Lisa Merkel Elected Herndon Mayor

According to unofficial results Lisa Merkel has been elected as Herndon's next mayor.

Lisa Merkel has been elected as the next mayor of the Town of Herndon in the Tuesday, May 1, election. 

Candidates elected to serve from 2012-2014 include Connie Hutchinson, Grace Wolf, Charlie Waddell, Dave Kirby, Sheila Olem and Melissa Jonas.

Lisa Merkel - 966* 
Bill Tirrell - 928
Jasbinder Singh - 561

Connie Hutchinson - 1580*
Grace Wolf 1328*
Charlie Waddell - 1295* 
Sheila Olem - 1288* 
Dave Kirby - 1284* 
Melissa Jonas - 1257* 
Eric Boll - 1175
Jeffrey Davidson - 1166
David Webster - 1152

Patch will have more information as it becomes available. Official results will be available by the State Board of Elections tomorrow. Asterisked (*) numbers are candidates elected to office.

Valerie M May 02, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Ms. Merkel, the mayor elect, won by a mere 38 votes. Certainly not the mandate that her promoters hoped for. Of the Town voters who voted for mayor 1,489 voters preferred to see someone other than Ms. Merkel as mayor. Hopefully she will keep this in mind when the VNM comes knocking at the council door to have 287g rescinded, and their demands for affordable housing met. The big winner of the night was Connie Hutchinson, now our vice-mayor elect. Had she been running for mayor against Ms. Merkel, she would have been the run away winner. So to those council members and former council members who stood firm in their insistence to close the visitor's center, and throw Ms. Hutchinson out take heed. She is more popular than any of the so-called slate candidates, and that includes the mayor elect.
BK May 02, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Todd, to answer your question, let’s look at the numbers. Ms. Merkel with her “team” strategy won the mayor’s seat with 966 votes. Mr. Tirrell who has been portrayed by some as unofficial leader of the “other side” got 928 votes (38 votes less than Ms. Merkel) and Mr. Singh who has not been associated with any “team” or group was a distant third with 561 votes. So what does this tell us? For me, it is an indication that a mayoral candidate has to be a member of a “team” or “group” to be elected or even come close. I am afraid that the era of the truly independent candidate for Town office is over and I find that very sad. The next election will only see an increase in “team” style campaigning since that seems to be a winning strategy. The challenge and true test of Ms. Merkel’s leadership will be to reach out not only to the 966 voters who share her “vision”, but to the 1489 voters who do not. If this doesn’t happen, we will only see an increase in nasty partisan-style rhetoric in blogs on the Patch and in the Town Council meetings. That would be very bad news indeed.
Bob Bruhns May 02, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Looking at the vote tallies: Good that big party politics didn't make any difference. Unfortunate that the conservative vote was split in the Mayoral contest. Unfortunate that most voters didn't know what VNM was, or didn't notice their emblem on some pamphlets. Their support -should- have had a very negative effect on the tallies of those candidates, but it apparently had just about none, which is OK. Still, I guess we'll see another eight months of their games now. We can thank three candidates for that. Good that the biggest vote went to someone who had nothing to do with either VNM or the party chair. Good that someone who rejected VNM got the second highest number of votes. Good that voters wanted some previously eliminated conservative Council members back. Unfortunate that voters didn't recognize Dave Webster's value this time.
William Hilder May 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM
You do realize that 1,527 people preferred a Mayor other than Mr. Tirrell and 1,894 people preferred a Mayor other than Mr. Singh, right? So not only did more people vote for Mrs. Merkel, more people voted against the other two candidates. Also, drawing your logic to its natural conclusion, any of the candidates for Council would have beat any of the candidates for Mayor. Sorry for letting facts get in the way of your story, but as they say: statistics prove you can prove anything with statistics. Congrats to the Mayor and Council Members who won their elections. A big thank you to every candidate who ran in this important election. Thay may not all have had my vote, but they all have my respect.
Lester Zidel May 02, 2012 at 07:19 PM
First, congradulations to all the winners. Equally important is to thank those that took the risk with "safe" TC seats to run for Mayor because they wanted to contribute more in a leadership role. So thanks to Bill and Jas. for their service. Second, I find the continued moaning about who won by what number of votes and the fact that in three way race often no one has a true majority is of no value. Without acurate exit data we do not know who was a second choice among the voters that may have changed the out come in a 2-way race. Third, all the complaining about VNM was much to do about nothing as I do not perceive that there was any increase in minority voting blocks except for the obvious increase in groups attracated to the candidacy of Mr. Singh. Fourth - although there has been a large increase in the past decade of new voters with Democratic leanings as evidenced in County/State/National voting in Herndon, these folks have not yet become involved in local affairs. Therefore the local vote remains largel even (in town elections) with regard to progressive/conservative view points - whatever way you choose to define this. It is a fact of politics that changes in these ratios are only effected by a large negative issue dividing the electorate in a new way. Lastly, the election of Kirby and Waddell points out that staying involved and running again often is rewarded after a loss in the previous election.
