Fairfax supervisor candidate dies after day of campaigning

Oakton resident Paul Bolon, who was running as a Republican for the Providence District supervisor seat, died after a day of door-to-door campaigning on Aug. 11, 2019.

Republican Paul Bolon, who had been nominated to run for Providence District supervisor in the Nov. 5 election, died unexpectedly after a day of campaigning on Aug. 11. He was 69.

Bolon had been on the campaign trail knocking on doors until 8:30 p.m. and later began suffering chest pains, for which he sought medical treatment. He died later that evening or early the following morning, sources within the Fairfax County GOP said.

Bolon, who lived in Oakton with his wife, Donna, worked for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, initially as an economist and then as a manager. His latest position was director of OSHA’s Office of Construction Standards, according to his LinkedIn page.

Bolon had been campaigning to succeed Supervisors Linda Smyth (D-Providence), who will retire at a the end of the year after four terms. On his campaign Website, Bolon said he would use his experience performing risk assessments and analyses of major economic projects at OSHA to help solve Fairfax County’s problems.

Bolon’s campaign platform called for controlled spending and taxation,  better oversight of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, toll caps on Interstate 66, more convenient driving options in Tysons, construction and repurposing of school facilities instead of adding more classroom trailers, and more money for Fairfax County’s parks and libraries.

Fairfax County Republican Committee leaders issued a statement Aug. 12 that they were “heartbroken” about Bolon’s death.

“Paul Bolon was a great candidate,” committee chairman Tim Hannigan said in a media statement. “A professional economist, he brought a clear-eyed, analytical perspective to issues facing our county. As our committee’s Providence District Chairman, he served with distinction as a very effective grassroots leader and a tireless advocate for Republican values and Republican candidates.”

Hannigan’s statement continued, “Above all, Paul was a great man – personable, unfailingly civil, generous, and always kind. Everyone here in the Fairfax GOP will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are with Paul’s wife, his children, and his many friends.”

“I knew Paul as a hard-working man who loved his community and was excited to serve,” said Ed Martin, the Republican nominee running for Dranesville District supervisor. “He’s exactly what Fairfax County embodies. God bless him and his family.”

Bolon’s Democratic opponent in the general election, School Board member Dalia Palchik (Providence District), posted on Facebook a note of condolence for Bolon’s family.

“I was extremely saddened to learn overnight about the passing of my opponent, Paul Bolon,” Palchik wrote. “Paul and I did not know each other well, but we were both looking forward to honestly debating important issues, at a time of such bickering and division. All of my thoughts are with his wife and children today, I’m so very sorry for your loss.”

There will be a memorial service for Bolon on Aug. 24, but details still are being finalized, committee members said

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