A former chairman of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee who left the local party following a contentious political nomination wants back in, and he hopes to earn the Democratic nomination for a seat on the Board of Supervisors.
Mike Turner, who chaired the LCDC in 2010 and 2011, plans to run for the Ashburn District seat as a Democrat, but he presumably has some work to do to make amends with Democratic officials following his public departure from the committee.
The Ashburn seat is currently held by Republican Ralph Buona, who is facing a GOP primary challenge from Joe Scallione.
Turner left the LCDC in 2013 following the Democrats' nomination of Elizabeth Miller as the candidate for the 32nd District of the House of Delegates. At that time, Turner said the LCDC is only as good as the people it elects to leadership positions.
When the LCDC nominated Miller, the committee "fell way, way below my personal standards of integrity,” Turner said.
Turner wasn't the only member to leave the committee following Miller's nomination. Several Loudoun Democrats viewed the Miller nomination with skepticism because her husband, former Loudoun Supervisor Stevens Miller, has had a fractious history with the LCDC.
Stevens Miller, a Democrat who was elected Dulles supervisor in 2007, endorsed Republican Ken Reid over Democrat Kelly Burk for the Leesburg district seat in the 2011 supervisors' election. That same year both Millers supported independent candidate Cliff Keirce in the supervisors race over incumbent Democrat Andrea McGimsey. LCDC bylaws prevent members from endorsing candidates outside the party, according to Stevens Miller, which is why he and his wife resigned from the party committee in 2011.
Turner, a retired Air Force colonel and nonprofit executive, notes on his website he's running "to achieve sustainable community solutions that benefit the greatest number of people." He lists education, transportation, development and imagination as his key focuses.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Advocates and opponents of gun control held dueling demonstrations at the Virginia Capitol on Monday as the perennial debate over the hot-button topic began anew.
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is pushing a package of gun control measures ahead of this fall's state legislative elections even though they stand little chance of passage in the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Pro-gun forces held a rally Monday morning. Many attendees wore orange "Guns Save Lives" stickers and a speaker assailed McAuliffe and other gun-control advocates as "gun grabbers."
In the afternoon, gun-control backers wore yellow "Background Checks Save Lives" stickers and displayed a string of red paper hearts representing the more than 800 gun deaths in Virginia last year.
Among the speakers was Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring.
McAuliffe has proposed restoring a Virginia law, repealed in 2012, limiting handgun purchases to one a month; closing the so-called "gun show loophole" that allows sales by private sellers without a criminal background check; prohibiting possession of firearms by people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence and those subject to protective orders; and revoking concealed handgun permits of parents delinquent on child support payments.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers have introduced a variety of gun-rights measures, including bills that would allow concealed-handgun permit holders to carry their guns on school property outside normal school hours; prohibit colleges and universities from restricting the carrying of concealed handguns on campus; allow handguns in unsecured areas of airport terminals; and allow lifetime concealed handgun permits. Under current law, permits must be renewed every five years.
LEESBURG, Va. (AP) -- Former Washington Redskins defensive back Fred Smoot has been acquitted of misdemeanor domestic assault following a bench trial in Loudoun County.
Smoot testified in his own defense Monday in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He denied hitting his former girlfriend, Valerie Jackson, though he admitted kicking down a bathroom door in an effort to retrieve a set of car keys from her.
The judge said the evidence amounted to a case of "he said, she said" in announcing the not-guilty verdict.
Smoot was suspended from local TV and radio jobs as a football analyst following his arrest in November. He said he now hopes to get his jobs back.
Smoot's 9-year NFL career ended with the Redskins in 2009. He also played two seasons for the Minnesota Vikings.