From Northern Virginia's 37th House District
From reporter Leef Smith in the 37th House District, a swath of Northern Virginia that includes Fairfax City:
At 2 p.m., it seemed like there were more campaign volunteers than voters at Woodson High School in Fairfax County.
Several voters exiting the polls said it was the annoying but persistent leaflet and advertising campaigns that got them out to cast their ballots.
One man, a 47-year-old naturalized citizen who has been living in the United States since his family moved from Iran 31 years ago, said he is unhappy with Kaine's stand supporting benefits for illegal immigrants and came out to vote for Kilgore.
He criticized Kaine's position, which he said advocates the use of public dollars to help immigrants, effectively helping big corporations by giving them cheap labor.
"We're getting ripped off as taxpayers," said the man, who spoke only on condition of anonymity. "We had to go through a number of challenges to become citizens [when we came from Iran]. And we had to learn the language. So it means a lot to me that people follow the same rules."
John Amos, 60, who retired in 2000 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics where he was supervising economist, said he has voted every year "since LBJ was in office." But he said it was the rise in real estate taxes, a problem he says has gotten "out of hand" in Fairfax, that prompted him to arrive at the polls with plenty of time to spare.
His choice for Governor? Kilgore.
"He has a better track record on taxes than Kaine," said Amos, who has lived in Fairfax since 1972. "Of course it's a crapshoot. They all promise everything ... I don't know what they're going to do [about the taxes] but I hope they do something."
For lieutenant governor he chose Republican Bill Bolling over Democratic challenger Leslie L. Byrne.
"Leslie Byrne I knew as a congresswoman," Amos said. "I voted for her then. But I didn't think she did much."
Debbie Altman, 35, a homemaker, moved to Fairfax from Alabama a year ago with her husband, who is in the Air Force, and three preschool-aged children. She voted the Republican ticket but not before doing some research on candidates.
John Mason, a Republican running in the 37th District House race against Democrat David Bulova, the son of veteran Faifax County Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova, visited Altman's home while campaigning in her neighborhood.
"It led me to research his positions," Altman said. "It liked that he's a former mayor and he knows the area and issues very well. He's retired military and we're a military family. Maybe there's a kinship," she said.
Moments after casting their ballots in Fairfax County, many voters said they couldn't recall whom they chose for lieutenant governor, explaining they voted their party's ticket.
But one man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he voted for Byrne because she was one politician on the ballot he could pick out of a crowd.
"I liked her government and the way she works," said the man, who identified himself only as a 60-year-old, self-employed businessman who works with filing systems. "She's a friendly face I knew."
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Posted by: VT Senior | November 8, 2005 06:03 PM