Workshop helps potential King George candidates
By CATHY DYSON
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
A group of King George officials is holding a workshop for anyone interested in running for county office.
The event will be held Tuesday, Jan. 29, with sessions at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the Revercomb Building board room.
General Registrar Lorrie Gump will present information on the process involved in becoming a candidate and paperwork that needs to be filed. She’ll also go over how many signatures candidates must gather on petitions (125 names, but she recommends more in case some aren’t registered voters) and when candidates have to file (by June 11.)
Supervisor Ruby Brabo and former School Board member Renee Parker will talk about the responsibilities involved in serving on those boards.
“I’m excited about it,” Gump said about the chance to explain deadlines and declaration of candidacy forms to a group of people. “This will open up a broad spectrum to anyone who’s interested in running.”
Gump and Brabo talked about such a workshop before Brabo, who was elected in November 2011, became a supervisor. The two agreed to make the event a future goal.
Brabo said she believes people choose not to run because they don’t understand what’s involved or how to start the process.
“If that information were more readily known, we could increase the candidate pool,” Brabo said, adding she doesn’t believe it’s good for candidates to run unopposed. “No one is perfect.”
Parker, who challenged veteran incumbent Joe Grzeika in the same election, had stronger words about why she believes King George needs more candidates, as well as term limits.
“Terms that turn into careers tend to lead to politicians who care more about the power they believe they have instead of their responsibility to the people that elected them,” she stated in an email.
Two incumbents on the Board of Supervisors are up for re-election this year: Cedell Brooks Jr. and John LoBuglio. Both plan to run again, and both said they wondered why a fellow supervisor would be involved in a workshop to recruit more candidates.
“I’ve never had a supervisor help other people run,” Brooks said. “I don’t know why a supervisor would get involved with that.”
Brooks later talked with Gump about the purpose of the session. She told him Brabo said she could have benefited from such a workshop before she ran for election and that Brabo wanted to help others who might be considering running for office.
“That’s just Ruby,” Brooks said. “She wanted to do something to help the people.”
Brooks has served as supervisor for 22 years, the longest of any member on the board. He was opposed in his first three elections, but hasn’t faced competition in the last two.
It’s a different story for LoBuglio, who won a three-way race four years ago and faces another battle in November.
Jim Howard, the incumbent LoBuglio defeated in 2008, already has said he will run again. They will be joined in the race by Richard Lorey, who spent 35 years at the Dahlgren Navy base. His last assignment was as head of the chemical and biological warfare defense division.
There also will be a special election in November to fill the unexpired term of Commonwealth’s Attorney Matt Britton. He left in August, and his assistant, Keri Gusmann, was appointed to fill his place until the next election.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425