FCPS Chairman race heats up

Democratic candidates campaign for Chairman

Manny Precht, Co-Editor in Chief

On June 11th, four candidates will be completing for the FCPS Chairman, Board of Supervisors position in the Democratic primary.

Candidates Tim Chapman, Alicia Plerhoples, Jeff McKay and Ryan McElveen have been well on their way in the campaigning process. Slogans such as #NoHairForChair have been a major part in McElveen’s widespread campaign.

Additionally, candidate Tim Chapman has been running under the ticket of more affordable housing in the county while candidate Alicia Plerhoples has been pushing for economic growth at the local level and increased access to a preschool education.

Back in late January, it appeared that Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay might coast to an easy victory for the chairman position. McKay had been groomed by longtime board chair member Sharon Bulova, following the trend of chairman races being more like successions rather than elections. Due to the fact that Fairfax County is an overwhelmingly blue county and that McKay was “chosen” as Bulova’s successor, it seemed as if the race for chairman was no contest.

However, since then, other candidates have tightened the race. A surge of progressive candidates have combated against McKay’s moderate democratic ticket. Promising improved economic and educational opportunities, liberal voters are attracted to progressive change.

Candidate Ryan McElveen is arguably the most popular candidate among the younger generation and his platform incorporates positive change for the county.

According to his campaign website, McElveen aims to create “The best education system in the country,” “An innovative and sustainable infrastructure,” “​Opportunity for all,” and “Fiscal discipline.”

Additionally, opposing candidates have attempted to label McKay as part of a county leadership that has lagged in dealing with some of the region’s most pressing issues, such as affordable housing and overcrowded schools.

McKay responded by disregarding comments and saying he hopes to “hit the accelerator” on fixing problems within the county.

McKay’s platform has also been criticized by fellow candidate, Tim Chapman. Chapman announced on 5/21 that he is pursuing an ethics complaint against McKay which accused the McKay of benefiting from a quid pro quo relationship with developers.

Chapman claims that McKay helped engineer the 2016 rezoning of a portion of the Kingstowne Towne Center as part of a deal on his home purchase nearly a year later.

Despite the close race junior Mitchell Eggert would like to see McElveen elected. “I want him to win because his progressive platform will ensure a bright future for our county and he’s shown well he can work well with the community.”