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UPDATED - Finally, it’s a race: Democrat Bellanca to bid for chairman against York

After months of having the race for chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to himself, it looks like incumbent Scott York will face at least one Democrat in the November election.

On Feb. 22, Aldie businessman Tom Bellanca told the Times-Mirror he will announce his campaign for board chairman in the next two weeks.

“I am definitely planning on running,” Bellanca said in a phone interview. “We have filtered through what we’re going to do and when we’re going to do it. I have a campaign manager set up. We’re just about ready to take some pretty strong action and take this forward.”

Bellanca indicated that he is in the “pre-organizing stage” of a campaign, and is rapidly making necessary preparations for setting up a campaign operation. He said he will formally file papers of candidacy soon.

“I am in this to win it,” Bellanca said. “I see there’s a need out there for better government, and I think I can provide that, and that’s really the bottom line. I’d do a better job of addressing the problems … I think I can get results to make things happen.”

Bellanca is the principal broker and owner of Dulles Corridor Real Estate, a business he has owned since 1999, according to his LinkedIn page. His firm’s website states that it provides residential and commercial services, including property management, leasing, sales, finance, construction contracting, and office, retail and industrial real estate services.

No stranger to local politics, Bellanca ran for the U.S. Congress seat formerly occupied by Tom Davis in 2000, but narrowly lost an intra-party caucus to be the Democratic nominee.

He has also been involved in state and federal Democratic campaigns, including the Terry MacAuliffe campaign for governor in 2009, Bill Bradley’s primary campaign for president in 2000, and the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008.

In addition, Bellanca has been involved as an officer of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, serving as its former Dulles District chair several years ago. He contributed campaign funds to the committee and to ActBlue Virginia, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state.

At present, Bellanca appears to be the only major party candidate to announce his intentions of candidacy for the chairman’s race aside from incumbent York, who reaffirmed his intention to run Feb. 21.

To get into a head-to-head contest with York, and perhaps a Republican candidate as well, Bellanca will need to secure the nomination of his party in a few months, whether it’s a Democratic party caucus or primary.

“I am prepared to have a primary if there is one,” Bellanca said. “That will be my focus for the next few months. Redistricting will affect what the date is for that.”

However, Mike Turner, who chairs the LCDC, said Feb. 22 that his goal is “to resolve any primary issues earlier rather than later … We see no value in hard-fought primaries” for chairman or the other eight district seats on the board.

Loudoun Republicans – while still without a declared candidate for chairman – are upbeat about fielding someone to run against York and the Democrat in November.

“We have several individuals who are looking at the race and considering it, and I expect we’ll have a strong candidate for that position,” Mark Sell, chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee, said Feb. 21.

Pressed for more information about potential GOP candidates and timing, Sell would only say, “It’s not for me to announce anybody. That’s their job to announce when they’re ready … I expect it will not be too much longer before we have some announcements.”

Campaign Platform

In his interview with the Times-Mirror, Bellanca outlined a preliminary campaign agenda that he will focus on in the coming months.

His core policy issues include economic development, education, and “quality of life issues affecting Loudoun residents,” such as transportation infrastructure and funding.

Bellanca bemoaned what he called “10 years of high-vacancy rates in the Route 28 corridor,” and pressed for action in this area to expand economic opportunities that would in turn yield increased revenue for the county. “A strong case can be made for the economic development corridor of Route 28.”

In turn, Bellanca believes his position on economic development provides solutions for schools and education funding, another core focus.

“Right now the biggest problem is revenue for schools, and one of the best ways for this to be addressed is to get property values raised in the Route 28 corridor,” he said. “The rapidly growing school population needs to be addressed and there have to be results-oriented solutions to those problems.”

The Aldie businessman also plans to target transportation issues – including costs and funding for the Metro to Dulles rail project. He took aim at major components of the recently adopted Countywide Transportation Plan.

“I don’t support dumping more traffic onto already congested Loudoun roads,” he said, referencing portions of the plan that call for development of some roads in southern Loudoun that link to Prince William County.

“We can do a better job of focusing on transportation improvements, specifically the arterial roads leading to Route 28,” he said, citing Routes 7, 606, 50 and Waxpool Road.

After more than a decade of contentious debate over growth issues, as well as political controversy over ties between developers and elected officials on the board, Bellanca was asked if he was concerned about having his background in real estate and property management and commercial transactions become an issue in the campaign.

“That’s not a concern for me,” he said. “I believe that my background in commercial real estate will actually be the greatest attribute to getting things turned around in the Route 28 corridor. But there are no conflicts of interests created by what I do.”

A resident of Northern Virginia since 1993, Bellanca was born at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland to a father in the armed forces, which resulted in many family moves in his youth. Past residences include Europe, Virginia Beach, Pennsylvania and Reston.

Bellanca is married and has a 2-year old daughter, Elle. His wife works for Allegis Group Services.



I guess my problem with Mr. York, is I have heard him ask of staff, “So what’s the bottom line” one too many times.  Staff is good at getting what they want and manipulating reports to show whatever they want.  WE need leaders who are going to do all the hard analysis, and figure out “the bottom line” on their own, not always relying on someone else to tell them what to do, like staff.  We need leaders who not only can figure out the bottom line, but also understand the details and the nuances, and who can craft solutions to address our complex problems.

I commend Mr. York on his common sense stand against the CBPO, but too many decisions I feel he has had no vision, no leadership, and is “led” without a real understanding of issues, and possible solutions, without the ability to analyze/dissect the complexity of the issues before the County.  He has good political sense, but relies on others for analysis instead of being capable himself.  So in my opinion, he swings and reacts instead of forging ahead with vision and principle.