Bob Bruhns May 02, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I'm glad the outside group VNM is no issue to you, Les, but a few of us remember what happened with them a year and a half ago, parading puppet speaker after puppet speaker before the Council until they brought things to a standstill. I guess that's ok with these candidates, unless they are in a hurry to pass a dubious Metro Area Plan? I am astounded that three candidates, two of whom had already been through that circus, forgot or something, and failed to tell VNM to pound sand. Maybe they should make videos of the fractured Christmas carols they get this year, and put that on YouTube for us to link to next election, when I guess they'll do it again.
Don Joy May 03, 2012 at 03:05 PM
The only thing I'll add to what Bob Bruhns has so masterfully covered is that the overwhelming level of estrogen which has resulted is somewhat noticeable, what with the questionable outcome of the "war on women" hanging in the balance and all. Welcome to Suffragette City! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLnPd7lzT4g
Valerie M May 03, 2012 at 04:26 PM
The most important issue here is that the mayor elect won by only 38 votes. She will need to remember that she does not have a mandate from the voters here in Herndon. Yes, the VNM was a very important issue in this election and something that many here in Town are going to remember. Despite the money and backing from both the Democratic Party and the VNM, Ms. Merkel was only able to squeak by with a win of 38 votes. Yes, this number is important to talk about and to remember over the next two years. Ms. Merkel may have to be reminded of this. I am sure that you do want to bury this number.
Gary Miller May 03, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Color me amused.
Michael May 03, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I would be more worried about overall turnout rather than the actual number of votes received by any one candidate. Nobody got a majority in this election. Actually, the vast majority of Herndon residents didn't think any of the issues - day labor, metro, the involvement of VNM - even merited showing up at the polls.
Gary Miller May 03, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Agreed. Was Election Day not publicized well enough?
Gary Miller May 03, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Dave, to argue your point that those on the council have experience, you should have mentioned Kirby, Hutchinson, and Waddell. Nobody you named has held office for more than two years, as I recall from their bios. Hopefully past mistakes won't be repeated. Congrats to all who won, and thanks to all who have served us previously.
Ann H Csonka May 03, 2012 at 08:13 PM
As expected, you either did not read, or did not comprehend the comments pertaining to the Visitors Center. It was a good idea administered poorly. Period.
Ann H Csonka May 03, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Thanks, Michael. you are spot on re turnout. It really is a shame that more people do not recognize how effective local government affects their daily lives -- zoning, planning, and very obviously the rapid HPD response time, the great snow removal (when we have winter), reasonably-priced trash and recycling services, and lots of "bonuses" such as Friday Night Live starting this week, a Farmers' Market (albeit on a weekday), etc. Sadly,. most people don't get involved or aware until something is literally next door. But there was significant citizen participation in Downtown core and Metro planning
Barbara Glakas May 03, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Oh my golly – Don’s comment has got to be one of the most amusing comments I have read in a while. I don’t remember reading any comments about “overwhelming levels of testosterone” for any of our previous councils. :-) Nevertheless, I agree that voter turnout is historically atrocious, not much different this year than in past years. We have about 24,000 residents in town, about 10,000 of them are registered to vote and then about 2,400 of them show up to vote. At the national level, voter turnout is also poor. It tends to be about 55% in Presidential election years, and even less (about 40%) in mid-term elections. It’s really sad. I have run across several people in town who don’t even know that our town has a system of government in which we have a Mayor, Town Council and Town Manager. And if they don’t know that then they certainly won’t know to vote in our town elections every two years. I think the town does a fine enough job of advertizing the elections. I think the bigger problem is that not enough people pay attention or make enough of an effort to do their civic duty. Although there are people on this blog whose opinions I frequently disagree with, I do respect the fact that you are engaged with the town and VOTE!
Doug Shuster May 03, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Congratulations to all the winners. It was hard fought. I hope that some of the ideas and sentiment from the pre-election discourse sinks in and affects the way town business is done over the next two years. I think it would be well worth the investment for the Town to do more to publicize the elections. That could include mailings (with water bills perhaps); pushing out the League of Women Voters candidate profiles information in various ways; more prominent banners on the town website; and posting electronic signs around town a few days before the election to Vote May X at the Community Center. It may not add up to much, but it's worth a try. It's a shame that the polls close so early in Virginia (7pm) because it makes it that much more difficult for commuters to vote. I hope the Patch will do a follow up on funding for the 2012 elections after the reporting is all done so that we can see what influence money (and outside support) did or didn't have in the election.
Don Joy May 04, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Is high voter turnout always necessarily a good thing? Check out these interviews with utterly uninformed Obama voters on election day, 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm1KOBMg1Y8
