonstrates that Gerry Connolly “gets it” when it comes to addressing our transportation challenges here in Northern Virginia. I hope you will agree that the region needs Gerry Connolly in Congress.
Campaigning is easy; it’s governance that’s hard. Sound bites have popular appeal in the short term, but they don’t begin to explain the complexities of most issues, which need serious, responsible, and patient consideration to reach a fair and balanced resolution. That’s a thought to keep in mind as we go to the polls on Tuesday.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at email@example.com