In order to deal with some family issues that often take her out of the area, Neabsco School Board member Julie Lucas announced she will resign her seat, according to the News & Messenger. This is a huge blow to the board and the citizens of Prince William County, as Julie has been among the very best best on the board and a strongly rising star in the county’s political arena. It will also inevitable set off a mad scramble to fill her seat, which has drawn some of the nuttiest challengers ever seen in Prince William County elections. Not only are we losing a strong voice on the school board for fiscal discipline and accountability and a strong potential candidate for higher elected office, but setting the stage for what might be an incredibly dissapointing circus.
This seat has been targeted in the past by such leftist nutcases as Manes Pierre, who ran for the board despite being barred by the police from entering school property, and Belkacem Hacene-Djaballah, a radical left-winger with ties to Mexicans Without Borders. The Neabsco district also saw such curious candidates such as Aracely Panameno, an activist for illegal aliens with close ties to Tenants and Workers United, who ran as a write-in candidate against Supervisor John Jenkins. There’s something about this District that brings out some truly bizarre candidates to challenge strong incumbents in utterly hopeless campaigns, and no doubt when the process starts to select a replacement for Julie Lucas, some real fruitcakes will emerge from the woodwork to amuse us. Hopefully among those contenders will be someone who isn’t certifiably insane.
Perhaps even more saddening about this development is that we’re losing someone who could be a real political contender for state-level office in the near future. Julie has regularly racked up huge electoral victories in her district, is well known and well liked in the county, and would be a top-tier candidate to take on Senator Toddy Puller. After redistricting, the opportunities for someone like Julie — who has a strong record of appealing to Democrats as well as Republicans while not selling out on her conservative principles — are tremendous. She’s well known outside of the county, is a proven fundraiser, and has the experience of going through a very tough primary fight for a seat in the House of Delegates in 2007. That’s a pretty rare set of qualifications.
Let’s hope Julie is successful in dealing with the challenges her family is faced with and comes back soon. We need her.
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