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Chesterbrook Precinct: Comstock wins sign war

More than $1 million will probably have been spent on the House of Delegates 34th district contest when the final reports are filed. It's clear from driving around McLean that a good chunk of that money - at least from Republican candidate Barbara J. Comstock -has gone to buy signs.

Comstock dominates her Democratic opponent, incumbent Margaret D. Vanderhye (D), in the contest for most signs near the Chesterbrook polling place, where we've set up shop today.

From the entrance off Kirby Road to the entrance into the hall where ballots are cast here in the Chesterbrook precinct, Vanderhye has nine signs and Comstock has 64. That's a greater than seven-to-one advantage.

On the other roads leading up to the polling site, Comstock's signs are ubiquitous.
At Chesterbrook, Comstock has about as many signs here as the two gubernatorial nominees - Creigh Deeds and Robert McDonnell -- combined.

Vanderhye downplayed the sign war, saying her handshakes at the polling place are worth more.

"Signs don't vote," she said. "I've never seen an election where stuff buys votes."

Brenda Frank, who works for the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, said she worries that the signs will have an effect.

"It's a sign war, that's what this is," said Frank, 58. "I think it's voter intimidation...People see the signs and think, 'I know that name. I'll vote for it.' They don't know what she'll do."

A self-described "solid Democrat" leaving the precinct after voting for Deeds heard Frank's comment and disagreed. She said that Democrats like Mark Warner have run the state efficiently, and that voters realize that.

"I guess I give people more credit to do the right thing," said Carmen Guzman, 48, an attorney, who thinks Vanderhye will win.

By James Hohmann  |  November 3, 2009; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Election Day '09: Chesterbrook Precinct  | Tags: Chesterbrook Precinct  
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