Winner in Quantico Town Council race declines seat

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This article was written by WTOP’s news partner and republished with permission. Sign up for’s free email subscription today.

A surprising election in Quantico is getting more unusual.

Before the start of his term, Town Council member-elect Steve Kang declined the seat to which he was elected in November, according to the Prince William County Office of Elections. No formal reason has been given.

The tiny town, surrounded by U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico, had 14 candidates — or more than 2% of the town’s estimated 578 residents — on the ballot for five seats in 2022.

Kang finished third in the election with 58 votes.

Five incumbents were seeking reelection, and four of them lost: Rusty Kuhns, Earlene Clinton, Alice Toner and Robin Langham.

Before being defeated, Kuhns was the most experienced sitting local elected official in the county, having held office since 2002. Incumbent council member Sammato Dabney held his seat by a three-vote margin. The other winners were Todd Zirkle, Nadia Madjid and Jason Stoltz.

Following the election, one of the unsuccessful candidates contacted InsideNoVa with concerns about Kang’s eligibility for the office, saying he did not reside in the town at the time of the election.

At the time, Registrar Eric Olsen said that Kang was a registered voter in the town and was approved as a qualified candidate for the election. Olsen said he was aware of the residency allegation, but no action had been taken.

Thalia Simpson, a communications specialist with the Office of Elections, said Kang did not contact the county about his decision to decline the office or share his reasoning. The elections office learned of his decision from the town.

The Town Council has requested a special election to fill the vacancy, and a judge set the date at the end of May, Simpson said. However, Simpson said that date conflicts with state law prohibiting a special election within 55 days of a general or primary election.

A June 20 primary is expected, as there are multiple Democratic candidates for the 19th District seat in the House of Delegates, three seats on the Board of County Supervisors and the clerk of circuit court. Republicans also have multiple candidates in the 21st House District.

Simpson said the Office of Elections is awaiting a resolution on the date of the election.

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