Political newcomer Yesli Vega has won the Republican nomination for the Coles District seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

Vega, a former Manassas Park police officer and Prince William County Sheriff's deputy, came out on top of Saturday's firehouse primary for the GOP nod, beating local realtor Patrick Sowers.

Sowers offered his congratulations to Vega on his Facebook page just before 7 p.m.

Vega is a Texas native of Hispanic heritage. She said she grew up in Virginia but spent some time at a private school in her parents' native El Salvador, where she learned to read and write Spanish.

While greeting voters outside Benton Middle School today, Vega said she would attribute a win, if successful, to her efforts since January to get to know Coles District voters and share her message.

"This is a grassroots campaign. We just hit the pavement hard," Vega said. "I started door-knocking in January. When you really get out there and connect with voters, it's a no-brainer. You have to meet with the voters."

Vega said she hopes to stem the tide of "reckless development" in the county, saying it impacts the county's teachers, schools and law-enforcement agencies.

"We've seen the problems reckless development causes," she said.

Sowers said he hoped to concentrate on economic growth if elected to the board of supervisors. He also said he would push for "smart growth."

"We need to curb development in the county, but we need to do it in a strategic way," he said.

Vega will face one of two Democrats currently vying for their party's nomination in the upcoming June 11 state-run primary. Raheel Sheikh and L.T. Pridgen are both seeking the Democratic nod for the Coles District supervisor's seat in that race. The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5.

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Congratulations Ms. Vega.

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