On Tuesday, Sully District voters overwhelmingly chose to keep their longtime representatives on the Board of Supervisors and School Board in office for another term.
Twenty-year incumbent supervisor Michael Frey defeated Shahid Malik with over 70 percent of the vote; Kathy Smith, who has been on the school board since 2002, won re-election over Sheila Ratnam with about 55 percent of the vote.
In many parts of Fairfax County, school board elections became the races to watch after a series of controversies over the past year, including robust public debate over expanding full-day kindergarten, boundary changes in the southwestern area of the county, the closure of Clifton elementary school and changes in discipline policy.
Yet while the at-large races generated a great deal of interest, the Sully races remained somewhat more quiet—perhaps in part because Ratnam was not as well-known as Smith, who was chairman of the board from 2009-2011. Ratnam, who joined her local PTA this year, had $6,278 to spend in campaign funds, according to the latest campaign finance reports. Smith had significantly more funds available, with a total of $12,932.
Smith carried every precinct on Tuesday except for Kinross West, Virginia Run, Deer Park and Bull Run. Her campaign focused in large part on her experience, and thinking about the "big picture" when it comes to making decisions for county schools. Ratnam, a contractor with the Department of Defense, campaigned on a platform calling for additional action on discipline policy and more transparency on the board.
Malik also faced an uphill run against Frey, a Republican and fiscal conservative who has served as the supervisor for the Sully District since the district's creation in 1991. Frey had $59,673 cash on hand as of the last campaign finance reports; Malik had $17,140.
Frey carried every precinct in Sully, but at the Democratic election party at the Waterford Fair Oaks, Malik expressed his satisfaction with the way he ran his campaign. "I know I had a very good race, and as a person, someone who didn't have any experience" running for office, Malik said.