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PWC Candidates Certified

By Greg L | 16 June 2011 | Prince William County | 23 Comments

For most of the races in Prince William County, the list of certified candidates is now official.  About the only deviation from conventional wisdom is that Corey Stewart will not be facing a challenger for the Republican nomination for County Chairman.  The rest of the candidate list is pretty much as expected, with contested nominations in the Gainesville, Coles and Brentsville Districts for Supervisor and a contested nomination for 36th Senate.

Since many of the challengers, or candidates running for an open seat, are new to many out there, here’s a brief rundown of my impressions.

Gainesville District race:

Martha Hendley is a current appointee on the Planning Commission who has been a slow-growth advocate for many years.  On the planning commission she does her homework and is definitely more of a constituent’s advocate than someone who defers to staff or development interests.  She’s run in the past for this seat, being narrowly beaten by Ed Wilborn in 1999.  She refused to support Wilborn after the primary which ruffled a few feathers, but given how Wilborn worked out I don’t think anyone holds any grudges.

Her experience and history are a strong positive but she’s quite a bit older than someone you typically see running for their first elected office, and how that might impact the dynamics is yet to be seen.  She’s in good health however, so there’s not any evidence to suggest she isn’t going to run as hard as anyone else. She also has plenty of support from insiders who have worked with her over the years.

If she gets the nomination, I think her chances to win are excellent, and I have no doubt she would do a fine job as Supervisor for Gainesville.  Martha is one of the serious candidates in this race.

Peter Candland is one of those dream candidates the Republican Party should be training for a run for office.  He’s the president of his Homeowner’s Association, he’s been a conservative activist for some years, he’s got charm and a good looking family, and he’s young enough to have plenty of time working his way up the political ladder.  Pete reminds me a lot of Delegate Jackson Miller in many ways.

One of the reasons I draw that comparison is that he’s a smart candidate.  He’s raising money, has got some good staff, and is running a professional campaign.  He’s consistently been the first among the pack to start holding campaign events, get his website up, and start knocking on doors.  He’s still learning though, and jumped the gun announcing John Stirrup’s decision to run for Senate instead of re-election which ruffled a few feathers.  Now that he has competent staff, I expect we won’t see any further minor gaffes like that.

Peter would run a ferocious campaign if he got the nomination, and likely do very well in a general election as well as on the Board.  This young man has a future in public service, and he would be a good pick also.

Steve Botello is a friend who got into politics about the same time I did, and we cut our teeth knocking doors for Jackson Miller during his 2006 campaign.  Since then he’s taken on a number of leadership roles in the local Committee and been through the bumps and bruises of internal party politics.  He’s a fun guy, definitely a party stalwart, and a hard worker.  I had the honor of being the first signature on his petition.

Steve is one of those “on the bubble” candidates to me.  He might be ready for this, and he might not be, but the experience regardless will be useful for him.  I’m not too impressed by “Team Botello” at this point but at least he has a campaign team, and not everyone in this race appears to.

Steve is all energy, enthusiasm and passion, which are great qualities in a candidate.  What we’ll learn over the next few weeks is whether there’s thoughtfulness and judgment there as well.  This candidate is one to keep an eye on because there’s great potential here for him to quickly mature in the heat of battle into a strong candidate and a strong potential County Supervisor.  If not, he will be his next time around.

Let’s give him a chance to show us what he’s got.  We might end up impressed.

Michael High is someone most of us political junkies had never heard of before he decided to run.  The only thing we’ve seen from him is that he asked the Board of Supervisors not to flatten Logmill Road (a modification made in response to all the people getting killed in auto accidents on that road lately) during citizen’s time, which is an awfully strange position for someone considering a political career to take.  I can see that being mentioned in a mail piece or ten and crushing a candidate like this.

There’s no campaign team here, no campaign presence on the internet, only some spiffy headgear to indicate he has a campaign going.  There’s no experience, no connections with the party, no nothing going on here.  This campaign will perhaps limp across the finish line long after others have blown through.

It will be experience, however, and maybe that experience will translate into something more credible the next time around.  As for this race, High is not a credible candidate.

Suzanne Miller (not Delegate Jackson Miller’s amazing wife, but the woman pictured to the left) is the comic relief for this election cycle.  No relevant experience, no connections with the party, and I can’t imagine her getting much in the way of money.  It doesn’t even appear that she understands what a Supervisor in Prince William County does.  Heck, she’s never even shown up at citizen’s time to whine about anything.

