Updated 3 p.m. Wednesday
Republican incumbent John Cook was re-elected to his second term as on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday evening in what was largely considered one of the most contended races in the county.
"There are independent voices in the Braddock District, and our voices are going to be heard on the Board of Supervisors,” said Cook in his victory speech at the Fairfax County Republication Committee party at the Fairview Marriott in Falls Church.
"This race became a referendum on if a non-Bulova person could hold office in the Braddock District. The answer is yes,” said Cook.
Cook, who is focused on community empowerment and engagement and on transportation, particularly Fairfax County’s secondary roads, faced a strong challenge from Democrat Janet Oleszek, who he narrowly beat, and Independent candidate Carey Campbell. Back in August, Oleszek finished narrowly ahead of opponent Chris Wade (just 42 votes) in the primary election.
Ben Tribbett, Oleszek's campaign manager, told Patch she called Cook on Tuesday evening to congratulate him, but does not plan to release a statement about the results.
The Braddock race remained extremely close throughout the evening with Cook and Oleszek each taking the lead as precinct results came in. The two candidates were even split by as little as 100 votes at one point,. Independent candidate Carey Campbell carried only 2.8 percent, or just under 650 votes, of the total votes by the end of Tuesday evening.
That wasn’t Oleszek’s first close race: Oleszek, who served on the school board for one term from 2003 to 2007, also ran in a State Senate race in 2007 for the 37th district against then-Sen. Ken Cuccinelli. The margin of victory in that race came down to less than 100 votes out of more than 30,000 votes cast.
Challenger Carey Campbell also had some political experience, having run for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chair and the Braddock District seat in the past.
The Braddock District race featured 10 debates—more than any other supervisory district in Fairfax County. On Tuesday morning, the precincts in the Braddock District also had some of the strongest turnout of voters.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to include a response from Janet Oleszek's campaign since Patch was unable to reach them on Tuesday evening following the election results.