Every four years, Loudoun County Democrats try to defeat Sterling District Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, a Republican, and every four years for the last sixteen they’ve managed to fail despite massive pre-election bluster and fulminations. This year, a rumor has been circulating in Sterling that the Democrats are not entirely united behind Delgaudio’s opponent, Koran Saines – which raises the question, yet again: Are the Democrats really intent on removing Delgaudio?
That question took on new salience in Sterling the night before last, in a mass email from one of our most well-known local Democrats, a self-identified “longtime Sterling District community and political advocate,” who stated:
Ethics, accountability, community loyalty, and leadership qualities are what I look for in our political leaders. With that said, I strongly support and endorse the eleven (11) candidates below…
The endorsements included many local Democrat office seekers – Randall, Umstattd, Ohneiser, Boysko, Liz Miller, Bell, Murphy, Wexton, Favola – and two running for the non-political offices, Flannery and Sheridan.
Missing was any endorsement in the Sterling District, certainly a significant omission on this person’s list, in the same sense that a missing roof would be a significant omission on a new home.
There was, however, this “note” in small print beneath the letter, “I also encourage you to vote against the current Sterling District Supervisor, Eugene Delgaudio.”
The loyal Democrat felt compelled to state opposition to Delgaudio, without quite being able to identify Delgaudio’s opponent by name. (Which would leave open the option of Sterling Democrats casting a write-in vote).
I don’t know what the problem is with Koran Saines: Having met him, I find him to be an intelligent fellow, not as ideological as you’d expect from a Democrat, and running a decent, albeit quiet, campaign. There has been the traditional dust-up between campaigns over “sign wars,” with Delgaudio claiming on social media that Saines’ campaign is stealing Delgaudio’s campaign signs – although riding around Sterling, one gets the impression Delgaudio has won the sign wars once again.
But whatever is going on on the Democrat side, if there are hard feelings – if Koran Saines or his campaign have appeared untrustworthy or lacking in “ethics, accountability, community loyalty, and leadership qualities” – the Democrats are going to have a tough time defeating a savvy and tireless campaigner like Delgaudio. The Republican seems to thrive on retail politics and will have made an extraordinary amount of personal, direct contact with voters by the time the polls open on Tuesday.
I speculated years ago that if Loudoun County Democrats did not have Eugene Delgaudio, they would have to invent him, because they get so much traction from his statements …. his statements outside the boardroom, that is. His day job as a nationally-known conservative activist is what gets all the attention from his partisan opponents. That Delgaudio makes great fodder for media grandstanding and fundraising letters. His voting record, however, is what you would expect from a Republican: not particularly radical, nor surprising. As an office holder, Delgaudio is a known quantity who everyone admits does care about Sterling and works hard for the district.
And maybe some Democrats are deciding, as many Sterling voters have done for 16 years, that the Delgaudio they know is preferable to a candidate they are not sure about.