Transcript: Loudoun County Republican Sheriff Candidates Debate

Mike Chapman-Randy Minchew-Eric Noble
Sheriff Mike Chapman (L) faced former Loudoun County deputy Eric Noble (R) in last night’s debate, moderated by Delegate Randy Minchew.

Last night in Leesburg, Virginia, the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club held the only debate between the two candidates for the Republican nomination for the office of sheriff: Sheriff Mike Chapman and challenger Eric Noble. The nomination will be determined at the May 2 Loudoun County Republican Committee convention, to decide who will represent the party in the November 2015 elections.

The debate was well-organized, impeccably moderated by Delegate Randy Minchew, and had excellent turnout. Attendees filled the room at the Rust Library. The sound system, however, was a bit sketchy, not seeming to cover the entire room evenly, and some had a hard time hearing everything that was said. Chapman, who stood a few inches further from the microphone and has a more laid back speaking style, at some times was quite faint. So, in order to do my write up of the debate I needed to listen to my recording and transcribe most of it …. and decided, what they hey, to post it here for all of you, and for those at the event who want another shot at it. I can tell you, that reading it gives a clearer picture of what the two gentlemen were saying, than I got even from sitting in the front row. I think eventually a video will be posted, but in case you are not in the mood to watch a 1 hr, 20 min. video, the following may prove helpful.

[There may be some errors, although I think they will be minor. I edited for basic clarity – but if you compare to a recording you will see this is very close to verbatim. The format was: they rotated in order of response and the first person got a rebuttal, then there was a “speed round” with shorter time limits. Also at one point they questioned each other. You will figure it out as you read. In places where I could not tell what was said, even from listening carefully to the recording, I used an ellipsis ….. to mark any unintelligible portions. I posted a copy of the audio file at the bottom of this post – the link will stay live until around May 2. It is a WMA file so best to play on a Windows computer.]


Eric Noble Opening Statement
Convention delegates have a stark choice at this convention, when they’ll be choosing between two candidates. One that emphasizes local law enforcement, and puts deputies on the street, and a local policing model that is proactive rather than reactive. The other is built on experience gained in a federal bureaucracy where the commanders at the head office are often out of touch and out of step with what’s going on in the street. But they put a premium on press releases, and their management style is reactive, not proactive.

Let me give you just one example. The Silver Line is coming in 2018, and I’ve talked to agencies that had train stations open up recently. And what you hear from those folks is real concern. I’ll give you an example. At Tyson’s Corner Mall, the day the Silver Line opened, they had a crime issue, and it’s still there. Yet with Metro on the horizon, Mike just issued a five year plan, and nowhere in that plan does it talk about the Silver Line at all. On the other hand, I have a proactive plan: Identify and baseline the metrics today, so that we can understand the problem when that train station does open. I’m talking about developing enforcement and education strategies so that on the day that ribbon is cut, and hits the ground, we’re in a position to address both public safety and quality of life issues.

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