Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) will be continuing the 10th Congressional District Young Women Leadership Program this year. The 10th Congressional District Young Women Leadership Program provides young women currently enrolled in middle school and high school with the opportunity to meet and interact with women who hold leadership roles and have built successful careers in government, business, medicine, media relations, and other professions.
Through this unique, bipartisan program participants can engage with their peers and special guests in candid, roundtable discussions while sharing insights, advice, and stories. Participants will also learn about career opportunities in various fields, the legislative process, develop their leadership skills, identify their strengths, and practice effective communication with others to inspire their educational and career goals.
A special guest or a panel of special guests will be invited to participate in each program. The program is scheduled to begin in June and will continue through the end of August. There will be periodic events, about two to four a month, throughout the 10th Congressional District and at the U.S. Capitol.
Congresswoman Barbara Comstock's office will review and consider applications from young women who are currently enrolled in middle school or high school (public, private or home schooled). Priority placement will be given to applicants who reside or attend school in the 10th District. Applicants will be selected on the quality of the application, their willingness to commit to this program, as well as their desire to build their own young professional network.
For more information on the program contact Congresswoman Comstock's office at 202-225-5136.
Congresswoman Barbara Comstock today announced that the annual 10th Congressional District Military Academy Day will be held Saturday, Apr. 2, from 10am to 1pm at the Loudoun County Public School Administration building located at 21000 Education Court, Ashburn. The event is free and open to all students, parents and guidance staff who are interested in learning more about the nation's service academies.
Representatives from all of the service academies Army, Navy, Air Force, Merchant Marine and Coast Guard will be in attendance. Representatives from the Marine Corps ROTC program, the Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Military Institute, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and The Citadel have also been invited. Additionally, the American Legion and Randolph-Macon Academy will be represented. Beginning at 10:30am until noon, a formal presentation will commence. Each of the academies will make a presentation and students will be able to meet with admissions staff and ask questions.
For questions, contact Mary Ann Cannon in Congresswoman Comstock's office at 703-404-6903 or by email atMaryann.Cannon@mail.house.gov.
Outgoing Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) Chairman Mike Haynes has announced that Will Estrada was elected by the membership of the LCRC to serve as the committee’s next Chairman after Estrada’s unopposed bid. His term will begin in March.
“I am excited to see the new leadership team led by Will quickly becoming involved,” stated Haynes. “I’m turning over the reins to a very capable person and have every confidence in Will’s leadership.”
As an experienced LCRC leader, serving previously as the committee’s Second Vice Chairman, and a public policy veteran on the local, state, and national stages, Will Estrada possesses the experience and vision necessary to achieve widespread Republican victories for the Commonwealth’s bellwether county in November, said Haynes “Will Estrada is exactly the type of leader that the LCRC needs going into this election cycle, and I’m excited that the LCRC membership has selected him.”
The Purcellville Town Council approved a text amendment to increase the maximum enrollment of a residential day care from six to 12 during the Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 23. The vote was 6-1, with Council member Doug McCollum voting "nay."
Purcellville resident Ana Maria Uceda requested a zoning ordinance to increase the enrollment in all zoning districts from six to 12. The Town ordinance currently only allows for six children, while the State allows for 12. The State licensing department informed her that the town ordinance has to be followed. She had originally requested the increase only for R-8 (townhouse developments), where she runs her business. The Planning Commission held public hearings on Nov. 19, and staff developed alternate regulations and added additional standards to mitigate the impacts of the increased enrollment. A second public hearing was held on Jan. 7 of this year. Staff recommended approval but the Planning Commission was split with a 4-2 vote.
Council member Doug McCollum explained his â€œnayâ€ vote, which he registered at the Planning Commission level, where he serves as chair. "In the version prepared by the P/C and Staff," he said, "there was language in the 18 standards that required exterior changes meet the Town’s zoning ordinances. However, the Planning Commission accepted a motion to amend that standard to delete any reference to zoning. Since I believe exterior changes may create controversy," I voted against the standards as amended. I continued that position before the Council."
Applicants must meet the 18 standards to expand a home day care business to twelve.
Loudoun Valley High School seniors who volunteered once they found out their teacher would be working at the polls on March 1: pictured (l to r), Haley Crosser, Justin Taylor, U.S. Gov and History Teacher Kimberly Vegliante, Joseph Stephens, Jordan Croson. Photo by Gazette.
By Liz Tenney Jarvis.
