The two Loudoun County supervisors who live in Sterling don’t always agree, but they are on the same page in rejecting a supervisor candidate’s call for new residential development in the district.
Longtime residents Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) and Scott York (I-At Large) say the Sterling community does not need the type of redevelopment sought by Phyllis Randall, a Democratic Party nominee who lives in Lansdowne and is running for York’s position as Board chair in the November elections.
Among her suggestions for Sterling District, Randall recommended “redevelopment of some of their shopping areas to mixed use communities.”
In a newsletter earlier this week, Delgaudio said “‘redevelopment’ is the wrong word to use in Sterling.” He warned that Randall’s plan would mean density-packing of new residences, and a corresponding negative impact on schools, traffic and emergency services.
Delgaudio told FirewallNOVA that converting existing shopping areas to mixed-use “will lead to residential high-rises and apartments that will change the character of the Sterling community.”
York agreed that Randall’s suggestion to bring mixed-use developments is “very concerning.”
“Sterling doesn’t need to be redeveloped,” York said. “The shopping center needs to be revitalized. But other than that, I like the community the way it is. I’m not going to support any plan of hers to come in and try to density-pack Sterling.”
Randall’s fellow Democrat, Koran Saines, who is running against Delgaudio for the Sterling seat, sounded a similar note, saying he envisions “revitalizing” the district in a way that would “not take away from the character of Sterling Park.”
Sterling’s voters will meet a different kind of Democratic candidate when they get to know Koran Saines during the upcoming campaign season. Upbeat, knowledgeable, and relentlessly positive, the longtime Sterling resident will also pose a new test for Eugene Delgaudio.
Saines prevailed in the Democratic primary earlier this month, winning the nomination to challenge Delgaudio for the Sterling District seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in the November elections.
Previous Democratic campaigns have appeared, to those who live here, overwhelmingly negative and targeting a caricature of the Sterling supervisor that was always a bit off. With messages that could have been cribbed from progressive Web sites, possibly emanating from distant voices in Arlington, Ashburn or Lovettsville, they painted a picture that had no resonance with many residents who know the “real Eugene” (but managed to lock in their already locked-in hardcore base). The cheerful Delgaudio, meanwhile, connected with actual voters – and extended his advantage over opponents who were out chasing ghosts.
Not this time. Koran Saines comes with an agenda that could find supporters in both local parties as well as among Independents, and a message strong on content and noticeably light on ideology.
Much like the incumbent in the orange hat, Saines has nary a negative word to say about his opposition. He seems committed to making lots of personal direct contact. So the question becomes: Can he out-Delgaudio Delgaudio?
In a recent interview with FirewallNOVA, Saines talked about his commitment to Sterling, the importance of collaboration, attracting businesses to improve the local economy, and improving the quality of life in the district. He has a non-partisan attitude and can talk specifics about policy.
Unsurprisingly, Saines has positions that some will oppose. Topics such as education spending and Metro-related projects will engender debate with Delgaudio in the coming months, as will other policy questions that force the candidates to take concrete positions. But from this first impression of the Democratic candidate, I think we can look forward to a lively and intelligent discussion.
FWN: You had a great turnout at the recent Sterling primary, but it is safe to say there are still plenty of Sterling voters who should learn more about you. What do the residents of Sterling need to know about your background?
While he’s not saying “I told you so,” Eugene Delgaudio says the scope of miscues by Metro authorities is “gigantic” and bears out his warning of a Silver Line boondoggle prior to the last election. At the same time, he thanks his Democratic opponent for recognizing Delgaudio’s accomplishments in bringing improvements to Sterling.
The incumbent Loudoun County supervisor will face Democrat Koran Saines in November for the Sterling District seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Delgaudio recently answered some questions for FirewallNOVA, about his opponent, the Sterling District, Metro and various other issues, including his uncanny ability to get reelected in a Democratic district.
Delgaudio, a Republican, has won the Sterling seat in every election since 1999, making him one of the longest-serving supervisors in county history.
Anecdotally, from spending time with the group over the past few months, I can tell you that Delgaudio enjoys a strong position with area Republicans – even more than in the run-ups to past elections. During the current term in office, he survived a grand jury investigation where the key witness was a disgruntled former employee and turned back a “recall” attempt led by defeated former opponents. So he has something akin to an aura of invincibility that, from my perspective, has increased his stature among not only Sterling supporters but within the Loudoun County Republican Committee as a whole. Everyone respects a survivor.