Bob Bruhns May 04, 2012 at 02:55 PM
It's not only Democrats who might be able to learn a few things. I remember Sean Hannity interviewing his Republican audience back around 2004, and they didn't know who the Vice President was. This is why politicians throw out misleading slogans, and such. Most people are not paying any attention, they know just about nothing, and they are easily swayed.
Dave Morgan May 04, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I believe that a large number of registered voters in Herndon, registered to vote in national & state elections only. To a large extent, Herndon has become a "bedroom community". Many residents (myself included) work in DC, Arlington or Alexandria. Many either don't have the time or inclination to pay attention to town politics. There is also a younger and somewhat transient demographic that do not put down "roots" in Herndon and since they expect to move sooner than later, don't take much interest in how local elections affect the community. However, there is a strong "core" (perhaps as many as 1000 or more) of citizens that do take an active interest in town issues, attend or watch town council/planning commission meetings and get involved. The numbers at first glance do seem to indicate a degree of apathy on the part of the town's residents, but I belive that the political process is quite vibrant here and gratified that we have 2400 citizens willing to turn out.
Don Joy May 04, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Bob, what you heard was Hannity interviewing random people on the street(as he often does), not those in his usual audience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Muou2Beo_C8&feature=relmfu
Don Joy May 04, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Frankly, Bob, I'm surprised that you, someone who's normally so sharp and on the ball, got that wrong...in the link I posted, Hannity does include questions asked of his far-left democrat intern, a young lady he calls "Flipper," because he likes to tease and embarrass her for being politically/historically ignorant and wrong in general...
Don Joy May 04, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Part 2 has less intro stuff and more actual questions/answers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVT9ir10OPs&feature=relmfu
Leslie Perales Loges (Editor) May 04, 2012 at 06:37 PM
So far no "official" results on the State Board of Elections site. Will keep an eye out for when they're in, as well as final financial reports.
Bob Bruhns May 05, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Well, it just goes to show how much I listen to Hannity. And I'm not a big political video humor fan, but I did find this. http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/sarahpalin/a/palin-top-10.htm Anyway, I'd say that a lot of people from both parties could benefit from a little intellectual stimulation. Or rehabilitation.
Don Joy May 05, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Bob, Palin's style is often pretty cornball-sounding, but some of those alleged gaffes are verifiably accurate. It is true that it's easy to find doofuses (doofi? lol) in both parties, but I do not believe proportionally equally.
Bob Bruhns May 05, 2012 at 05:26 AM
I could have posted links to some real doozies, but it would have been flat-out disgusting, and just too inflammatory. So I put up the Republican Vice Presidential candidate from 2008. I think we would both lose count. Besides, it means nothing. Truth is not in partisan politics. I have no use for either party. They pose as mortal enemies, spewing untruths, and they reach consensus and sell us out when they get their cut. The parties both make me sick. Individuals are where it's at. I support ones that are OK.
Don Joy May 05, 2012 at 06:36 AM
I believe the republican party is moreover comprised of people who understand basic economics, and who mainly advocate policies which promote prosperity and protect individual rights in accordance with the founding principles of America. That is why I favor the GOP and eschew/loathe the socialist democrats. It does disgust me, however, when the GOP deviates from Adam Smith/Austrian school capitalist economics, as Bush Jr. did when he piled onto the "affordable housing" pandering fiasco and the prescription drug bill, along with a myriad of other big-government & quasi-socialist vote-buying schemes--but if nothing else, republicans generally try to slow down the pace of our hurtling into the socialist abyss, while the democrats are wont to stomp on the gas toward the cliff's edge. "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy." ~ Elmer T. Peterson (but often attributed to Alexander F. Tytler and sometimes Ben Franklin)
Ruth Tatlock May 05, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Valerie M "won by only 38 votes" / That's no squeak, let me tell you. Why, in a Herndon election that's almost a landslide! ( I suppose you could send her a postcard every month to remind her of the number "38", though) Hutchison won over Wolf with 33 votes; Wolf won over Olem with 7 votes; Olem won over Kirby with 4 votes; Kirby won over Jonas with 17 votes. The real landslide candidate was Jonas who beat Boll by 82 votes. So instead of cutting down Mayor-elect Merkel even before she has been installed, why don't you do your best to help her do what you would like her to do by taking part in what's happening in our Town, talking to her about your concerns and let her know that you're willing to assist her in doing her job to the best of her ability. Can we please start looking at the possibilities rather than eventual liabilities of the election. It's OVER! \
Ruth Tatlock May 05, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Leslie Please dont print my comment. Mistakes abound. Up too early. Thanks.
Valerie M May 06, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Sorry, Ms. Tatlock, a win by only 38 votes is not a landslide. It is a squeak. Definitly not a mandate.


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