Cathy Dyson writes about King George County.
50 people attend candidates’ forum
More than 50 people attended a candidates’ forum tonight at the L.E. Smoot Memorial Library.
Four of the six candidates for office participated: John LoBuglio and Jim Howard, who are running for the James Monroe District seat on the Board of Supervisors; and Shawn Lawrence and Cedell Brooks Jr., who seek the Shiloh District seat.
Jeff Bueche, a candidate for James Monroe, attended but did not participate. He’s active duty Coast Guard and Department of Defense regulations prohibit him from participating in political events such as debates.
The other James Monroe candidate, Richard Lorey, did not attend. He said he planned to go to the funeral for King George Journal Publisher Ruth Herrink, but the forum ended early so people could go to her service.
The event was sponsored by the King George NAACP and the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association. It’s the first time the groups sponsored a political forum. Brooks is vice-president of the NAACP and an active supporter of efforts to build a museum at the Ralph Bunche High School. LoBuglio serves on a committee looking at ways to turn the school site into a museum and community center.
LoBuglio, the incumbent in James Monroe, stressed that he retired from his job at Dahlgren to devote full-time energies to the board and that he would continue to do so. He said he believed in fiscal responsibility and “not being told what to do by any part politics.”
Brooks, the Shiloh incumbent, said that he’s a lifetime resident of King George and that he believes he knows “what’s best for the community as a whole.” He pledged to continue to be a “voice for the less-fortunate.”
Howard, who served as James Monroe supervisor before LoBuglio defeated him four years ago, talked as if he were still a supervisor. He touted various accomplishments of the board, from sound financial practices to economic development. He said his “experience, leadership and commitment” make him the man for the job.
Lawrence came across as the only candidate seeking change. He said he offered new ideas and a new direction and would be a leader who is accessible and transparent. He also was the only one critical of the county, including its economic development efforts, the decision to end the FRED bus service and the fact King George has $100 million in debt.
Each current member of the Board of Supervisors attended the forum as well as former supervisor Steve Wolfe, who sat in the back row next to Supervisor Joe Grzeika.
The Free Lance-Star will publish a story about the two supervisor races later this month. Information about each candidate and his responses to questions from the newspaper will be included in a special section published Oct. 25.