What she does bring is an utterly unpredictable speaking style.  Want to see someone go off on a five minute tangent about how she got terminated from her IT job, and now she now teaches Pilates?  This is your gal.  Anyone who wants to feel good about their public speaking abilities has got to come see her in action, as they’ll come away feeling really good about themselves.  It’s a hoot.

If ever there was someone utterly unprepared to run for office this would be it.  I’ve seen some pretty awful candidates in my time, and this one takes the cake.  Any random neighbor in the county would likely demonstrate higher capabilities to run for office or qualifications to hold it.

Not many of them would look better in a tight, short skirt at a campaign event like this, however.

Brentsville District race:

Jeanine Lawson is a longstanding leader in the Republican Committee who has earned a tremendous reputation for hard work, getting things done, and being utterly dependable.  Within the Republican committee I can’t imagine there’s anyone who doesn’t like and respect her, and she’s been quite vocal about a lot of technical issues around land use, education, and budgets.  Add to that a good looking family, a lot of personal energy, and you end up with a tremendous candidate.

Jeanine is challenging incumbent Wally Covington for the Brentsville seat, someone who has run afoul of slow-growth advocates for years.  Wally has also not been terribly helpful with schools and actually went so far as to discourage some badly-needed school construction in areas where overcrowding is a problem.  On the issues Jeanine is a much better fit for this district and seems to intuitively understand it much better than the incumbent.

Jeanine Lawson would be a wonderful addition to the Board of Supervisors.  We really are fortunate to have someone like this step up and challenge the pro-development Wally Covington who wanted to ram massive residential rezonings like Brentswood down the throats of county residents not long ago.

Coles District race:

Bob Pugh is a financial analyst and a long-standing member of Supervisor Stirrup’s budget committee.  Bob would be the first member of the Board of Supervisors with a finance background — perhaps ever — should he be elected. For a county dealing with financial pressures like we are that could be huge.  His experience with land use issues makes it even better, and putting the two together making him a fascinating candidate to replace the forever waffling, pro-development, and illegal alien lobby friendly Marty Nohe.

He’s new to campaigning and it shows a little, but he’s tackling this challenge with a lot of energy and passion. The challenge for Bob, as with Jeanine is to raise enough money to be competitive. He’s not likely going to outraise Marty Nohe, but he could potentially out-work him.  Marty is a hard-working campaigner, so Bob really has his work cut out for him.

This should be an interesting race to watch.



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23 Comments

  1. Patty said on 16 Jun 2011 at 9:10 am:
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    Ronald Reagan was seen as old by some people but he was the best president we’ve had in recent memory. Even the Democrats voted for him.

  2. Anonymous said on 16 Jun 2011 at 1:50 pm:
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    There are only two real candidates here Hendley and Candland. You put Hendley up against Ann Wheeler and you get one older somewhat credible person against another older credible person. Hard to tell what happens there. You put Candland up against Wheeler and he will smoke her.

  3. Gainesville District Resident said on 16 Jun 2011 at 2:39 pm:
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    Since when has the age of a candidate become so important? I’m concerned about the issues the county is facing, NOT someone’s age. A candidate’s knowledge, experience, and disire to work for the citizens of Pr. Wm. Co. is what people care about, not their age.

    Go, Martha, Go!! She realizes that Manassas(West Gate Of Lomond and Sudley) are part of the Gainesville District. It’s amazing to me that any candidate would send out an email such as the one Candland did. He stated his concern for keeping Gainesville and Haymarket to be a great place for our children and grandchildren to grow up in. What about the Manassas area, Mr. Candland? Why on earth would any serious candidate send an email that alienates a large portion of the Gainesville District. What a foolish, foolish mistake!!! Didn’t you say this guy had his staff in place? Sure fooled me with that email.

  4. anonamom said on 16 Jun 2011 at 3:00 pm:
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    What if the people of Gainesville doesn’t want someone who is “young enough to have plenty of time working his way up the political ladder”? Maybe they want someone running because that person wants to be their supervisor and not just because the person wants to run for office. When it comes to constituent issues, the citizens are much better served by someone who is NOT “working his way up the political ladder”.

    Peter Candland is a great guy with a very bright future but Martha Hendley is the most qualified candidate for the supervisor office. Peter Candland has never shown any interest in local issues, only national and state issues. He would be a better candidate for state delegate and most conservatives would happily support him on any state run.

    By the way, there is no need to even comment on Ms. Hendley’s age. If Martha Hendley were a man, his age would have never come up. For goodness sakes she is younger than Caddigan and Jenkins. And she could run circles around them with her enthusiasm and energy.

