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Election 2011 endorsements, part I: Board of Supervisors

It happens every four years. Loudoun selects candidates for the Board of Supervisors, School Board, Constitutional Officers and members of the House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia. Despite the attention next year’s U.S. Senate and presidential races will receive, for Loudoun this is the big one.

The past four years have seen public controversies over water protection measures and construction of a second hospital, arguments over school funding and economic development, cuts across departments because of falling property values and an increase in the tax rate. Whoever is elected Nov. 8 is likely to be tested in ways we can’t even imagine yet.

While we have no desire to supersede a voter’s self-education with our take on the respective races, the Times-Mirror has a history of taking careful stock of our elected officials and providing our recommendations to voters. Here are our endorsements.

Board of Supervisors

For Chairman, we endorse incumbent Republican candidate Scott York. While we have been concerned with York’s changing allegiances and party switch, there can be no doubt that York has been an able steward for Loudoun County and a superb representative for our community. His Democratic opponent Tom Bellanca has a good business background, but cannot compete with York’s 20 years of service to the county. A proven leader, York understands Loudoun and is dedicated to making it better.

Similarly, we support Suzanne Volpe (R) in the Algonkian District. She is willing to do the work, and she has proved it during her tenure on the Planning Commission, the Cascades Community Association and through her significant board and volunteer experience. She is never short of an opinion, but chances are she’s done the research to back it up. Her opponent Democrat Denise Moore Pierce has been hampered by a late start to her campaign and has not been able to catch up on all the issues facing Loudoun and the new Algonkian region.

For Ashburn, there are two candidates with very different assets that would be brought to the office. If there has been a deficit on the current board, it has been a lukewarm relationship with the business community. For that reason, we favor Republican Ralph Buona’s executive-level experience and sharp focus on growth and pro-business issues. Planning Commissioner Valdis Ronis (D) would bring knowledge of Loudoun planning and zoning and strong connection with the Ashburn HOAs. His intellectual approach would certainly make an acceptable alternative.

Blue Ridge proved to be a difficult selection. In endorsing independent Jim Burton, we recognize his long tenure on the Board of Supervisors and his deep understanding of county finances and the needs of the rural economy. However, we remain troubled by his distrust toward the business community and his tendency to remain deaf to opposing views. Even so, Burton is a gentleman of high integrity and he maintains a discerning nature that is likely necessary in the coming years. Republican Janet Clarke’s open and friendly nature would be a welcome change in the district. Experienced in town government and a friend to business, Clarke remains a dedicated Loudoun advocate and strong alternative.

The Broad Run District is poised for the largest amount of growth in the next four years with several developments in the planning stages. Incumbent supervisor Andrea McGimsey (D) was redistricted into this new area and may have trouble connecting with a new electorate. However, we find ourselves unable to part with McGimsey’s regular reminders on environmental and traffic impact from planned developments. With the Board of Supervisors likely moving to a Republican majority, maintaining an environmental voice gains importance.  Her opponent Shawn Williams (R) is a strong alternative and may be closer to the Ashburn community through his work there. A contract attorney with a moderate viewpoint and an ability to build bridges and coalitions between the board and other organizations, Williams is an extremely strong alternative to McGimsey and would be a benefit to Loudoun from an economic development perspective. Independent Cliff Kierce, a member of the Planning Commission, has also shown a detailed understanding of the growth needs of the district, but he seems less likely to be able to build a coalition of votes than his opponents. 

In Catoctin, Malcolm Baldwin (D) brings experience in environmentalism and a firsthand knowledge of the rural economy. Representative of the Catoctin District, Baldwin receives our endorsement at least partly because of his moderate views. Republican Geary Higgins brings a strong understanding of education from his tenure on the school board and pro-business mentality, but we feel that Baldwin’s background and easygoing style may be a better fit for this race.

Republican Matt Letourneau has impressed us with his insight on issues specific to the Dulles District, particularly the incomplete road network. He receives our endorsement.  Employed with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, he is able to speak to large companies on their level as well. Democrat Larry Roeder has significant life experience, but his campaign has hinged on his desire to work full-time. While laudable, Loudoun has not agreed that this is necessary and Roeder’s response to issues in Loudoun requires additional focus.

Kelly Burk (D) wins our endorsement in Leesburg.  Finishing her first term on the board, Burk has distinguished herself as a moderating influence, finding middle ground on taxes and economic development issues in addition to kitchen table issues like transportation, support for seniors and towing oversight. Burk’s experience with the Leesburg Town Council and as a teacher also allow her to understand related issues that come before the board. Her opponent Ken Reid (R) of the Leesburg Town Council has a strong resume of accomplishments from his tenure on council, but leaves us questionable about his ability to transition to a countywide office and work cooperatively with members of the opposing party.

