State Delegate Jim Scott, Kate Hanley, US Rep. Gerry Connolly, Supervisor Linda Smyth, and Chairman Sharon Bulova at a groundbreaking ceremony. Past and Present Supervisors and Chairman by Fairfax County licensed under Creative Commons.

Sharon Bulova, the 10-year chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, won’t run for re-election in 2019. Neither will supervisors Linda Smyth (D-Providence) or John Cook (R-Braddock); Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) hasn’t yet declared her plans. Jeff McKay (D-Lee) plans to run for chairman, leaving his seat open, and so might Pat Herrity (R-Springfield). This means there will be open seat elections in at least four to six of the 10 seats on the board of the Washington region’s most populous jurisdiction.

Under Bulova’s leadership and that of the previous chairman, now-Congressman Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County has been decisively trying to create walkable urban places, especially around expanded transit. The county supported the Silver Line, VRE, and a major effort to transform mall-and-office-park Tysons Corner into a true city around four Metro stations. These changes bring greater equity and sustainability to Fairfax County. With forward-thinking supervisors, we can keep the county moving in the right direction.

Fairfax County Supervisor Districts by Fairfax County Democrats.

The coming big challenges for the county include continuing Tysons’ shift toward walkable urbanism and bringing a similar change to the Route 1/Richmond Highway corridor in the county’s southeast. The county will face ongoing debates over adding housing in areas near new and existing transit, such as Reston.

With future Metro lines unlikely, the county needs to pursue Bus Rapid Transit or light rail lines to offer residents fast, frequent, and reliable ways to get around while weaning itself from a habit of continually widening road after road. Whether to use tolls to pay for infrastructure will remain a hot-button issue. The new supervisors will have considerable influence over these and other priorities.

We want to push for urbanist candidates

Can you support our work in Fairfax and elsewhere in Virginia in 2019?

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Greater Greater Washington has long covered local elections with an urbanist lens and educated readers on the candidates. In 2018, we launched our most ambitious effort yet to evaluate and interview candidates in races in DC, Maryland, Arlington, and Alexandria at the state, county, city, district, ward, and Advisory Neighborhood Commission levels. Our coverage cumulatively reached over 300,000 readers, and we made endorsements for over 130 competitive regional races.

While no endorsements please everyone, we know that our coverage makes a difference. But, to be honest, it is a tremendous amount of work as well. Enormous plaudits go to the members of our 2018 Elections Committee: Brent Bolin, Drew Dupuy, Heather Edelman, John Green, Chad Hughes, Mary Hynes, Tracy Hadden Loh, Justin Lini, Renato Mendoza, Hannah Powell, Sanjida Rangwala, Sean Robertson, Mark Rodeffer, DW Rowlands, Doug Ryan, Eric Selwyn, Rahul Sinha, Joanne Tang, Connor Waldoch, Bob Ward, David Whitehead, and Eve Zhurbinskiy.

In 2019, we set our sights on Virginia, where a slew of local candidates will shape our community’s growth. Besides the entire Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Loudoun’s, and Prince William’s are also up for re-election. Two Arlington County Board members are also on the ballot. (Also, Rockville and Gaithersburg in Maryland.)

Further, there will be a lot of attention on the Virginia General Assembly, where every senator and delegate faces election and the Democrats are hoping to flip both chambers. We’d like to push for pro-urbanist candidates in the primaries and general election for both state legislature and county supervisors/board members.

We need your help

We still could use more people who live in or have connections to Virginia to participate in our volunteer Elections Committee. But we also need your financial support. Managing this process takes staff resources, and staff resources aren’t plentiful or free for our small four-person nonprofit.

To bring clear information to the public about the urbanist views of candidates in the primaries and general in 2019, we need to fund this effort. Can you support our Virginia 2019 elections work with a gift today? Or, join our GGWash Neighborhood, which supports our blog and advocacy efforts overall.

Can you support our work in Fairfax and elsewhere in Virginia in 2019?


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If you donate or join the Neighborhood with this special link, you’ll get this special “VA Politics is for Urbanism Lovers” sticker and support our Virginia elections work.