  5. Bob Pugh said on 16 Jun 2011 at 3:11 pm:
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    Greg – thanks for the nice comments. Please visit my campaign website, www.bobforsupervisor.org. Marty has raised over $171,000 since 2003. According to data from the Virginia Public Access Project, only 36% of that money came from supporters in Prince William County while 44% came from donors in Fairfax County and the rest from elsewhere outside Prince William County. I won’t be getting any of that special interest money. Taking this seat back for the citizens and taxpayers of Prince William County is an uphill battle, and we need everyone’s help - both financially and some of your time to help knock on doors, distribute campaign literature, or whatever you can do.

  6. Anonymous said on 16 Jun 2011 at 3:50 pm:
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    If Mr. Candland is so conservative why did he campaign against Ken Cuccinelli for the Republican attorney general nomination? He was working for the Dave Foster campaign if I remember correctly. Also there is a bit too much flash and love of self with Mr. Candland IMHO, Mrs. Hendley is the one to support here. It is not about her at all but the interests of the citizens, that’s what local R’s do best. I am tired of flashy Rs that are in love with the face they see in the mirror, we have too many of those already in this town.

  7. Anonymous said on 16 Jun 2011 at 4:38 pm:
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    Dave Foster is a good man and a solid conservative. I didn’t pick him but it’s foolish to atatck those who did. If you’re going to base your campaign against Candland on stuff like that, I hope you’re ready for a backlash.

  8. Jason said on 16 Jun 2011 at 5:24 pm:
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    First, I’m surprised that “Team Martha” has decided to go negative so early. The venom being spewed here really shows the type of people Martha has working with her. They must be very worried about Peter because the lies are coming out (I worked with Peter as we went door to door for Ken Cuccenilli). I guess there isn’t much going for Martha if all her supporters can do is talk about Peter.

    I have known Peter for almost 10 years, fighting the conservative fight in his area. Peter Candland is one of the most thoughtful, energetic, passionate leaders I have ever met. If you don’t think he worries about local issues, go over to his neighborhood where he has been HOA President for 5 years - he has done wonders for the community. He’s been extremely successful in everything he’s done, he’s well respected at work and in the community, and him and his wife have been active in their kids’ schools and activities. He’s very involved in the school and knows the issues facing families. Peter will be able to connect with the voters in a way that Martha can’t.

    I attended a senior’s Meet & Greet that hosted Peter and he has a tremendous grasp on the issues. He’s principled, a lot of fun to listen to and has a great team working with him. A team that doesn’t spend its time bashing Martha or any of the other candidates.

    We would be very lucky to have Peter as our Supervisor.

  9. Bruce Baxter said on 16 Jun 2011 at 9:19 pm:
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    It has been about 10 years since we retired and left Virginia for the Rocky Mountains. In all that time it sounds like Marty Nohe has not changed in the least. He is the least principled Republican that I ever worked with and to top it off, he is incompetent to boot. To be fair, his major principle is personal aggrandizement.

    After losing the proceeds from a PWCRC convention, he offered to resign from the committee. It is with great regret that I did not accept his resignation. Retired life is a good gig and you would think that living the Republican dream would cause one to forget one of the truly self-centered, egotistical screw ups that was ever my displeasure to be associated with. It hasn’t.

    Sounds like you have a viable primary challenger. Do everything in your power to dump Nohe. He is a loser that will keep screwing things up. As we say in the West, “not someone to ride the river with”.

    Bruce Baxter
    Idaho Falls, ID and Logandale, NV

    PS: His brief case and the money eventually showed up. Lots of money involved. Can you imagine the uproar in the press and community if it hadn’t? Not the type of publicity a Republican Committee needs. Rumor has it that there has been such screw ups since. You want to get as far away from these types as possible.

  10. James Young said on 16 Jun 2011 at 10:14 pm:
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    Good to hear from you, Bruce!

  11. Anonymous said on 17 Jun 2011 at 7:56 am:
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    The Hendley crowd is starting to sound just like Martha on this post. Mean and bitter.

  12. Patty said on 17 Jun 2011 at 8:41 am:
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    Anonymous,

    I didn’t get treated very well by a member of the Candland campaign and I am NOT on anybody’s campaign. That is the truth. That person knows who he is. I got raked across the coals just for stating a fact that Candland was to come out here to West Gate and Sudley and then didn’t show because he canceled.

    It’s been interesting watching from the sidelines. Seems to me by looking at the comments on this thread that the Candland hatchet men are out in force.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they start dissing Hendley and the rest. They can’t go after Hendley’s service so they will attack her because of her age.

    I’ll be surprised if my comments get posted. I posted some on another thread and for some reason they didn’t appear.

