We are one week away from the Nov. 7 election and many Northern Virginia voters will have the opportunity to select new county chair and county supervisors this year.
County board of supervisors have a lot of impact on the daily lives of their residents. The board of supervisors makes major decisions on how much your taxes are each year, how tax dollars are used, and how land is developed, especially as it relates to data centers.
This year, all nine supervisor seats are on the ballot in Loudoun County, including three supervisor races that could be close.
Gary Katz is running for Chair At Large for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.
Here’s what Katz said you’ll get with him over the incumbent:
“Honesty, integrity, accountability, they’re going to get fiscal responsibility, leadership that can actually have faith in and we’ve seen a tremendous loss and confidence in our leadership within Loudoun County on the board of supervisors and elsewhere,” said Katz.
Katz is running against Chair Phyllis Randall and Sam Kroiz, a goat farmer campaigning against party politics.
“The biggest issue in Loudoun is development and politicians in both parties,” said Kroiz.
Kroiz and Katz have criticized Randall for her lavish taxpayer-funded international sister trips during a time when taxes for most people have increased.
“I want to put in place an Office of the Inspector General in Loudoun County,” Katz told 7News. “We are tired of the scandal. We do not need to have a gubernatorial executive order, a special grand jury report or media exposes in order to have transparency and accountability in Loudoun County.”
Randall has served as Chair for eight years and she said she wants to finish the county’s zoning rewrite.
Randall has increased funding for affordable housing and helped pass collective bargaining for county employees.
Her campaign is also mailing fliers to voters stating Randall would protect women’s access to reproductive health care if reelected. However, it’s unclear how Randall would do that in her role as Chair since the Board of Supervisors has no jurisdiction over state abortion laws.
County Supervisor Juli Briskman is also running on hot-button social issues like gun control.
As a County Supervisor for the Algonkian District, Briskman has been critical of school resource officers.
Briskman is now in a tight race with former two-term school board member Debbie Rose.
“Most of the job of the board of supervisors should be about the local issues and less about extreme politics,” said Rose. “This is about traffic in Algonkian. This is about improving cell service. This is about ensuring our schools are fully funded and that businesses are in an environment that can succeed.”
Rose has been critical of Briskman for spending thousands of tax dollars from her county office budget for a trip to Uruguay this year. Briskman and Randall stayed at a luxury five-star resort overlooking the beach and they visited wineries, an equestrian center, and a medical cannabis lab during their sister city trip.
“You should be able to take personal responsibility when your agenda for a work trip only has two meetings in the morning and the rest of the afternoon is off and you were able to take your bathing suit on your trip,” said Rose, who referred to a picture that shows Briskman swimming in the water during the taxpayer-funded trip to Uruguay. “I don’t know too many business trips that people take their bathing suits with the anticipation that they’re going to be enjoying a beachside casino luxury hotel. And they actually chose that hotel. That wasn’t something they were told they had to be at.”
Another tight race is in the Little River District where Randall’s staffer Laura TeKrony is running in the open seat. She’s running a campaign on protecting the environment and improving access to attainable housing.
TeKrony’s opponent is Ram Venkatachalam who is on the county’s Transit Advisory Board. He wants to improve traffic congestion and preserve rural Loudoun County.
“Lower taxes, eliminate taxes, and then the third thing is jobs and infrastructure,” said Venkatachalam.
Katz, Rose, and Venkatachalam said they want lower property taxes for Loudoun County homeowners, and they want to scrap the car tax.
7News offered Tekrony, Randall and Briskman opportunities to discuss their goals for the next four years if they prevail in the November election. They did not respond to 7News.
In the Ashburn District, Tumay Harding is running against Supervisor Mike Turner. Sylvia Glass is running for reelection in the Broad Run District against Michelle Suttle. Matt Letourneau is running for reelection in the Dulles District against Puja Khanna.
County supervisors Kristen Umstattd in the Leesburg District and Koran Saines in the Sterling District are running unopposed.
The Board of Supervisors are on the ballot in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Loudoun County and several other Virginia counties.
These positions can have a lot impact on the cost of living for local residents.
— Nick Minock (@NickMinock) November 2, 2023