Virginia Cities, Towns Go to Polls: In Fairfax, Mason Faces First Challenger

Article excerpt

Voters in several Northern Virginia towns and cities will choose mayors, city council members and school board members today when polls open across the commonwealth.

Polling sites in the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church as well as the towns of Herndon, Vienna, Clifton and Leesburg will open at 6 a.m. this morning and close at 7 p.m.

A total of 39 Virginia cities and 180 towns will hold nonpartisan elections.

In Fairfax, Mayor John Mason faces his first contested race after three terms in office. His challenger, retired city schools Superintendent Robert C. Russell, said the race is hard to predict.

"People in Fairfax are very private about their voting," said Mr. Russell, adding that both he and Mr. Mason have decried a history of low voter turnout. "Twenty-nine percent of our registered voters voting is an indication that people don't consider themselves part of the process."

All six City Council seats are open as are all five School Board seats. Incumbent council members Jeffrey C. Greenfield, Julia P. Lyman, Phillip S. Mershon, Gary J. Rasmussen, R. Scott Silverthorne and Walter Arnold Wilson III are being challenged by Anthony Coughlan, Mary Gail Martin and Alfred F. …