Commentary, Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Last week’s Democratic primary election had a few surprises, but the multiple flyers that appeared in voters’ mailboxes, hopefully, have been properly recycled.  Congratulations to Chairman Jeff McKay, Sheriff Stacey Kincaid, Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, and State Senator Dave Marsden, who won with substantial margins.  State Senator Chap Petersen, whose district includes some Mason District precincts, was defeated by Saddam Salim, who was making his first try at elected office.  These winning candidates will advance to the general election on November 7, 2023.  

The closely watched race for Mason District Supervisor was won by Andres Jimenez with 3458 votes.  Close behind was Reid Voss, who trailed Jimenez by 357 votes.  Jeremy Allen and Steve Lee rounded out the field.  For the first time in more than 40 years, no one else, party-affiliated, or independent, has filed to run for Mason District Supervisor, so Mr. Jimenez will be unopposed in the November 7 General Election.  

Many election results reflected the changing demographics of Fairfax County.  Some longtime office holders were defeated by younger, more diverse candidates, while others held their seats by a significant margin.  With previously announced retirements, and now some defeats, the Virginia General Assembly will have many new faces, in newly drawn districts, regardless of what happens in the general election.  With the retirements of Senators Dick Saslaw and Janet Howell, and the defeats of Senators Petersen and George Barker, there will be at least four new Northern Virginia senators, with a like number of new delegates.  The shift may be seismic, as the Tidewater area may retain more seniority in both houses.  Whatever happens, it will take years for the new members to build the relationships in Richmond needed to enact meaningful legislation for the Commonwealth and its local jurisdictions.  

The ever-popular Spotlight by Starlight free concert series began earlier this month at Mason District Park.  Weather cancelled a couple of concerts, but nearly 400 people turned out for the incomparable folk singer, Tom Paxton, and another 300 enjoyed jazz by the U. S. Army Blues.  Free concerts are held, weather permitting, every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:30 p.m., with concerts for children on Saturday at 10 a.m.  Free parking is available on-site, pets on leash are welcome, and many people bring picnic dinners to dine al fresco.  

On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Ossian Hall Park is the site for celebrations of the cultural diversity of Fairfax County.  Taiwan and Indonesia were highlighted in June; Ireland, Bolivia, Jamaica and Germany are future features.  Again, there is plenty of parking, pets on leash are welcome, and people bring picnic dinners.  Although there is bench seating at the Mason District Park amphitheater, visitors should bring lawn chairs or blankets to Ossian Hall Park.  You can attend free live entertainment nearly every day of the week in Fairfax County.  Log on to for a complete listing of free concerts in the parks.

The Art in the Mason District Governmental Center features colorful abstract paintings by local artist Sara Harland.  Harland enjoys the challenge of using shapes, color, and composition to convey an idea or a mood.  The paintings are on display through July 31, 2023.

Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at


  • Penny Gross

    Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at