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Loudoun League of Women Voters says it can’t get GOP candidates to partake in public forums

The League of Women Voters of Loudoun County says it consistently had trouble this year contacting local Republican candidates to take part in public forums ahead of November's House of Delegates elections.

The nonpartisan organization, which will mark its 100th birthday in 2020, had planned to hold two candidate forums this year, one in the west and one in the eastern part of the county, but representatives from the group say they weren't able to get the GOP candidates in the east to take part.

“We are really frustrated because we can't put on a free forum showing nonpartisan discussions,” Joan Kowalski, a director of the local League of Women Voters, said. “I can't hold forums in the eastern districts.”

In the local 87th District, Kowalski said she reached out several times to Republican candidate Subba Kolla and got no response.

David D'Onofrio from Kolla's campaign said in a statement that Kolla was “going to continue to be focused on going door to door and having almost daily meet and greet's with the constituents of the 87th District.”

Kolla is facing incumbent John Bell (D) in the Sterling and South Riding-based district.

Kowalski said she did make contact with 32nd District GOP incumbent Tag Greason's office and was asked to send dates by one of Greason's aides, but then never heard from him again, despite follow-up emails and calls.

“Our office exchanged calls and emails with the organizers to coordinate a date. Unfortunately, it seems there may have been a miscommunication when evaluating a final date for the event, as it appeared to have been rescheduled and reorganized into regional events,” said Nick Blessing from Greason's office. “Delegate Greason is always happy to provide updates and discuss the work he does in Richmond on behalf of Loudoun County.”

In the 34th District, Kowalski said she contacted the Republican candidate Cheryl Buford and did not received a response.

“It also was slightly harder to get in touch with some Democrats than others, but after a couple of emails, everyone was on board,” Kowalski said.

The league was able to hold a forum for two districts in western Loudoun on Oct. 3, yet even then one of the Republican candidates didn't attend. Two candidates for the 10th District, incumbent Del. Randy Minchew (R) and Clarke County Democrat Wendy Gooditis fielded questions along with Democrat Tia Walbridge from Round Hill, who is running in the 33rd District.

The 33rd District incumbent, Del. Dave LaRock (R), did not attend.

Vice President of the League of Women Voters Kathleen Hughes said she spoke to LaRock's assistant and later emailed LaRock, but never received a responsed from him.
“I am one of his constituents,” Hughes said. “I was quite insulted. If we hadn't had a Republican candidate in attendance, we wouldn't have been able to hold a forum in Leesburg at all. Randy Minchew has always been supportive.”

LaRock told the Times-Mirror that the league kept changing the date of the forum.

“The date changed three times. By the time they reached a date it was fairly short notice, and I had a conflict,” LaRock, who also did not attend a local Farm Bureau forum, said.

Hughes and Kowalski said they worry that Republican candidates are no longer seeing the league as moderate.

“We have not changed our public policies. They remain the same” Hughes said. “We want to be the moderate voice, the central voice, bringing communities together, instead of pushing them apart with partisan politics. We have had no trouble organizing forums with candidates for the Board of Supervisors or Leesburg Town Council.

Kowalski added, “Maybe we are seen as too unimportant.”


I go to the LOWV site and find that they’re working against limiting voter rights, oppose gerrymandering, feel there’s too much money in politics, feel we should do something about deaths by gunshot wounds, oh, and they value protecting the environment.

Is that radical?  Seems some here think so.  Maybe we’d all learn something if one of the complainers about the LOWV would explain what they think a non-partisan group should support…

I did what Lévrier suggested and its all there on their national webpage. They value government protection and services over personal responsibility and self-reliance.

@ElectClowns_ExpectCircuses Just go to the League of Women Voter’s national page, and in their search box, search the term “The League’s History”. 

You will find the search results have their position statement on all the issues I mentioned, along with many others.

Do your homework and check party affiliation on all of the BOD members of the LOWV’s. It’s not too difficult to figure out. I had an interesting exchange a few years back with Gwen Pangle, who is a Democrat, and her role within the organization.

The League of Women Voters is far from being nonpartisan. They support left leaning positions and wrap them in the guise of “Women’s Issues”.

Lévrier, can you point us to the source of your information? Not Fox News or Breitbart or Mother Jones for that matter…but factual, unbiased information.

I say the politicians are simply chicken. 

Much of the polarization today is because people harden their positions and then won’t engage in civil debate on merits and facts. 


Funny that, I find our politicians easy to get hold of. Contact this week with Wexton, Greason, LaRock, Shak Hill. Why is it that anytime a left leaning organization does not get it’s way they pull the moderate card and play it?

What Levrier said, “I don’t fault them for having a left-leaning political agenda.  But lying about what they support is just stupid…”

I’d say it is blatantly deceitful.

If they want to be non-partisan, then they should act non-partisan.

“We want to be the moderate voice, the central voice, bringing communities together, instead of pushing them apart with partisan politics.”

Uh…This is the same League of Women Voters that publicly supports:

*Gun Control - and petty much every idea ever proposed - including the assault weapons ban, gun registration, annual licensing of firearms and their owners, as well as ‘adequate’ licensing fees.  Also a ban on “Saturday night specials”, which they don’t define.  Seems to me like they might have a problem with poor people owning guns.

*Abortion in all most all instances as well as taxpayer funding of abortions.

*Immigration reform - Which they clarify means citizenship for illegal aliens.

*Universal health care

And that about covers 90% of controversial partisan political issues. 

I don’t fault them for having a left-leaning political agenda.  But lying about what they support is just stupid, particularly when we have access to the internet and the League’s own website which has policy statements on these issues. But i guess that’s all they can do when they want to cry that the Republicans won’t play ball with them.

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