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Joshua Thiel wins Leesburg special election

Joshua Thiel was elected Leesburg’s newest council member in Tuesday night’s special election.

Voter turnout was surprisingly high at about 11 percent, with a little more than 3,200 of Leesburg’s 28,553 registered voters visiting the polls.

The race ended up being a close call between Neil Steinberg and Thiel. The candidates stayed within 1 percent of each other for a significant portion of the night, but Thiel ultimately pulled ahead, earning 45.69 percent of the vote.

Local businessman Steinberg trailed by 150 votes, earning 41.07 percent. Gwen Pangle earned about 13 percent of the popular vote.

Last year, Thiel lost to Councilwoman Vanessa Maddox in a special election, but credited the support of his wife and friends for his decision to run again.

An employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, the 27-year-old Thiel serves on Leesburg’s Economic Development Commission and volunteers with multiple community groups. He also runs JT Kicking and Training, a coaching service for students. Thiel played football in college.

Thiel had the support of local Republicans, while Steinberg was the favorite for Democrats. While technically non-partisan, candidates for Leesburg Town Council have increasingly relied on the local major-party apparatus to secure victories in the local races.

Thiel celebrated his win at Black Hoof Brewing Company in downtown Leesburg, thanking Councilwoman Suzanne Fox, his wife and voters for their support.

“The election is over. It’s time to get to work,” Thiel said. “The things I promised on my campaign are the things I’m going to do… I want to commend my opponents, Gwen and Neil, for their hard-fought campaign and their love for this town.”

One of Thiel’s first tasks as councilman will be to address the budget. “I will give back money you worked hard for,” he said.

He also plans to vote against the Kincaid Road cut-through, for keeping Westpark as a green space and for bringing back food trucks. His longer-term goals include de-congesting traffic.

“Now it’s time to put the people of the town first,” Thiel said. “I will do everything in my power to make you happy.”

Thiel is stepping into former Councilman Ken Reid’s seat, set to expire in 2020. Thiel’s first council meeting will be on Feb. 12.


Go Josh, go!

Thiel needs to thank Gwen Pangle for dividing the Democratic vote or else Steinberg would have won.

Why do we keep letting this people out from under their rocks..

A republican wave is sweeping Leesburg.

Interesting. Can’t wait to see what services he would cut to pay for the tax cut. Nothing is free.  I suspect that many things that could be cut will just end up being paid for in a different way so my bottom line doesn’t change one bit. Sounds like a bunch of republican malarkey to me.

I don’t usually vote in these special elections, but after seeing how bad things have gotten with the current national situation, I decided to speak with my vote!  Good job, Thiel!

too bad we are increasingly ‘relying on local major-party apparatus’ for candidates. The worst thing we can do is become partisan. ugh.

Glad to see Thiel won.  He will be a common sense alternative to the liberals who have dominated the town council.

Thiel said “I will give back money you worked hard for”.

If only RINOs Letourneau and Buona would lower the tax rate and end their annual $85M slush fund.  Can we swap one of them out for Thiel?

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