This November, Loudoun citizens will face a crucial choice for the future of our county, our community and our home. The Board of Supervisors, the governing body for Loudoun, will have an election to see who will serve to lead us for the next four years. Every seat on the board, including the chair, is up for grabs. Of the nine seats, there are eight competitive races, with two races having three candidates. This is our opportunity to influence and guide the future of Loudoun, from sprawl, to taxes, to schools and roads.
With all that is at stake for Loudoun’s future, we must expect more of our elected representatives than ever before – which means we must also expect more of ourselves in who we select. Thomas Jefferson once said, “An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.” To aid in this pursuit and help inform us all, the Coalition of Loudoun Towns (COLT), comprising the seven mayors of the seven towns of Loudoun, and the two countywide new papers, the Loudoun Times-Mirror and Loudoun Now, have teamed together to present a debate series for the districts in Loudoun that directly oversee the towns. These include the Blue Ridge District, the Catoctin District and the chair-at-large.
This debate series will ask pressing questions of each candidate and see what their vision for Loudoun’s future truly is: No topic will be off limits. How do they view the recent Loudoun 2040 Comprehensive Plan, where do they stand on education and our school, what will they do to fix our congested roads and how will they temper growth in Loudoun to preserve our natural, historic and heritage assets? These topics are amongst a few we will cover. We will choose the questions from those submitted through an online form, which can be found here. There is no limit on submissions, and we really want to hear from you on what’s most important.
The format will be a 90 minutes debate, with all candidates on the ballot being invited – and I am happy to announce that all candidates have accepted. Candidates will be asked a direct question, with 90 seconds to answer, and the other candidates then having 30 seconds to respond, and the first candidate a final 30 seconds to rebut. The debates will be open to the public, on a first come, first seated basis! We hope to see you there.
Debate 1: Catoctin District, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m., Lovettsville Firehall, 12837 Berlin Turnpike, Lovettsville, VA 20180
Candidates: James Forest Hayes (D), Caleb A. Kershner (R), Samuel Kroiz (I)
Debate 2: Blue Ridge District, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m., Purcellville Historic Bush Tabernacle, 250 South Nursery Ave. Purcellville, VA
Candidates: Tony Buffington(R), Tia Walbridge (D)
Debate 3: Chair-at-Large, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m., Ida Lee Park, 60 Ida Lee Dr., NW, Leesburg, VA 20176
Candidates: Robert J. Ohneiser (I), Phyllis Randall (D), John C. L. Whitbeck, Jr. (R)
Bridge Littleton is the mayor of Middleburg.