Following is our interview with Delgaudio. FirewallNOVA looks forward to presenting similar question and answer sessions with other candidates throughout the 2015 election season.
FWN: We now know that Koran Saines has edged out Tony Barney as the Democratic nominee to challenge you in November. What was your reaction on learning of the Sterling primary results?
Until 4 pm today, voting is ongoing for the Democratic candidate to challenge incumbent Eugene Delgaudio for Sterling district supervisor in November. Voting is at the Community Center/Library near the DMV.
Candidate Tony Barney says the turnout so far has been impressive, and that there was a line out the door for quite a while after voting began.
Several people asked me about the LCRC convention and some were under the impression Eugene Delgaudio was being primaried. They were surprised he was still the GOP candidate, and more surprised he was uncontested.
I explained a little about the strength and survivor instinct and the reliability and, yes, the mystique.
A last-minute filing by Bahri Aliriza has made the nominating contest for the Democratic candidate for Sterling district supervisor into a three-way race. I know all three of these gentlemen personally. I’ve also had plenty of close-up experience with the incumbent they seek to replace, Eugene Delgaudio. To say that Tony Barney, Koran Saines, or Bahri Aliriza would be a better public servant to their neighbors than the (address uncertain) Delgaudio would be to underrate them. A ham sandwich would be a better public servant. Rather, any of these men would a godsend to the people who live in the only Loudoun district ever known to be compared by its own supervisor to a “cesspool.”
Filing for all other Loudoun races, except that of my high school classmate’s, Randy Minchew’s, is closed. With the exception of his district and Sterling, the general races now begin.
Tony “Coach” Barney is on a mission. His one-and-done game plan to defeat Eugene Delgaudio hinges on emphasizing fiduciary responsibility and promoting a different image – a “more positive direction” – for the Sterling community, building on his two decades’ history and ties here. (This is first in a series of candidate interviews at Firewall NOVA ahead of the 2015 elections)
Sterling wants to grow and Loudoun wants to grow and the only way we can grow is to work together on real issues, and be open and listen to people, and be able to compromise and negotiate, and invest in the future, and always ask the question – what is our return if we do invest?
Barney first needs to secure the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Delgaudio in the November, 2015 elections for the Sterling district seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (BOS).
If he can win the nomination, then defeat Delgaudio, after serving a single four-year term on the BOS, Barney would pass the baton to a Democratic – or Republican – successor, having “cleared” the office.
In what is certain to be one of the most closely-watched campaigns in the coming year – and not just locally – Delgaudio once again will build on his own long history in the Sterling community while fending off slings and arrows from those who disagree both with his work as supervisor and his day job as an advocate on controversial political issues.
Democrats will try to follow up a “recall” movement aimed at forcing Delgaudio from office mid-term, led by his failed previous Democrat opponents, which fizzled when dismissed by a judge. (As Barney notes in the conversation below, his personal opinion is: The way to remove Delgaudio from office is through the ballot box).
Barney’s task will not be easy. Delgaudio first won election to the Sterling supervisor seat in 1998 – making him one of the longest-serving supervisors in county history – and has beaten back fierce challenges in each subsequent contest.
In the Democrat wave election of 2007, following a Republican primary challenge and under vigorous attack by Democrats and other interest groups, Delgaudio was one of only two Republicans on the board to prevail in the general election, defeating longtime Sterling resident Jeanne West by a little more than 200 votes.
Then in 2011, Delgaudio increased his margin of victory and beat the combined vote total of two challengers: a spirited Independent and the Democrat Al Nevarez. The Democrats made an unforced error in putting up the weak candidate: a recent transplant to Sterling, “Occupy” cheerleader, Daily Kos contributor, and self-professed union activist who claimed the U.S. middle class is actually funded by the federal government.
Firewall NOVA met with Barney on election day, November 4, while Barney and his better half – Marlene – were working at the Rolling Ridge precinct. Your humble correspondent was handing out sample ballots on behalf of the Republican Party, and the Barneys for the Democrats.