York’s middle of the road has given us a 1.32 tax rate, abysmal commerical tax base, out of control school spending and expansion of local government, more green regulations you can shake a stick at…Loudoun needs a new leader and fast…

LI, I think I know who made that comment - and you misinterpreted his use of the word conservative. I can’t say (I could be accused of ‘defamation’), but he’s definitely not a Dem. I’ll let you figure it out.

Good comment, Moderate.  Yeah, we need to get rid of a moderate Chairman who works well with people from both sides so we can have an Obama-ite, or conversely, a Black Brigader in the office.  Lord help us all.

Amusing that paradox and Bill seem to think that York being middle of the road and trying to work with everyone to make everyone happy is a negative. Government isn’t about party. It isn’t about dogmatic ideology. Governing is about solving problems, sometimes with like-minded people and sometimes with people of opposing views. York has worked well with many folks and I think it’s to be applauded that he works with everyone instead of it being viewed as conspiratorial.

I remember the comments TB made and then deleted.  Could someone PLEASE put forth a decent candidate for office??????

Paradox and Bill, so tell me, who sent around the cut and paste? 

or rather Bill, are you gently paodying Paradox’ remarks?

Paradox has never struck me as someone who relies on the copy of others to make his points.

The two of you look mighty similar there though, in your concurrent comments!  lol

LI, I don’t think I’ll need to send anything—there are plenty of people in Dulles district who will know his name forever after what a charmer he was during that school ordeal.

Well, Barb, knowing how you operate, I’m sure you have it all saved and filed away!  Send it my way when you think it may help sink him!

I am happy that he is getting into the race to provide another choice to York,who just tries to make everyone happy. At least the voters will have a choice this time.

I give Tom kudos for putting his experience and ideas out there. Say what you might about his job, but he is successful in real estate and has been doing it in an up and down market. That thought process makes me think he may know what he

I, for one, am glad that Tom is getting into the race to provide an alternative to “play both sides and prevaricate” Chairman York. At least the voters will have a real choice this year.

Furthermore, I give Tom credit for putting his background and ideas out there from the start. Say what you might about his occupation, but he’s a successful commercial realtor and has been doing it here in Loudoun through boom and bust. That level of knowledge makes me think he probably knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the critical issue of the Rt. 28 corridor.

I welcome comments with alternative plans! And for those who simply assert “tax cuts” please define exactly which programs you will cut, and by how much, to do so.

LI, don’t be silly.

This guy is his own piece of work—think back to Lenah school imbroglio.  He moved in right before the 07 election, knows everything, and has deep-sixed a lot of misinformed and rude content that would bite hard if resurrected.

Maybe this is the new Dale Polen Myers candidate to try to take down her arch nemesis Scott York. Since she has little influence at the LCRC anymore, maybe that crew is moving over to the LCDC!

Tom Bellanca who???  Yeah, I don’t think so….

Great political wannabe and realtor to boot…funding for schools??  Does this person even visit the county???  Gheez just what we need a democratic dale myers

somewhere mark herring cries.

The biggest problem is revenue for schools?  Are you kidding me!  How about decreasing the outrageous real estate tax rate!

LI, I saw the copy of the downed comment you made at your blog.  Nice.

Too bad the old Loudoun Extra archives are pretty much gone with the wind, although Mr. B. had them remove all of his comments before the project folded.

While I would stop short of thinking he himself made the comment you captured (as he was only often vulgar and rude but not to my recollection obscene) the general air of raunchy juvenile bile is similar.

Speak for yourself, Mike Turner. Primaries are an integral part of our Democracy. I remember Mike Turner taking repeated cheap shots at Judy Feder in his miserable attempt to run for Congress. Now he expects to strong arm candidates out of the race to avoid primaries. How democratic of you Mike!

If Toms brains were dynamite he couldn’t blow his nose.Give me a break this guy is beyond loser.I am sorry dems, he is greaaaat.

Once again, we get stuck with someone NO ONE HAS HEARD OF!  Don’t you love politics, where anyone, who NO ONE HAS HEARD OF, can run -  Maybe this person who NO ONE HAS HEARD OF can actually do something that we can support.

Becasue of his association with Stevens Miller, Tom will lose many votes before he even gets out the gate.

Not sure if he can dance away from Miller but if he can he best put his tap shoes on and NOW

I expect to see the Loudoun Dems act like the Wisconsin Dems when they do not get their way.
Throw a temper tantrum and play hide and seek in Illinois.

A lot of your comments don’t make an sense LI!! LOL!!!

Well, I’m glad the editors took down that nasty comment from a classy Bellanca supporter, but now my second comment doesn’t make a lot of sense!

Has there been one Democrat who has announced for local office that has any chance? Its too bad the Loudoun Democrats are running such ho-hum candidates. Is there one Dem to be excited about? Its really a shame the Loudoun Democrats alienated Susan Buckley. She was a rising star and the Loudoun Democrats didn’t like her.

Interesting, the Dem’s were furious when Al Van Huyck attempted to run against York a few elections ago…will they ask Mr. Bellanca to step aside fearing he may split the vote with York allowing a Republican to take the seat? Of course, the Republican’s need to actually have someone running for Board Chair. What a sad state of affairs the LCRC is in… No legitimate candidate for the At-Large seat and a handful of Sheriff’s Candidates who haven’t been in local law enforcement in 20 years!!

I would never vote for anyone who associated with the type of people this article named

Wow, the Loudoun Dems are really pulling out all the stops for Bellanca.

Chance of success - zero point zero.

“. . .  involved in state and federal campaigns, including Terry McAuliffe . . .”  Bill Bradley, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama.

Ummm, no thanks. . .  but you already knew that.  LOL.

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