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A Political Shakeup In Brentsville?

By Greg L | 25 November 2013 | Prince William County | 11 Comments

The likelihood of Brentsville Supervisor Wally Covington getting appointed to a judgeship has had conservatives in Prince William County talking a lot lately, especially after former Planning Commission and Soil and Water Board member Austin Haynes spent a bit of time talking with people about the possibility of running for the spot.  Austin is known for subjecting himself to some pretty extreme physical challenges on his birthday as a means of raising money for some worthy county charities as well as being a pretty solid real estate investor and agent in the county.  There’s hardly anyone out there who could utter an unkind word about the guy, he’s quite well plugged into the political class, he understands land use, rezoning and planning like nobody’s business and it’s quite likely he’d be pretty adept at raising money.

When Austin called me to talk about this idea, I suggested he talk with Chris Saxman, a former delegate who leads the Virginia Political Leadership Innovation Institute.  Virginia PLII wants to groom business leaders as candidates for office and Saxman’s outlook on politics is pretty similar to Haynes’.  Plus, Chris is a great guy and anyone with political and business instincts would enjoy the heck out of getting to know him.  It’s not often I’m trying to connect potential candidates with people that I really think can help them, and it’s even rarer that I’d do so when they might be running against another friend in a nomination contest, but this seems to be the age of good friends being in friendly political competitions with each other and when this happens I just want one of them to prove they deserve it more by doing a better job campaigning and I’ll be happy to support the winner and congratulate the other candidate for doing a great job.  It’s win-win.

Having Haynes and Jeanine Lawson compete for a Republican nomination in such a scenario was an interesting idea to consider given that these two like each other, neither would want to have an ugly race, and either one of them would do a phenomenal job.  They bring different skills, qualities and experience as candidates, and it would be fascinating to see which one could mount a more effective campaign.  Sure, this is Brentsville we’re talking about, so it’s not likely an issue of being the strongest candidate to wipe the floor with whatever Democrat is offered as a human sacrifice in this district, but good candidates and good elected officials do sometimes move on to higher office, and having at least one challenging election effort under their belt can be an awfully useful thing.

Alas, Austin says tonight on facebook that his physical recovery from the last self-punishment he administered in the name of charity would make it awfully difficult to run for office.  I can understand that.  I think his last charity goal was something like doing a hundred thousand push-ups in 24 hours on his last birthday so he could raise a few bucks for CASA, and now his shoulder sockets need surgery to keep his arms from falling off if he swings his arms while walking.

I want to thank all of those who have offered support and encouragement on the possibility of my running for a political office in the near future.

After weighing the pros and cons, I believe I could win. But after talking with my Doctor and others, I will not seek any office in 2014. I will instead concentrate on recovery and therapy from my shoulder injuries.

At this time I do not rule out a run for the White House in 2016, provided that Tom Masterson will agree to be my campaign manager. I figure one term on the Prince William Planning Commission qualifies me as well as our current President.

So perhaps next time there’s an opportunity we’ll see Mr. Slightly-Less-Than-Invincible make a run for some office.  I look forward to that.

This could still end up being rather interesting.  If Covington exits the Board of Supervisors, not only does Peter Candland get an ally on the board in the form of Jeanine Lawson, which would drive Chairman Corey “Pave The Rural Crescent Until It Screams” Stewart and Coles District Supervisor Marty “Let’s Have Another Taxpayer-Funded Vacation To Turkey” Nohe along with the county staff utterly nuts, but the number one recruiter of opponents against Brentsville School Board Member Gill Trenum steps aside from the political fray.  Don’t think for a minute that the development interests that poured so much money into keeping Wally Covington in office so they could get their rezonings rammed through are going to sit back and admit defeat - they’re going to try to find someone to run against Lawson, whose mantra has been that development needs to be controlled so we have the public infrastructure needed to support that development before we drop another couple hundred houses on Vint Hill Road with no schools, roads, libraries, fire stations or police officers to serve those new houses.

