A series of public debates between candidates vying for Loudoun County chairman and Board of Supervisors seats in the Blue Ridge and Catoctin districts will take place in September and October.
The debates will kick-off Sept. 16 with the Catoctin District session held at Lovettsville Firehall, followed by an Oct. 3 debate at the Bush Tabernacle in Purcellville for the Blue Ridge District and the chair-at-large debate Oct. 9 at Ida Lee Park.
The debates will be moderated by the Coalition of Loudoun Towns (COLT), the Loudoun Times-Mirror and Loudoun Now. For the next few weeks, community members can submit questions through an online form. Representatives from COLT, the Loudoun Times-Mirror and Loudoun Now will review questions to create the official debate questions, which will not be shared with candidates ahead of time.
All three debates will be from 7-8:30 p.m. and formatted the same. Each candidate will receive the same amount of prime questions, with 90 seconds to answer each. All candidates will also have 30 seconds to respond to another candidate’s answer and 30 seconds to rebut comments.
All of the districts' candidates have agreed to participate. Running in Blue Ridge is incumbent Republican Tony Buffington and Democrat Tia Walbridge. Vying for the Catoctin seat is Republican Caleb Kershner, Democrat Forest Hayes and independent Sam Kroiz. In the chair's race is incumbent Democrat Phyllis Randall, Republican John Whitbeck and independent Bob Ohneiser.
“Loudoun’s future is tied to this election and the vision we see from the candidates,” Middleburg Mayor Bridge Littleton, one of the series' organizers, said. “Thomas Jefferson once said, 'An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.' We look forward to an open and vigorous discussion on where Loudoun will go over the next 20 to 30 years.”