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And Then There Were Three

By Greg L | 23 May 2011 | 13th VA Senate, Virginia Senate, Prince William County | 26 Comments

Current Gainesville Supervisor John Stirrup announced today that he’s running for Senate in the 13th District, joining Bob Fitzsimmonds and Dick Black in what should be a very interesting primary between three of Northern Virginia’s top conservative warriors.  Any one of these thrown into the RINO collection that is known as the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus (with apologies to the excellent Mark Obenshain) is going to shake that moribund, near-useless excuse for a legislative body to its foundations.

This sets up an interesting race in the Gainesville District to replace John Stirrup in this solidly conservative magisterial district.  County planning commission member Martha Hendley, Pete Candland and Suzanne Miller (not related to Delegate Jackson Miller) have all been running not-so-quiet races over the past several weeks to succeed John Stirrup, and more candidates could possibly emerge.

Martha has done a great job on the planning commission, and moving from planning commissioner to district supervisor isn’t a great leap.  Martha is about as warm and kind as she is principled and she has a pretty solid record to run on as well as a tremendous expertise in land use and zoning.  Insiders have been expressing concerns that she may be a little too elderly to connect with voters well and vigorously mount a campaign, however.  I’m not sure that’s the case, but the truth of the matter will emerge pretty quickly as this campaign goes into overdrive.

Pete Candland has been an activist for a while and appears to have a platform that will connect with the electorate.  He’s young and dynamic and if people get to know him they’d probably like him a lot.  The hurdle for Pete is that few seem to know him outside of a few insiders and committee members.  Campaigns can fix that if they’re run well, and the people who have been calling me over the past few days to urge my support of his candidacy are top-notch.  Pete is a serious challenger here and may even have the inside track at this point.

Suzanne Miller is a complete neophyte, though.  Nobody knows her.  She’s done precisely nothing before starting to run and has only recently started showing up at Republican Committee meetings.  I have no idea at all why she’s in this race.  Whoever advised her that she has a shot here was evidently stoned or intoxicated at the time.  You don’t get elected in politically attuned Gainesville when the first time anyone has ever even seen you was when you informed them you were running for office, even if you have the same name as Delegate Jackson Miller’s well-loved and completely awesome wife.  Suzanne Miller the wife of Delegate Jackson Miller would get voted into office at the front of a popular tidal wave.  Suzanne Miller the previously unheard of wannabe politician, not so much.

Between the 13th Senate primary and the Gainesville Supervisor primary, and then the 87th House District primary, this election season is going to make Gainesville a pretty crazy place.

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  1. Riley said on 23 May 2011 at 12:57 pm:
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    Plus Stirrup’s entry into this race should help Jeanine Lawson turn out lots of supporters in the four Brentsville precincts of the 13th Dist.

  2. Allison said on 23 May 2011 at 3:30 pm:
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    I will be sorry to lose Supervisor Stirrup - but I believe Martha would represent us well as our Gainesville supervisor. GO MARTHA!!!!

  3. Dave Core said on 23 May 2011 at 4:04 pm:
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    And where are the Republicans running in the 29th?

    [Ed note: no one yet, as far as I know. There has been some polling in the district so it seems there’s interest, however.]

  4. Franco said on 23 May 2011 at 4:12 pm:
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    Pete announced he was running before Stirrup made his decision public. Not cool. Martha held back until John announced.

  5. anon said on 23 May 2011 at 4:32 pm:
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    Land Use is a key component of the Gainesville District because of the undeveloped land. Martha’s land use credentials are solid. What type of land use experience does Pete Candland or Suzanne Miller have? The voters of Gainesville certainly don’t want another Ed Wilbourn situation on their hands.

  6. Patty said on 23 May 2011 at 5:05 pm:
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    I got news for you. Many in West Gate and Sudley would like to encourage a couple of people in our neck of the woods to run for Supervisor. We’re sick of those who live in gated communities and on property out west who make decisions that affect our neighborhoods and barely set foot here.

    If the majority of people in the West Gate/Sudley area supported one of our own, that candidate would win for sure. There are more of us than those out in the western part of the district.

  7. Greg L said on 23 May 2011 at 5:40 pm:
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    Actually, that statement would more likely be true of it were referring to what has been the Bull Run precinct, where 98% of residents are registered to vote and turnout runs about twice as high as a precinct like Sinclair. Bull Run will deliver twice the net margin of votes for a Republican candidate than would a precinct like Stonewall (see 2007 results on SBE if you want to dig deeper).

    The fact is that of the Stonewall/Sinclair/Westgate precincts, only Stonewall has a fairly decent turnout while Sinclair and Westgate pretty much are a wash because of low turnout, low interest, and a pretty evenly divided partisan split. As an electoral base the area is marginal at best compared to the rest of Gainesville. That goes for Mullen as well.

    Evergreen, Alvey, Battlefield, Bull Run and Mountain View decide who wins in the Gainesville District. The rest of the precincts are just noise in comparison and are swamped by the results that crash in from the western precincts. Anyone running in Gainesville is rightly going to focus there, especially during a compressed election cycle like this year.

  8. Maureen said on 23 May 2011 at 8:09 pm:
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    Go John!!!!

  9. Patty said on 24 May 2011 at 7:50 am:
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    Many seniors who lived in this area moved to the Heritage Hunt. There are some ties there. Also, there are some ties to parts of Battlefield as well. Remember a good chunk of Gainesville, Lake Manassas area (Wilbourn) got dumped into Brentsville.