Austin Haynes would not have been that guy for them, but developers would have certainly seen him as being someone more friendly to them and probably backed him.  Heck, just about anyone they could get to run would be more friendly to developers than Jeanine Lawson, so now they need to find somebody, and quickly before this next session of the General Assembly gets underway which is expected to pluck Wally out of his current part-time job.  They would be insane to run a Democrat, so they need to find some business-friendly Republican as an alternative to Lawson they can run.

Preferably someone who’d take a little ‘direction’ along with all of that campaign cash.

I wonder who that’s going to be…

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  1. Jim Riley said on 26 Nov 2013 at 10:20 am:
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    If any of this does come to pass, Jeanine will have my full support.

  2. Austin Haynes said on 26 Nov 2013 at 12:00 pm:
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    Thanks for the kind words. I always appreciate your advice and friendship. No matter what happens Brentsville will be in good hands. Happy Thanksgiving!


  3. Jim Riley said on 26 Nov 2013 at 1:13 pm:
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    Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Austin!

  4. Austin Haynes said on 26 Nov 2013 at 3:00 pm:
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    Thanks Jim and have a great Thanksgiving.

  5. Mary Beth Schaal said on 26 Nov 2013 at 6:32 pm:
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    Greg, first, I enjoy and appreciate your site. It has been informative and lively and has definitely been a jump start to the current citizen activism that PWC is experiencing.

    I have gotten to know Jeanine very well over the last four years. We have had many involved conversations about development in the county. I have worked, and or lived, in Prince William County since 1980 when I took my first teaching job here. The growth that has occurred has been tremendous. PWC schools have been playing catch up with student seats since the mid 80’s. Continuing to build homes without schools and other supporting services is going to be a true deterrent to any corporation we try to bring to PWC. Jeanine is not against development, she wants smart growth, just as you described in your piece above. She also believes that the passage of the Rural Crescent was a promise of sorts, that brought many of us to the county. and one that should be honored.

    Developers, as you have identified above, are pretty much those in the housing industry. Past history has been very friendly and lucrative for them. I disagree to think that its unfriendly to ask builders to pay their fair share through proffers, or being reluctant to rubber stamp new communities without putting in infrastructure first. This is especially important when you consider how frequently these developers have been released from their responsibility and taxpayers have been left with the bill. Jeanine is a big supporter of business, just not the kind that creates infrastructure nightmares for the community. As a matter of fact, bringing professional jobs to the county was a key initiative in her previous campaign.

    I see Jeanine as a true steward of Prince William County’s resources, be they people or land. I will be supporting her if this opportunity comes to pass.

  6. Anonymous said on 3 Dec 2013 at 1:32 pm:
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    I don’t think Ms. Lawson would ally herself with Candland. I have met her and she seems to be someone who wouldn’t stoop to the level the Candland does to get things done through an anonymous blogger. You Greg, are not anonymous but there will be a lot of people gunning for Candland come 2015 and the inevitable exposing of his ties to an anonymous blogger will be his downfall. Mark my words. Of course I said Cucchinelli was unelectable and no one listened then either.

  7. Anonymous said on 3 Dec 2013 at 7:09 pm:
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    The Leopard Queen is still smoking dope, as her comment above makes clear.

  8. Anonymous said on 10 Dec 2013 at 9:40 pm:
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    A lot of things will happen between now and 2015. My money is actually on and up and comer named Eric Young. He’s a Democrat, but he’s smart, and he has a genuine desire to do what’s right for the people of PWC…oh…and he’s a good friend of Candland’s. Honestly, his thought process likely runs parallel to Candland’s.

  9. Anonymous said on 11 Dec 2013 at 5:58 am:
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    He’s not a serious candidate.

  10. Anonymous said on 13 Dec 2013 at 6:59 am:
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    If he is a serious candidate no one has met him and he is not out in the county doing anything. Hard to get the support of either side when you are non-existent.

  11. anon said on 15 Dec 2013 at 4:14 pm:
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    We probably won’t see Faisal Gill anytime soon.


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