For Sterling, we support Eugene Delgaudio (R). His view on social issues is unsettlingly conservative and his antics distracting, but a deeper look demonstrates a public official who works tirelessly for the people of Sterling. We would be lying if we didn’t admit that a moderation of the antics in “The Eugene Show” would be welcome. However, no one works harder for their district than Delgaudio, whose strong constituent service and unabashed push for additional resources have improved life in the Sterling District. His opponent Al Nevarez (D) is a promising newcomer, but is unlikely to produce the same results. Likewise, independent candidate Ali Shahriari has good intentions, but needs to build a stronger handle on the issues.

These endorsements were decided on by the editorial board of the Loudoun Times-Mirror after countless hours of race coverage and review of the candidates’ positions. As with any election, we encourage readers to educate themselves on the candidates and make the choices which best fits their own views and priorities. The Loudoun Times-Mirror Voters’ Guide is available for this purpose at Loudountimes.com.


I have used that handle for years, I’m writing in a comment section, not doing a research paper. This is a place to express your opinions, make observations, and comments. Sorry you don’t like the name but I don’t feel the need to use different names for different things. Sorry it doesn’t cut it for you, that would be your problem.

Just an observation, but if you’re going to call yourself “FACTSvsfiction”, then taking the out of “but I was just expressing an opinion” doesn’t quite seem to cut it.

Wolverine, you must have forgotten your own words.
Fri, Oct 28 at 01:05 AM by Wolverine:  “Not to mention that Mr. Nevarez is a member of MoveOn.org “
Before that I did not know. Why are you being so hateful,using the sports analogies etc? Can’t you be civil?

factsvsfiction on 3 November: “...i would much rather see a candidate that was part of a rights movement like moveon.org than a member of a hate group such a public advocate.”

factsvsfiction on 6 November:  “..I did not know that Nevarez was with any group, radical, which is your opinion, or not.”

Now, why would factsvsfiction bring up the name moveon.org in the first place?  Perhaps because, of the three candidates in Sterling District, only Al is a member of that group.

The curveballs still do not break.

I’m stating an opinion, not complaining, so you don’t need to make personal attacks.  And there you go assuming again, wolverine, I did not know that Nevarez was with any group, radical, which is your opinion, or not.  I’m amazed that you think you know more about me than I do.  Like I said, I can be anti-DelGaudio but that does not mean that I am pro-anyone else. Obviously you are both anti-Nevarez and pro-DelGaudio . Have you looked at the radical group Public Advocate that he is president of? That is truly radical and full of hateful comments and scare tactics.  Could you please tell me if you agree with his statements   about homosexuals being radical pedophiles that are trying to destroy the American family, and do you believe the stories he writes about being chased from a warehouse by a group resembling the village people, or about having a blanket thrown over his head and beaten? You wonder why I think the man is a liar? How about you, do you honestly think this is the truth or a lie?

Stop complaining, factsvsfiction.  In your 3 November 12:09 PM post you threw a pair of anti-Delgaudio curveballs which didn’t break and got hit out of the park.  You claimed with such certainty that the substation project never went to the BOS for a vote—- in other words, that Delgaudio was a liar. You didn’t even have a clue that our supervisors can use the formal title of “Honorable”—-  in fact, you assumed that Delgaudio was using a title not authorized. And you claim you know a lot about Loudoun?  As for that business about Al Nevarez?  Not many residents around here know that Al is a member of MoveOn.org (and also was trained as a radical online activist at MoveOn’s New Organizing Insitute in 2006).  That is because Al has been hiding inconvenient facts like that during the whole campaign.  But you knew it, factsvsfiction, you knew it. And your 3 November post certainly would not cause anyone to believe you could be a Delgaudio supporter.

Wolverine. You assume too much. Where did I ever say I was even a Navarez supporter? How do you know that I’m just not for DelGaudio? You assume I’m male, and that I use a laptop? You should stick to facts, and really you don’t have to get nasty. My opinion is my opinion, there is no conspiracy going on here, no reason for paranoia. It was a ranking police officer that commented that he was against the substation in the beginning discussions. i see you also assume that I knew Al Nevarez in Baltimore. I doubt he lived there when I did, and was more than a few years old when I moved from there.
I was assuming that these statements were just your opinions, but if you were there on all those occasions I’m guessing that you must work closely with him. 
In my opinion, local politicians should not use the title “honorable”. It is a title that should be earned.
I know alot about Loudoun, that was just an spiteful dig, I moved from Maryland over 50 years ago, are you even that old? How long have you been a Loudouner?

factsvsfiction should try to use his laptop more often.  If he Googles “Honorable” and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, he will see that all elected members of the Board have the right to use the title of “Honorable,” as do their counterparts in other Virginia county jurisdictions.  Factsvsfiction must surely be part of the Al Nevarez team.  He seems to know virtually nothing about Loudoun.  Come to think of it, Baltimore was Al’s last stop before coming to Sterling Park in 2008.  That could explain it.

factsvsfiction is wrong once again.  The Eastern Loudoun Sheriff’s Office Substation was, indeed, approved by a public bond vote.  However, the proposal also went to the School Board (unanimous for transfer of excess school property to the county); the Planning Commission (17 December 2007 - unanimous approval); and the Board of Supervisors (8 January 2008 - unanimous as a consent item on the agenda. LCSO officers and county officials concerned with the project were there with all their drawings and charts and data but didn’t even have to address the Board.)  We were present on all these occasions and directly involved in the project. Delgaudio was a strong supporter of the substation from the get-go, being at the dais at the first public input session to the final BOS vote and then the groundbreaking and the official opening of the substation.  So, factsvsfiction strikes out once again.  Perhaps a change of blog handle is in order.

