Wednesday, November 15, 2023
In last week’s election for Sully District supervisor, Democratic incumbent Kathy Smith beat Republican challenger Keith Elliott. She received 20,238 votes, for 59.5 percent of the total, to his 13,643 votes and 40 percent. There were also 152 write-ins, comprising 0.45 percent of the votes.
“I was pleased that the voters of the Sully District are entrusting me to another term on the Board of Supervisors,” said Smith afterward. “I will continue to work with the community on the issues that face the Sully District and Fairfax County. I will continue to prioritize affordable housing and pedestrian safety over the next four years.”
As for Elliott, although he’d hoped for a different outcome, he said he really tried hard and did the best he could, despite having to wage an uphill battle against a well-known, longtime incumbent.
“My campaign lost by fewer votes than any other Board of Supervisors race, spent far less than any other and had a no-name, first-time candidate, when others had run or been involved before,” he explained.
One of the campaign issues – especially for residents in the Stonecroft, Bull Run and Virginia Run precincts, all of which Smith lost – was the gigantic data center that’s proposed for construction just a half mile from Chantilly’s Pleasant Valley community. Smith wouldn’t openly take a position on this hot-button topic, noting instead how much money the data center would bring to the county in tax revenue.
The residents most affected by its potential dangers said she wasn’t taking their environmental, health and noise concerns about it seriously, and Elliott was staunchly on their side. In addition, although the matter was due to go to the Board of Supervisors in October, it was deferred until after the election.
Ultimately, Smith’s support in the rest of the Sully District was enough for her to easily win reelection. As for Elliott, on Election Day, he visited each precinct and thanked all the volunteers, including those representing the Democrats. “I’m proud of how I handled the campaign and helped bring to light the issues on the data center,” he said. “I plan to stay involved in the fight.”