As Goes Herndon, So Goes the World


The Washington Post has an even-handed wrap-up of Tuesday's election in Herndon, VA, where incumbent city council members who approved a day laborer center were swept from office.

In Herndon yesterday, people on both sides of the issue agreed that the larger national events of the last several weeks—dramatic marches, Monday's Day Without Immigrants and the release of a Spanish-language edition of the national anthem—inflamed a segment of the electorate already alienated by the opening of the labor center in the town's former police station on the Herndon-Loudoun County line.

Aubrey Stokes, a member of Help Save Herndon, a group opposed to the center, said the outcome was "in part due to outrage over events that have happened in the last 10 days." Those events included, Stokes said, a Monday rally of immigrants at a supermarket parking lot in Herndon, where Salvadoran flags were displayed.

The Minutemen, who have a successful franchise in Herndon, are claiming victory … but it's unclear how much their victory owed to low turnout. Around 2600 people voted in a city of 26,000—the new mayor was elected by 130 votes. It's easy for a politically-charged group to take a small election like this, as evidenced by last year's rout of the Dover, PA school board, which had wanted to wedge intelligent design into the curriculum.

If you maintain any illusions that Reason writers could win city council elections, check out the last month's reporting on immigration issues.