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Healing May Be Needed After Contentious Primary

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By Jonathan Wilson

Republicans say the race to represent Virginia's 11th Congressional District will be a key test in their quest to retake control of the House. But both sides in a heated primary say the party will need to heal after selecting a candidate on Tuesday.

The race between Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity and local entrepreneur Keith Fimian, has been contentious.

Fimian compared Herrity, to Pinocchio, accusing him of lying about his record on tax relief in the county. Herrity accused Fimian of cheating on his taxes.

Prince William County Board of Supervisor's chair Corey Stewart endorsed Fimian, who was not available to comment for this story. Stewart says the tone of the Republican Primary has been counter-productive.

"Unfortunately, it has been an ugly campaign," says Stewart. "I think both sides are to be blamed, and that's not going to help the victor on Tuesday."

Herrity says despite disagreements between the candidates, their supporters agree on the need to oust freshman Democrat Gerry Connolly, who beat Fimian for the seat by 12 points in 2008.

"Time heals wounds, and I think most of the ardent supporters in either the Fimian camp or the Herrity camp agree Gerry Connolly needs to go," says Herrity.

Turnout is expected to be low Tuesday, as with most primaries.

Stewart and Herrity say a higher turnout would benefit Herrity, because the county supervisor can capitalize on name recognition.

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