Turnover on Fairfax Board of Supervisors Continues

This week, long-time Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D), first elected in 1999, announced she is retiring from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Hudgins is the fifth member of the Board to be moving on from their current posts: Supervisors John Cook (R – Braddock), first elected in 2009, and Lynda Smith (D – Providence), first elected in 2003, both announced they are not seeking re-election. Neither is County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova (D), first elected in 2009.

Meanwhile, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay (D) announced he is seeking Bulova’s Chairman’s seat, and┬áSupervisor Pat Herrity (R – Springfield), first elected in 2007, is also considering running for the Chairman’s position.

Below is what the Board of Supervisors looked like in 2009, and the turnover that’s happened in the past four years:

Chairman – Sharon Bulova (retiring 2019)
Braddock
– John Cook (retiring 2019)
Hunter Mill – Cathy Hudgins (retiring 2019)
Dranesville – John Foust
Lee – Jeff McKay (seeking higher office 2019)
Mason – Penny Gross
Mt. Vernon – Gerry Hyland (retired 2015)
Providence – Linda Smyth (retiring 2019)
Springfield – Pat Herrity (may seek higher office, 2019)
Sully – Mike Frey (retired 2015)

A brief history of these seats:

Pat Herrity’s father, Jack Herrity (R), was Chairman of the Board until 1987, losing re-election to Annandale District Supervisor Audrey Moore (D). Sharon Bulova would be elected to Moore’s seat that same year (which was later renamed Braddock District). Moore would be defeated for re-election for Chairman in 1991 by Mason District Supervisor Tom Davis (R), who would go onto run for Congress and win in 1994. That created a special election in 1995, won then-Providence District Supervisor Kate Hanley (D); her seat was then filled in a special election by Gerry Connolly (D).

Chairman Hanley declined to run for re-election in 2003 (launching a short-lived primary challenge against then-Congressman Jim Moran in the 8th), and was again succeeded by Gerry Connolly in 2003. Linda Smyth was then elected to Providence District. When Tom Davis declined to run for re-election in 2008, Connolly succeeded him, creating a special election for the Chairman’s position. In 2009, Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova defeated Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity by some 1,200 votes (out of 107,000 cast). John Cook would then win the special election to fill Bulova’s seat.

All that to say that the history of these seats is intertwined, and it seems likely that one of the candidates elected in 2019 will eventually run for Congress in 10-20 years.

Graphic cred Fairfax County Board of Supervisors