by Dan Roem, The Gainesville Times
25 August 2011, pp. A1, A4
“Former Del. Dick Black (R) will have a chance to redeem his 2005 state House loss this fall as he secured a 113-vote win over Gainesville District Supervisor John Stirrup (R) Tuesday night in the 13th District state Senate Republican primary.
“He joins four other GOP primary winners for western Prince William County races.
“Brentsville District Supervisor Wally Covington (R) defeated Bristow resident Jeanine Lawson by 5 percent [157 votes.]
“Gainesville District nominee Peter Candland (R) topped his closest rival, Gainesville District Planning Commissioner Martha Hendley, by nearly 10 points in a five-person field for the right to take on Ann Wheeler (D) in the fall. [passage omitted]
“Like in 2007, Covington does not face a general election challenger. The rest of the GOP contenders in Prince William face Democratic opponents in the fall. [passage omitted]
“In the race to replace Stirrup on the Board of County Supervisors, Candland ran the most organized campaign out of the five candidates vying for the job.
“Upon entry, he immediately contacted local media outlets, hired a local GOP insider to manage his campaign, issued press releases and poured his own money into the race while soliciting more individual contributions from other donors than anyone else.
“Quietly, the Republicans establishment, such as Stewart, encouraged Candland without publicly making a scene out of it. At the same time Candland’s campaign team knocked on about 1,500 doors.
“He successfully targeted Stirrup supporters and focused on reaching voters in residential subdivisions like Parks at Piedmont and Dominion Valley along with chunks of Manassas while Hendley relied on fellow control-growth supporters as her base.
“Candland’s team also placed volunteers at each precinct within the district on Election Day, giving him an advantage over each candidate.
” ‘We were very disciplined throughout the campaign. We came up with a plan. We knew the money we wanted to hit, to raise for the campaign, and we stuck to it,’ said Candland.
“He overcame contrast mailers from Hendley that noted Candland did not sign the Rural Crescent pledge, something he said he avoided due to ideological disagreements on other issues with the person behind it.
” ‘I am a supporter of the Rural Crescent. To me, it is a settled issue,’ said Candland.
“However, he added, ‘I’m not a no-growth person.’
“Candland advocates for what he called a ‘measured approach’ that includes focus on repairing and improving roads.
“Wheeler has signed the Rural Crescent pledge and the issue of growth is likely to play a key role in [the] general election campaign.
“According to Candland, ‘Ann is no slouch. She has a good following, she has raised a good amount of money.’
” ‘I think Ann is really well connected and she’s going to work really, really hard,’ said [PWC Democratic Party Chairman Bruce] Roemmelt. ‘I see an advantage for us because these other guys are so divided.'”