Sterling Democrats Voting Today For Supervisor Nominee

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.

Meanwhile, Three Virginia Gentlemen…

This site, at least one other, and one, maybe two Facebook pages (hey, don’t touch that last one until the paint dries) have tracked the shockingly ugly process by which Loudoun Republicans are choosing their nominee for Sheriff. Along the way, two other races for nominations to candidacy for local office have been kind of overlooked. That’s easy to understand, perhaps, when those two are being conducted by the oft-overlooked option of suggesting that each candidate has merits they’d like their party-mates to consider, then letting the voters decide. Now, I can only say that with much certainty regarding the race to be the Democratic nominee for the Sterling district seat on the county board of supervisors. For the Republicans seeking to be the nominee in Ashburn, I only know that no one has brought anything untoward about that process to my attention. For more about that one, I’ll rely on my colleague with the funny hat.

The Sterling race, however, I do know something about. The three candidates are all good guys, and have run their campaigns accordingly. Tony Barney is my personal friend of many years. He has a lot of community support, knows how to campaign, and is one of the most decent men I’ve ever met. He’s been making his case, and forcefully so, but hasn’t tossed so much as a speck of mud at his opponents. Koran Saines has also been around for a long time, though I believe he’s only become politically active in the last couple of years. He’s a very sharp man and I’ve liked him since I first met him. He’s not a mud-slinger, either. Bahri Aliriza is making his second attempt to obtain the nomination. Another Virginia gentleman, I’ve never heard anything that tells me he plays dirty, and he deserves some credit on this go ’round for having sought to topple Eugene Delgaudio before evidence of his official misconduct came to light.

These guys are doing it with class, running for nomination without overnight Facebook pages, doctored party e-mails, or anything remotely like the finger-pointing and name-calling that’s been reported here in the Republican Sheriff’s nominating process. This is great for Democrats because it lets them say, with complete sincerity, that they’ll all be happy to support whomever is nominated tomorrow against Mr. Delgaudio. Alas, it also makes for a somewhat boring story, with less attention being drawn. Most likely, the turn-out will be very low. LCDC chair Val Suzdak has said she expects over 300 voters. I’m thinking the number will be less than half of that. That’s too bad, because these three men have all run campaigns that deserve a meaningful public response. Still, a nominee will be chosen, and it’s great to know that all three will be united with one another in that nominee’s effort to take Sterling forward in November.

The Republican Sheriff’s nominating contest is what people think politics is always like. That’s because it’s hard to ignore a noisy brawl, and easy to overlook a mannered debate. Take a moment and post it to your memory, please, that even while another contest makes the system look really bad, we also have some pretty classy guys, showing us how to make it all look good.

Three

Interview: Tony Barney, The Man Who Would Take On Delgaudio

Tony and Marlene Barney
Tony and Marlene Barney on election day, November 4, at Rolling Ridge precinct. Tony wants to challenge incumbent Eugene Delgaudio for the Sterling district seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

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)

During a recent conversation (click here to skip ahead to interview), Barney’s key themes were openness and return on investment. In a nutshell:

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.

For more background on Delgaudio, click here for a round up of stories at Firewall NOVA, and click here for an in-depth interview from the 2011 campaign.

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?

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