    I truly believe someone in our neck of the woods would have a good shot especially if turnout is good in this area. Also, I truly believe that a candidate from this area would inspire turnout in Sinclair, West Gate….

  10. O. P. Ditch said on 24 May 2011 at 8:09 am:
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    Both Martha and Jeannine on the same BOCS??? wow! What a conservative lean that will be, way to go ladies. Wish I were still in VA for that likely awesome reign. Keep your head down Marty.

  11. Loudoun Insider said on 24 May 2011 at 9:59 am:
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    There was quite the drama last night at the LCRC meeting over which candidate is the rightful heir to the Ken Cuccinelli endorsement. Maybe you can get to the bottom of that, Greg!

  12. Steve Randolph said on 24 May 2011 at 12:06 pm:
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    Too Conservative has a good thread up on last night’s LCRC meeting.

    Apparently all three candidates claim they have been endorsed by Cuccinelli.


  13. John C said on 24 May 2011 at 12:30 pm:
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    Martha voted against lights at the ballfields for the kids at Catharpin Park. The initial Planning Commission decision to deny lights at Catharpin Park was overturned by John and others at the BOS level. Ms. Hendley only seemed to be concerned about people living on Pageland Lane, not her constituents with the many kids that play ball at Catharpin and other parks. If she were elected, she would have to represent the interests of all within her district, including the 1000s of subdivision residents, not just the single family homes/farms in the rural crescent. She has not done that in the past.

  14. Patty said on 24 May 2011 at 3:33 pm:
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    John C,

    Your response is a typical STUPID response from people who don’t care about others homes and their quality of life. I wouldn’t want a light beaming inside my house at night just to appease some parents’ fantasy of their kid being a star athlete. (Besides I think kids should be home at night).

    Homes should be a primary concern. It is where people live and have some measure of privacy and enjoyment. A home is the biggest asset that most people have and property values are extremely important.

    Tell us where you live so we can pressure the Board to put something near your home that YOU DON’T WANT.

    Do you want lights beaming inside your house when you want to go to sleep? Do you want a cell tower next to your house? We know how you can get one.

    Go crawl back under your rock, you who only cares about himself.

  15. The BulletProof Monk said on 25 May 2011 at 1:02 am:
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    S. Randolph, if that’s what passes for good in your life, I’m sorry. He got the exchange by Fitz correct, but little else. Stay tuned for real information coming from other sources.

  16. Steve Randolph said on 25 May 2011 at 9:42 am:
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    As a side note, apparently Democrats also have some “interesting”
    meetings - “Insanity in Fairfax”.

  17. Joe Doc said on 25 May 2011 at 3:41 pm:
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    Stirrup, Black, Fitzsimmonds… I’d have voted for any one of them. But when push comes to shove, Stirrup gets my vote.

  18. Gainesville District Resident said on 26 May 2011 at 7:04 am:
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    Martha is the clear pick for the Gainesville residents. Only a fool would say Martha is “too elderly” for the job. That or they wanted to run for the seat and realized they didn’t have a snowball’s chance in he!! of winning. Who made such a stupid statement? Martha’s votes on the Planning Commission have been in the best interest of those living in West Gate of Lomond and Sudley.

  19. Patty said on 26 May 2011 at 9:31 am:
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    I don’t know who John C is but his comments were way off base.

    Yes, we do appreciate Martha’s votes especially in reference to the elementary school and the eyesore cell tower. It is too bad Supervisor Stirrup didn’t listen to her about the cell tower.

    I do believe she understands that in order to protect the rural area they need to take care of the older neighborhoods. That is key.

  20. Patty said on 26 May 2011 at 11:19 am:
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    Now there are six:


  21. Harry said on 26 May 2011 at 9:03 pm:
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    FitzSimmons is not going to run, he has a job as deputy clerk and for the forst time in his life makes more than $40k/yr

  22. Greg L said on 26 May 2011 at 10:09 pm:
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    You been living under a rock lately? What do you think Bob has been doing for the past six months?

  23. Lovettsville Lady said on 27 May 2011 at 2:16 am:
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    FitzSimmons told me that he’s running, and he’s spending a lot of time with us in Loudoun.

  24. Betty Boop (aka Bruce Metcalf, Peggy Green, etc.) said on 30 May 2011 at 3:26 pm:
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    Greg L, don’t you mean “And then there were two and a half”? Stirrup has the endorsement of the moderate establishment. This means he’s half candidate, half pint.

  25. Greg L said on 30 May 2011 at 4:13 pm:
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    Posting from work today, troll? If you really value your job at US Customs and Border Patrol/Department of Homeland Security, I suggest you stop acting like an ass and start doing the job my taxpayer dollars are funding.

    Funny that someone whining that some candidate isn’t conservative enough is doing so while screwing off in a federal government job. Some great conservative values you’re promoting there Betty Boop, or whatever your name happens to be today.

    I’d hate to think those values might reflect those of your preferred candidate, Dick Black.

  26. Loudoun Insider said on 30 May 2011 at 6:26 pm:
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    Too funny, but hypocrites and Dick Black seem to get along just fine.

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