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Teachers Union Backs Hynes, At-Large Candidates In School Board Race

Fairfax Education Association does not make a recommendation in two contested races

The Fairfax Education Association threw its weight behind five democrat-endorsed and three Republican-endorsed candidates last week but chose not to make a recommendation in two contested races.

The association, which represents more than 6,000 FCPS employees, backed Democrat Patricia Hynes for the Hunter Mill seat over Republican-endorsed Nancy Linton.

In the at-large race, the association favored democrat-endorsed Ilryong Moon, Republican-endorsed , and who has not been endorsed by either party.

The Fairfax Education Association evaluates candidates on their voting records, if they are an incumbent, their answers to a questionnaire, and interviews conducted by members of the association’s government relations council, President Michael Hairston said.

The association will also be making endorsements for the state legislature.  The will be making its own endorsements later this fall.

Dan Storck was chosen over Republican-endorsed Michelle Nellenbach for the Mount Vernon seat, but the union favored Republican-endorsed Louise Epstein for the Dranesville seat over long-time incumbent Jane Strauss.

The union also chose democrat-endorsed Megan McLaughlin for the Braddock seat over her Republican-endorsed challenger Nell Hurley. Both candidates would be newcomers to the board, if elected.

Democrat-endorsed Tamara Derenak Kaufax and Democrat-endorsed and incumbent Sandy Evans captured the nominations for Lee  and Mason Districts respectively. Patty Reed was also endorsed in the Providence District. None of them face a challenger in the fall.

The union did not endorse candidates running for the Springfield or Sully seats on the school board.

In the case of the Springfield seat, where Democrat-endorsed John Wittman faces Republican-endorsed Elizabeth Schultz, Hairston said the association liked both candidates but didn’t favor one over the other. 

“We liked some of what both of them what had to say,” he said. “Our folks can make their choice on that one.”

In the case of the Sully district, the association was not impressed enough with either Democrat-endorsed and incumbent Kathy Smith or Republican-endorsed Sheila Ratnam to make a recommendation.

In Kathy Smith’s case, Hariston said, it was primarily her voting record and her history with working with teachers that prevented her from winning the association’s endorsement.

“We are looking for some folks who are going to listen and be responsive to the needs of the workforce,” he said.

Click here to see the full announcement.

Correction: Tammy Kaufax has been endorsed by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee for the Lee District seat.

Pat Hynes September 14, 2011 at 01:27 AM
Thank you for keeping voters informed about these important local races. I am honored to have the support of my fellow educators. One correction: Tammy Kaufax has been endorsed by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee for the Lee District seat, not the Republicans. She will make an excellent school board member! - Pat Hynes

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