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Connolly Sweeps Illegal Immigration Out of the Picture

Steve Fehr

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) swept all nine magisterial districts in his thumping of Republican Gary H. Baise on Tuesday. He carried Sully and Springfield -- which he lost to Mychele B. Brickner (R) in 2003 -- by comfortable margins.

A closer look at the returns confirms that Connolly was successful in neutralizing illegal immigration as an issue. Connolly opposed get tough measures touted by other candidates such as withholding services and involving local police in immigration enforcement. Yet he won Herndon, the region's longtime immigration battleground, with nearly 57 percent of the vote, better than his showing in 2003.

The numbers also suggest that Connolly's push for creation of the "Enhanced Code Enforcement Strike Team" to crack down on illegal boarding houses also paid political dividends. In Lee District, he handily won precincts that generated the most complaints about residential overcrowding -- including Crestwood, which he narrowly lost to Brickner in 2003.

By Steve Fehr  |  November 8, 2007; 4:06 PM ET
Categories:  Bill Turque , Gerald E. Connolly , Immigration  
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