March 1, Super Tuesday, was just that for Loudoun County Public School students who had no classes, but even more so for those high school seniors who registered to vote, taking their first steps into adulthood. The Loudoun County Public School system worked together with the County’s Office of Elections in order to conduct a 2015-2016 High School Voter Registration Program. The program, partnering with the county’s high school social science teachers, ensured that students understood the voting process and made them aware of the voter registration deadlines. Students who would be 18 years old by November 8, 2016 were allowed to register to vote in the March 1, 2016 Presidential Primary if they met the registration deadline of February 8, 2016. Through the High School Voter Registration Program, more than 2,100 high school seniors who were eligible to vote in the March 1 primary were registered.
This was the first year for the Office of Elections’ Loudoun outreach program. In previous years, The League of Women Voters would hold the high school registrations for the Office of Elections. Jennifer Beckley, Outreach Coordinator for the Loudoun County Office of Elections, talked about the manner in which young voters were once educated and registered: “In previous years, the Voter Registration Office prepared the applications and materials for the League of Women voters to register the students. They picked up the materials and did their best to schedule with each school in the county. This process took five to six months, January through May. After each presentation, a volunteer would stop by the County Registration Office and drop off the daily registration forms from the school classes they registered. In 2014, the League successfully registered 1,062 students in five months. Our office asked the Board of Supervisors to recognize the League for their many years of service to the students and schools, which they did. There was a presentation given by BOS Chairman Scott York to the Chairman of the League, Priscilla Godfrey and Jean Brown in 2015.”
According to Beckley, the outreach program got its start with William Brazier, Supervisor of Social Science and Global Studies at LCPS’ Administration Building. Beckley and Loudoun County General Registrar Judy Brown had a meeting with Brazier in May 2015 to discuss the idea of voter registration in the schools and partnering with the social science teachersâ€”trying to get into every high school.
Beckley states, “He loved the idea but said it was a decision that was beyond him and directed us to Ms. Nereida C. Gonzalez-Sales, Director of Education. Judy Brown and I both reached out to her and we were then invited to attend an October 14, 2015 Principals meeting to pitch the program. We attended the meeting with the Principals, and after the November 3, 2015 election we heard from the Stone Bridge High School and Loudoun Valley High School Principals â€¦ they wanted in the program.”
Beckley believes it was smart for the both schools, as “we were able to have senior assemblies and get the students excited before Christmas break – these schools missed the snow storm and their students got registered.”
Beckley says they went with a “youthful approach” and presented a powerpoint presentation and ceremony to the schools. The presentation highlights included an education covering such topics as: Why Should We Vote?, Importance of Voting, How To Register To Vote, When To Vote, Absentee Voting, and a ceremonial oath and registration statement as a conclusion to the program. The timing of the presentation also hit home for seniors as many prepare to leave high school.
For those leaving Loudoun County to pursue further education, Beckley makes the point that students must learn about the voting process: “They must know how to absentee vote and stay civically engaged while away at school.” Beckley cites an example, saying, “They go off to school and end up registering in Harrisonburg or Charlottesville when their parents are living in Loudoun and paying taxes in Loudoun. Students come home for break and show up at their polling locations, sometimes with their parents and try to vote. However, they are stilled registered back at school.Â If they were registered in high school and voted absentee while away, they would have stayed engaged and never would have compromised their vote or had to have been told they cannot vote because ‘youâ€™re registered in the wrong county.’ It happens too much, but we can fix this. This is why our partnership with the high schools is so vital.Â Educating the students about voting is a lifelong lesson.”
An example of this lifelong lesson might be Betty Sue Longerbeam, who graduated from Loudoun County HS in 1956 and has been the Chief Election Officer in Philomont for 40 years. Beckley states, “She is loved by everyone because she does so much good work.”
Eight years ago, when Presidential Primaries were held, there was a youth movement as well, as the County’s Office of Elections indicates: “Students were actively engaged, running voter drives and going door to door. What we are seeing with this election are large registration enrollment, students are signing up to work as Election Officers â€¦ so are their parents! When the voter card shows up in the mail notifying the student they are registered to vote, we insert a flyer stating we need election officers to work on Election Day, and we pay $145 for the service. Parents are getting informed and signing up as well.Â Teachers are telling us that students are bringing their voter cards into school and telling their teachers that they plan to go to the polls with their folks on March 1st. How cool is that?”
Students who worked at the polls during this year’s Presidential Primary included four Loudoun Valley High School seniors, who arrived at 5am in order to work a full-day shift, until 9pm, with their 12th grade U.S. Government and History Teacher Kimberly Vegliante. The students thoroughly enjoyed their work as Election Officers. Their collective opinion was that, as Vegliante said, “The experience allowed them to see the vast diversity in Purcellville. It was great to meet members of the community in which they live. Students also agreed hands down that this was one of the most educational experiences they have ever had. For the first time they actually lived through what they were learning about in class and it feels great to understand the process first-hand.” Participating in the process with the students also left Vegliante with a deep reflection on the day: “This is true service learning. Today, for the first time in my three years teaching, I actually felt like I inspired students and made a difference in their lives. For that I will always be grateful for Jordan (Croson), Shane, Haley (Crosser), and Justin (Taylor)."
