This is either a grand gesture of inclusion, or else the boldest use of the Pac-Man defense ever. From Loudoun’s Broad Run district supervisor Shawn Williams’s newsletter:
I am pleased to announce that Cliff Keirce has joined my staff to assist with land use and development issues on a part-time basis. Cliff previously served Loudoun County on the Government Reform Commission and the Planning Commission. He has also served as the president of the Broadlands Homeowners Association. I’m excited about the land use expertise and deep community knowledge Cliff will bring to this role. He will be helping my office with large projects like planning for Metrorail and other land use and development initiatives.
Keirce, who was Democratic supervisor Stevens Miller’s nominee to the previous county Planning Commission, ran as an independent (along with now-forgotten Potomac district supervisor Andrea McGimsey, who ran as a Democrat) against Williams in 2011. Williams took a clear victory with 42% over McGimsey’s 35%. Keirce’s respectable (for an independent) total of 22% was big enough that those looking for an excuse for incumbent McGimsey’s loss have sometimes blamed Keirce for it (being abusive to her staff aides probably didn’t help McGimsey much, either). Regardless of who’s to blame for what, this decision by Williams to bring his former opponent into his policy-making team (and Keirce’s decision to join that team) at least suggests a kind of broader perspective on leadership than Loudoun’s current, all-Republican board has tended to show. Time will tell, but it’s worth watching.