I got a mailer from DelGaudio saying he “voted for Sterling’s new Eastern Loudoun Sheriff Substation”. That would be impressive had it not been a bond referendum that he fought against adding to the ballot, and it never went to a vote by the board of supervisors. Once it passed he had a sudden change of heart.
Some one really needs to tell DelGaudio the difference between a pedophile and a homosexual. A straight person is just as likely, actually more likely, to be a pedophile, like his brother Richard, who was convicted of kiddie porn production in 2003 (what can I say, I’m from Baltimore and keep up with their news). Chris N, I attend BOS meeting, and read his newsletters, which is where I hear these things. I would like to know why he has appointed himself the title “honorable”, an earned title in the US reserved for judges, State Legislatures,Governors, lieutenant governors,federal dept heads etc. I don’t see anything honorable about anyone that spreads hate like he does. i would much rather see a candidate that was part of a rights movement like moveon.org than a member of a hate group such as public advocate.

It’s interesting that Delgaudio was the only supervisor to vote against denying the OpenBand franchise yesterday. I wonder if the $7,500 he received from MC Dean, OpenBand’s parent company, persuaded him in any way. Also, he is the only current supervisor who never signed the ethics pledge, and he speaks out against LGBT. Hmmm…some “food for thought”...

Peter, 1. You can visit the candidate’s web page and see for yourself what he is all about. I am not his spokesman.
    2. I have not seen any verifiable evidence that mr. Shahriari is as you or a few bloggers have said to be a “self-avowed democratic socialist” and even if he is, so what?
  A vote should be for who you believe will better serve the community, not because one or another candidate has a betta chance.

  You seem to supporty mr. Nevares, but what does he bring to the table? Opposition to anti-gay rhetorik by mr. Delgaudio and a few years in Loudoun? Tell me?

Two questions for Peter who says,

“I see only positive and progressive ideas comming from Mr. Shahriari.”

1. What are they?
2. Are you willing to cast your vote for a self-avowed “Democratic Socialist”, knowing that your vote might as well be a vote for the incumbent?

Its a bit strange that the paper decided to endorse Mr. Delgaudio.  In the past 12 years, Sterling has lost many businesses, had a drastic increase in criminal activity, has had no improvement in public infrastructure other than the Rt. 28 exits, and has seen an uncountable amount of abandoned homes.  Where has Mr. Delgaudio helped his community? I see only positive and progressive ideas comming from Mr. Shahriari.  Mr. Nevarez on the other hand hasnt put forward any plan whatsoever and doesnt seem to be very familiar with sterling in general.

In case there was even the shadow of doubt regarding what it takes to “milk the intolerance of the rabid fringe,” one of our commenters found the original photo that Mr. Delgaudio photoshopped.

Both versions can be viewed here:

And to be extra sure no one misunderstands, the Loudoun GOP just sent out an email that depicts President Obama with a bullet hole in his head. Thank you LI for exposing this:

Poor Loudoun- The Times Mirror envisions another four disjointed years of Delgaudio who is an unrepentant “bigot” and earns his living spewing hate about gay people and immigrants.  Now there’s a model for quality local government. Instead of endorsing no one- you embrace the true nincompoop. While there are some good choices from both parties in many of these races- that the Republicans chose Dick Black for Senate and “Yet Again Eugene” is testimony to their utter willingness to bed down with anyone regardless of how hateful their views are.  Chilling! If Eugene would lose maybe he’d have to get a real job rather than continue to rake it in milking the intolerance of the rabid fringe.

If you read the disclosure paperwork, you have to itemize the contributions over $100. $100 or less is not itemized.

Delgaudio gets donations from around the country, too.

Supervisor Delgaudio,

There is a minor error in your campaign finance guidance.  A donation of $100 is not “less than” $100.  It is equal to $100 and if an individual donates $100 to your campaign (God forgive them), then you are obligated to report their personal information in the campaign finance report.

I hope you don’t think I’m splitting hairs; “equal”, “less than”, they mean almost the same thing, don’t they?

About as shameless as Al Nevarez including on many of his Daily Kos posts a request for money from liberals all over the country to help him defeat Delgaudio.  Funny thing is that some of his fellow “Kossacks” didn’t even know he was living here, and at least one didn’t even know that Loudoun is in Virginia.  At least Delgaudio is asking for local contributions. He also doesn’t have thousands of dollars of in-kind “contributions” like Al does from his researcher pals at AFL-CIO headquarters or a hired gun campaign manager from Pompano Beach, Florida.

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