Every high school in the county with a senior class attempted to participate in the High School Voter Registration Program. School administration and faculty that were able to do so (Woodgrove was not due to inclement weather) were enthusiastic about it. Loudoun Valley’s Social Science Dept. Chair Rodney M. Jones, Jr. spoke about the program, saying, “Our government teachers, who are outstanding, made sure to explain the importance of registering to vote and the Office of Elections did a great presentation. Also, our students are interested in the issues and especially this year's presidential election.”
Jones also felt it was essential in the registration process to reflect on the the privilege of voting: “Voting is a very important aspect of our society. Many have fought and died to preserve this aspect over the years. My hope is that the students realize the power they have in voting. A lot of students look forward to casting their first vote and hope that it makes a difference. I know it makes a difference because they have stood up and made their voice heard. That is powerful.”
LVHS Principal Ross was in agreement, stating, “Traditionally, we have worked with the Board of Elections to ensure that our seniors are made aware of the opportunity to register to vote each year. Our students have a long history of involvement with the election process and we are grateful that our students, teachers, parents, and entire community deeply value being engaged and involved in the processes that serve as the foundation of democracy in our country.”
The weather was not cooperating when Woodgrove High School tried to schedule and reschedule the Office of Elections presentation, according to Principal Shipp. Shipp, however, expressed the importance of the process: “Our government teachers shared with the students the online registration site and the deadlines for registering. In addition, teachers discussed the importance of voting in local elections, since many times these elections can have a significant impact on their lives. The classes have been following the races through current events each class period“ and some of our students did attend a political rally held locally yesterday (Sunday, February 28). We've made school-wide announcements and teachers have continued to remind eligible students to participate in the election.”
Office of Elections Outreach Coordinator Beckley hopes that the process can be streamlined when it comes to scheduling the presentations so that they are on the agenda each school year just like graduation.
Beckley addressed the home school population by stating that the students were kept apprised of voter deadlines and the registration process. She says, “I had several home school students attend the Page Program workshop and volunteer in the November 2015 Election. We have home school students stop in with their parents all the time and register to vote. The parents do a good job staying affiliated with Loudoun County programs and keeping their kids registered to vote. They visit our website to stay engaged about programs and registration.”
The high number of eligible high school students who registered were testimony to the success of the Voter Registration Program. Beckley concluded by saying, “It was my honor to be in the presence of such talented teachers, educators, smart students and dedicated patriot partners to make this happen. Our staff at the Office of Elections works hard all year long to make each election run smooth and problem-free for our citizens. The best gift in return is when they show up and vote.”
1956 Loudoun County HS graduate, Betty Sue Longerbeam, has been Chief Election Officer in Philomont for 40 years. Contributed photo.
By Judy Stearns.
The Loudoun County town elections are being held on Tuesday, May 3. The required candidate paperwork and petitions were due at the end of business on Tuesday, March 1. The following are the candidates for each town as reported by the Loudoun County Board of Elections.
Hamilton – Three council seats are open; Incumbents Kenneth C. White, Mathew L. Clark and John D. Unger filed for another four year term. The Mayor serves a four year term with two more years left.
Lovettsville – Incumbent Mayor Robert J. Zoldos is running unopposed. The mayor term is two years. Three council seats are open, with the incumbents Michael T. Senate and Jim D. McIntyre seeking another four year term and Robert D. Gentile declaring his candidacy.
Middleburg – Sitting Mayor Betsy Allen Davis is the only candidate for the mayoral seat. She is seeking another two year term. One incumbent, Trowbridge M. Littleton, is running for another four year term, while newcomers J. Kevin Daly and Tony C. Pearce are seeking one of the three open seats.
Purcellville- It's a crowded field with many candidates for the combined two year mayoral seat, three four-year open council seats and a special election for a seat with two years remaining, vacated by Vice Mayor Ben Packard in January. Mayor Kwasi Fraser is running for re-election, having served one term, facing off against Council member Joan Lehr, who is coming up to the end of her second four-year term. Both are certified by the Board of Elections. Candidates for council also certified are T. Chris Bledsoe, Chris J. Hamilton and Nedim Ogelman and incumbents Patrick McConville II and John A. Nave. Filed but not yet certified are Sam P. Chapman and Ryan J. Cool. The Special Election field includes Melanie Fuller, who is currently the interim council member to replace Packard, Kelli Grim and Sandy Nave. Only Sandy Nave is certified.