Having worked across from Tony Barney at this same precinct for years, your correspondent can report that, for a Democrat, Barney is a congenial fellow – easy going and plain spoken in demeanor, who seems moderate on the ideological scale. Through the long election days Barney can be generous in sharing suggestions and observations about conservative policies and Republican Party tactics, all of which, your correspondent can assure you, are received politely and with fathomless gratitude.
In your opinion, what is the number one issue for the 2015 election?
A Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) rally which had been scheduled tomorrow evening in Sterling, featuring candidates Mark Warner and John Foust, has just been cancelled, as reported at Bearing Drift.
The DPVA had advertised the event as “Outer NOVA GOTV Rally with Senator Mark Warner, Senator Tim Kaine and John Foust” and scheduled it to take place Monday, November 3, from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm at the Sterling Community Center.
The Democrat Foust is behind in the polls by double digits in his race with Republican Barbara Comstock for the 10th Congressional District seat.
In case you were worried the unpleasantness of the past year might have hampered Eugene Delgaudio’s exuberant style, you can put that concern to rest.
The Sterling district supervisor was back in vigorous form at his campaign kickoff and fundraiser last weekend at Joe’s Pizza in Sterling, with about 80 attendees over the course of the two-plus hour event. Looking primed, rested and jovial, he seemed at full speed on the campaign trail already, and said he is extremely encouraged by what he’s hearing from constituents.
Contact: Liz Mills, Director of Media Relations and Communications, Liz.firstname.lastname@example.org
Loudoun County, VA- The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance to help identify a suspect who injured two deputies as he attempted to flee from the scene of a larceny at the Costco in Sterling, Virginia.
Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Coscto on Price Cascades Plaza around 3:45PM on Saturday for a report of a larceny in progress. A male suspect was attempting to take televisions from the store.
Deputies confronted the man and attempted to stop him from fleeing the area. The suspect entered his vehicle, closed the driver’s side door on one deputy’s hand. A second deputy attempted to grab the suspect through his window. The suspect drove away, dragging the deputy for approximately 60 feet and striking a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office patrol car. Both deputies were taken to a local hospital and have since been released.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has released still photos of the suspect and the suspect vehicle. The suspect was driving a 2004-2006 model Acura with New York tags.
If you have any information regarding the possible identity or whereabouts of this suspect, you are asked to call Detective W. Promisel of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office at 703-777-0475. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are asked to call Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1021. If the information leads to an arrest and indictment, the caller could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.
Longtime political activist and chief executive of a conservative non-profit organization, Eugene Delgaudio is also one of the longest-tenured supervisors in county history.
He seems, from one perspective, a surprising fixture on the board of supervisors, considering Loudoun voters’ tendency to flip it’s political polarity every four years.
If the Republican-Democrat-Republican cycle of the past signifies anything, it would seem to be a vacillation between extremes, the equilibrium of a spinning gyre. The board’s other survivor is Scott York, also of Sterling, who is exactly the type of middle-of-the-road, self-reinventing public figure one might expect to remain standing amid political earthquakes.
And alongside York, there is Delgaudio the lighting rod, unlikeliest of political constants.
But will the cycle of waxing and withering now, finally, claim the man in the orange hat?
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio’s attorney, Charles King, said yesterday that Loudoun County records contradict former Delgaudio employee Donna Mateer’s claim to have spent substantial time working on Delgaudio’s “Igor list” of potential political donors.
The Washington Post reports King said that between September 2011 and her firing in March 2012, county records show that Mateer made a total of 107 phone calls to numbers on the list … for a total of 2.5 hours.
Theo Stamos, Arlington County commonwealth’s attorney who led the criminal investigation of Delgaudio in 2013, will be asked to try the case. The next hearing will be held on March 25 at 2:00 pm.
Did Delgaudio’s friendliness with the Muslim community heighten animosities against him?
A thus far unmentioned aspect of the sticky situation Sterling Supervisor Delgaudio has found himself in (or, brought upon himself, depending on one’s point of view) relates to the timing of the precipitating events.
In the run up to the 2011 elections, Delgaudio had two nemeses: pro-LGBT and anti-Sharia.
The first was a given. As noted in Part 1 of this series, as long as he holds public office, Delgaudio can expect constant rough sledding because of his decades-old job as chief executive of the Public Advocate organization.
But in a strange turn of events, Delgaudio managed to tick off a segment of what might have been considered his base because of his refusal to join the “no Sharia” campaign against candidate David Ramadan.