  13. Go Martha! said on 17 Jun 2011 at 8:47 am:
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    Candland is a mormon. I don’t trust ANYONE who is a mormon.

    Martha is a Christian. End of discussion.

  14. Patty said on 17 Jun 2011 at 8:55 am:
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    Suzanne Miller came to the Sudley West Gate community clean up last Saturday. She spent a couple of hours talking with neighbors and asking questions. I thought that was nice of her to do that. She is not dumb as some are portraying her. She is a human being and should be treated like one. All the candidates should be treated like human beings and not a punching bags.

  15. I dont tolerate idiots said on 17 Jun 2011 at 10:16 am:
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    Suzanne is a complete idiot. She initially filed paperwork to challenge Jill Vogel in the midst of the redistricting confusion. Can you imagine a complete politial neophyte that can’t even deliver a stump speech taking on an incumbent Republican senator in a primary?

    Funny thing is she DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THERE WAS AN INCUMBENT.

    Running for Gainesville Supervisor was her second choice. If congressional redistricting had been completed at the time she had this burr in her saddle to run, I’d have thought she would file paperwork with the FEC to run against Jim Moran. Heck, why not just run for President of the US?

  16. Patty said on 17 Jun 2011 at 11:55 am:
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    I dont tolerate,

    You say Suzanne is a complete idiot….and she picked the Republican Party. So are you saying that complete idiots pick the Republican Party?

    Better watch what you say. It becomes a reflection of you. James 3.

  17. Steve said on 17 Jun 2011 at 11:58 am:
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    While I don’t necessarily agree with every tenet of the Mormon faith, I have found the Mormons that I know to be trustworthy, diligent and honest. I met Peter at the Haymarket Auto Show last Saturday and found him to be energetic, enthusiastic, and friendly with a firm grasp of the issues that concern the Gainesville District. He was generous with his time and passionate about making his district a better place to live (he even showed me a map of our district, so I can confirm that, indeed, he does know part of Manassas is in the Gainesville District :). Maybe for “Go Martha!” the litmus test issue is religion, but for me, I want the person I that feel will do the best job regardless of race or religion. For Gainesville District Supervisor I feel Peter Candland is the best candidate for the position.

  18. Patty said on 17 Jun 2011 at 12:20 pm:
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    Steve,

    He wasn’t generous with his time in reference to Sudley and West Gate. He was a no show. Sorry, but that is the truth.

    After looking at his web site and all the things he is involved I personally do not believe he has the time to adequately perform the duties as the Gainesville Supervisor. All his children are very young and obviously require parental attention from both parents. That is my opinion.

    He didn’t make it to West Gate and Sudley because he was too busy.

    That’s the truth.

    I’m sure having fun watching from the sidelines. I’m sick of politics. It amazes me how people in the same party stab each other in the back. Even Christian friends.

    I still prefer someone from the Sudley West Gate area to run for supervisor. There are a couple of people I know who would do an excellent job. You know who you are.

  19. Allison said on 17 Jun 2011 at 2:12 pm:
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    I don’t see any venom being spewed here by the Martha Hendley supporters. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    I do, however, see subtle and not so subtle negativity about Martha from Candland supporters.

    Let’s focus on criticizing the liberal candidate -not the conservative candidates.

    I personally hope that Martha wins because I believe she is the best candidate for the job.

  20. Padre said on 17 Jun 2011 at 2:26 pm:
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    Age and religious prejudice certainy are alive and well on this blog. So are sexist remarks. It isn’t too good to have disabilities either, I guess.

    Patty is right. Complimenting someone isn’t an endorsement.

    For the record, Mormons are Christians. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Same Jesus Christ as Christians worship.

  21. Alpha said on 17 Jun 2011 at 2:41 pm:
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    Who are the liberal candidates running for Gainesville Supervisor?

  22. Anonymous said on 18 Jun 2011 at 3:29 pm:
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    In my opinion the best local Republicans have a record of working for the people who elected them, are not in love with themselves, and don’t talk so darn much and say too little. Their religion, age, and cute family really mean very little to me. You may draw your own conclusions who I am supporting for Gainesville Supervisor.

  23. Anonymous said on 30 Jun 2011 at 9:54 pm:
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    I really feel sorry for the people who post so mean statements that they don’t have a clue what they are talking about. I feel if you really want to know the truth about what the candidates are about come and meet them. There is only one candidate that I have seen that puts the time into listening to the people that is in need for a better community. This candidate has my VOTE on Aug. 23. Thanks PETER CANDLAND for caring for us! (Thanks for the fast results on Catharpin Road. I know you will get the job DONE!)

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