Judy Brown, General Registrar for the Board of Elections, said she has three days to certify the candidates and the signatures on their petitions.
The winner of the Special Election will take office immediately when certified. The others will be take office July 1.
Round Hill - Mayor Scott T. Ramsey is seeking re-election. For the three open council seats, incumbent Mary Anne K. Graham and candidates Mike K. Minshall and Kim D. Fortunato.
All town elections will be held May 3, with elected officials taking office in July; the exceptions are Hillsboro and Leesburg, who will hold their elections on November 8.
Primary voters in Virginia were out in force on Super Tuesday, March 1. Virginia was one of 13 states that held presidential primaries that day, playing a big role in the results, especially for the Republican Party where turnout was higher than normal.
On Sunday, Feb. 28, presidential candidate hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) energized his supporters in a 45-minute speech at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Purcellville before a packed gymnasium of three-thousand from the community and surrounding area. Purcellville was one of Rubio's four-stop Virginia blitz ahead of Super Tuesday, which included other appearances in Midlothian, Virginia Beach and Salem. And it paid off for Rubio in Loudoun County, with 20,845 primary votes (40.35%); however, he did not win the Republican primary vote for the state; Donald Trump took first with 355,944 votes (34.81%) to Rubio's 326,904 (31.97%).
The Florida senator was welcomed Sunday afternoon by PHC president Jack Haye, followed by PHC Chancellor Mike Farris, who led the prayer, and former U.S. Senator and Virginia governor George Allen. John Whitbeck, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) formally introduced Sen. Rubio. Comstock is credited by many in the party for delivering the 10th District to Rubio through her endorsement and her appearance with him at PHC.
Also attending were local elected leaders including Blue Ridge District Supervisor Tony R. Buffington and Blue Ridge District School Board member Jill Turgeon, Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser, and Town Council member Joan Lehr, among others.
Attending the rally with his son Darius, Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser said, “We thank Senator Rubio for choosing Purcellville, the economic hub and engine of Western Loudoun, as the platform from which to inform the citizens of Loudoun County and Northern Virginia where he stands on key issues."
Mike Kaber, Jr. brought his grandmother, Grace Gonzales, from West Virginia about 20 minutes away to the Rubio Rally. Kaber said, “She is Cuban American and wanted to come to see Senator Rubio.” West Virginia’s presidential primary will be held March 15.
Susan Davis of Purcellville said she came to see Marco Rubio because, “He is here in our town. It is a critical election; we are down to the wire. I came to hear more of what he has to say. Hillary and Trump seem to be in the lead right now. I wanted to see for myself if the nation is waking up. I am not sure where our country is going.” As far as Super Tuesday and its importance, she said, “It is important for every American to vote to have him (Rubio) on the ballot.”
Diana and Raja Panchal of Waterford said they came to the rally to “hear what Rubio has to say, his thoughts on our country and what he is going to do to make it better.” Raja said of Super Tuesday, “This will shape the general election and the political nominees for each party.” He said that he is concerned that so many are drawn to Trump, whose behavior and words are “disconcerting and not that of a potential leader. We are on the world stage; it is not positive and is more fitting of a reality show, not from someone who could lead the most powerful country in the world.”
Waterford resident Heidi Mitter was happy to attend the rally, as it gave her a better understanding of who the candidate is as a person. "Unlike the debates we have seen on television, a rally really gives a better perspective of the candidate," said Mitter.
Cpl. Paul Kakol of the Purcellville Police Department worked inside the rally and assisted in escorting Sen. Rubio around the large crowds, and when the event was over he escorted the Rubio's campaign entourage of vehicles out of Purcellville.
He said, "I was pleased that we had a successful rally and was impressed he came to Purcellville. It was fun to see a piece of the presidential process take place here in our small town. Patrick Henry College was a great venue and the staff were exceptional hosts. Fortunately, we had support from the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office and the Sheriff's Office, as well as the Loudoun County Volunteer Fire Department and several staff members at PHC. He noted that traffic became a challenge that afternoon as the attendance was far greater than expected. "With quick coordination of the departments we were able to move traffic along, however quite slowly," said Kakol.
