Loudoun Goes Red, Big Time
A resurgent Republican Party takes over; poll workers call for more volunteers for future elections.
After the votes were counted, the Loudoun County Republican Committee claimed its return to power, taking all nine seats on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors, while six candidates the GOP endorsed for school board won as well.
In addition, at the state level, nine of the 11 elected delegates and senators who represent the county will be Republicans starting next year. Sen. Mark Herring (33) was the only Democrat running for the General Assembly in Loudoun who won a majority of votes here.
The Republican nominee for sheriff, Mark Chapman, also ousted incumbent Stephen O. Simpson (I), while Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman (R) held on to his seat. Treasurer Roger Zurn and Commissioner of the Revenue Robert Wertz, both Republicans, were unopposed.
Members of the local Republican committee gathered to Velocity 5 in Leesburg to await results, and ultimately celebrate a near sweep of the county.
“I think it shows a clear mandate,” said Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens, who was not up for election. “To a certain degree, I think it shows that people were not entirely satisfied with the status quo.”
Four years ago, the Loudoun GOP won just one seat on the board of supervisors and were the subject of multiple stories of party infighting, but this year the Republican label was gold.
At-Large school board winner Tom Reed, said he spent $1,700 on sign and $400 on candy, but, sounding like a credit card commercial, he said the endorsement of the party was key.
“The Republican name is priceless,” said the incumbent at the victory party.
Few candidates understand that any better than County Chairman Scott K. York, who won election as a supervisor and as chairman in the ‘90s before leaving the LCRC in 2003. This year, he rejoined the party after serving two terms as an Independent.
“We’re doing better than I anticipated,” as the votes continued to roll in Tuesday night. “It sends a strong signal for what we’ve been talking about.”
And the things he said Republicans have been talking about are improved transportation, lower taxes and a more aggressive economic development philosophy.
“The only disappointing thing for me today was voter turnout,” Clemens said, adding that the 28 percent that turned out is not enough for a local election. “That’s really where you have the strongest voice.”
With countywide turnout of 28.16 percent (54,231 of 192,558 registered voters), the higher voting precincts were in the west. Here are the numbers for voter turnout in each county district:
- Algonkian – 908 of 26,972 (25.61 percent)
- Ashburn – 6,565 25,021 (26.24 percent)
- Blue Ridge – 7,859 25,262 (31.11 percent)
- Broad Run – 5,803 23,485 (24.71 percent)
- Catoctin – 7,777 25,757 (30.19 percent)
- Dulles – 5,210 22,006 (23.68 percent)
- Leesburg – 6,317 23,272 (27.14 percent)
- Sterling – 5,293 20,783 (25.47 percent)
Despite the low turnout, precinct captains all over Ashburn said there were not enough volunteers to perform all the necessary work. Had voter turnout been higher, some precincts may have been overwhelmed.
“There are not enough volunteers,” said Ellice Kark, who headed up the Briar Woods precinct.
Kathy McNamara at the Ashburn Elementary School precinct and Keith Breedlove at the George Washington University precinct offered similar concerns. All were hoping more county residents would participate next year.
“We need volunteers,” Breedlove said.