A re-election campaign video from Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D) released on Facebook has been taken down after it featured National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase without his permission.
In May, Chase was a guest speaker at Randall’s "State of the County" address at the county government center. However, Chase did not know that remarks made that evening would be featured in a Randall campaign video.
“Mr. Chase’s appearance was in error and was swiftly taken down, and I am sorry for any inconvenience or miscommunication on my part,” Randall Campaign Manager Sam Miller told the Times-Mirror.
National Association of Counties, or NACo, Director of Communications Paul Guequierre said in a prepared statement, “While there, [Chase] was asked to comment on video about Chair Randall’s leadership. He was happy to do so, as he has great respect for her and her leadership. He did not know his comments would be used in a campaign video. When the video was brought to his attention, he asked for it to be taken down."
The association says its policy is to not engage in partisan politics.
Randall (D) is seeking re-election as chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in November. She is facing Republican John Whitbeck and independent Bob Ohneiser.
Whitbeck is challenging the incumbent’s ethics after the campaign video incident, and he is criticizing her campaign for filming the video in the public government building. The Republican also noted Randall's decision to have a fellow Democratic candidate serve as an emcee for a county rural summit in late 2018, as well as her years-ago move to block a constituent on one of her social media pages.
“When running for chairwoman in 2015, Phyllis Randall campaigned on a platform of ethics, moving to adopt a code of ethics during the first month of her term. However, Randall has continually violated ethical practices during the last year as we are leading up to an election,” Whitbeck said in a prepared statement.
Randall eventually changed course on the summit emcee, while a lawsuit in the social media case found that she indeed violated the citizen's First Amendment right.
Randall said she almost immediately regretted blocking the citizen, frequent local government critic Brian Davison, and unblocked him less than 24 hours later.
Randall won a four-way race in 2015 to claim the chair seat. She claimed 37 percent of the vote to independent Scott York's 30 percent, Republican Charlie King's 29 percent and independent Tom Bellanca's 3 percent.