And if all of that excitement was not enough for our western Loudoun towns, a Ben Carson for President Motor coach was spotted in Hamilton on the morning of Super Tuesday. Sue Phillips, owner of the health food store in Hamilton, walked outside her storefront on Colonial Highway to see Presidential Candidate Ben Carson's tour bus parked out front. Carson's bus driver is a regular shopper at the Merc and was just picking up his typical order, according to Phillips, "The driver mentioned to Phillips that he would be picking Carson up in Baltimore later that day. â€œIt was very exciting to have his bus here; we had several cameras capturing the moment" said Phillips.
Election Results in Western Loudoun
A total of 1,807,808 votes were cast in Virginia, leaving Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump winning the Republican primary vote in Virginia with 355,913 votes (34.81%) and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton winning Virginia with 503,351 votes (64.30%).
In Loudoun County, 87,866 primary votes were cast, of which 51,733 votes were on the Republican ticket. Rubio had the most votes with 20,845 (40.35%) while Trump finished second with 14,420 votes (27.91%) and Ted Cruz coming in a distant third with 7,696 (14.90%) votes. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton received 21,171 votes to the 14,719 Sanders received.
In the Blue Ridge District, a total of 14,528 primary votes were cast of which 9,235 votes were for those on the Republican ticket. Republican front-runner presidential candidate Donald Trump received 2,598 votes while Marco Rubio received 3,801. Coming in third place, Ted Cruz received 1,424 votes with the rest of the votes going to John Kasich with 922 votes and 414 with Ben Carson. Hillary Clinton received 3,094 votes, winning over Sanders's 2,168.
In the Catoctin District, a total of 11,902 votes were cast. Republican front-runner presidential candidate Donald Trump received 2,372 votes in the district while Marco Rubio received 2,853. Coming in third place, Ted Cruz received 1,416 votes. Democrat Hillary Clinton received a total of 2,280 votes while Sanders received 1,653 votes.
In the Leesburg District, a total of 9,323 votes were cast. Republican front-runner presidential candidate Donald Trump received 1,386 votes in the district while Marco Rubio received 2,165 votes. Coming in third place, Ted Cruz received 822 votes. Democrat Hillary Clinton received a total of 2,186 votes while Sanders received 1,783 votes.
By Judy Stearns.
The Purcellville Town Council, in a unanimous vote (6-0), appointed Melanie Fuller to fill the council seat left vacant when Vice Mayor Ben Packard resigned in January; he and his family will be relocating. In accordance with State Code, a special election will be held on the day of the regular mayor and council election, May 3. That person will be certified and be seated immediately to serve out the two years remaining on Packard's four-year term.
Fuller, who has a background in accounting and HR, currently serves on the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Economic Development Advisory Committee. She is planning on resigning from the BZA when she fills Packard's position. In her cover letter, Fuller said, "I have an understanding of the differences in how government works and the collaborative efforts required to bring all stakeholders to a consensus in order to make our town the best place it can be." She has lived and worked in Purcellville since 2006.
Fuller will take the oath of office administered by Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens at a mutually-arranged time.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the community. I am going to be running for Council in the upcoming election but I still have not decided on two year or four year term," Fuller said.
The council interviewed four candidates on Tuesday evening, February 16 and then went into Executive Session to consider the applicants. Those interviewed besides Fuller were: Eamon Coy, Chair of the Parks, Recreation Advisory Board; Dr. James O. Wiley, who served two terms on the town council from 2006 to 2014, and Amanda Athilia Kadilak, resident since 2006. Ronald B. Rise, Jr was the alternate if someone was unable to make the interview.
In a Tuesday, Feb. 16 statement, Vice Mayor Patrick McConville II said he has been busy in the community obtaining signatures for re-election this May. "I am encouraged by the positive feedback and support within the community. I do truly love this Town and all the amenities it has to offer," he said.
"We have a beautiful park in the middle of Town," he said, "where you can watch a summer wooden bat baseball league. We have many wineries and breweries as a place to get together with friends. We have many wonderful restaurants to feed your family and celebrate birthdays. We have community events such as the Wine and Food Festival, the Purcellville Music and Arts Festival and Loudoun Grown Expo. All of these provide entertainment opportunities, jobs for our residents, bring tourists and revenues to invest in our community. I have supported them in the past and will continue to do so in the future."
"In the future, we have many choices as a community to make in terms of increasing recreation opportunities, looking at water and sewer rates and finding both alternate and innovative ways to reduce the bills as well as addressing solutions in front of us today, and the potential for growth in and around Purcellville, " he said. "I welcome discussions as I am walking around over the next few months. Please feel free to speak to me if you see me in a grocery store or shop."
McConville is seeking another term to enhance Purcellville and create more opportunities for local businesses to thrive. "I can't wait to serve the people of Purcellville for another four years and welcome any support you give me," the statement read.
Patrick McConville may be reached at email@example.com.