Democrats have seized control of the county Board of Supervisors for the first time since the 2007 election, flipping Republicans’ 6-3 majority upside-down with a series of decisive victories across the county.
Dulles Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) and Blue Ridge Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) were the only Republican supervisors to successfully defend their seats. They will be joined by new supervisor Caleb A. Kershner in the Catoctin District.
Democrats, meanwhile, held onto every seat they already controlled and added three more to their caucus. Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) and supervisors Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) and Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg) will return to their seats for a second term. Umstattd ran unopposed; both Randall and Saines posted commanding numbers.
They will be joined by fellow Democrats Juli E. Briskman, Algonkian; Michael R. “Mike” Turner, Ashburn; and Sylvia Russell Glass, Broad Run.
Randall said the county board will be revisiting some issues on which Democrats could not gain traction before, such as the boundaries for where shooting is allowed in the county.
“I don’t think bullets should fly into houses and we not do anything about it,” Randall said. She also said she would push to allow unions to come into the county building once a year, and that the board would take stances on some other issues in Richmond like the Equal Rights Amendment, where before it has stuck to narrowly local issues.
“For the most part, we’re still going to do the same thing, which is work for the Loudoun County citizens,” Randall said. “That’s what we’re here to do, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
But perhaps most significantly, Randall said she plans to push for a new police department.
“I think it’s time for Loudoun to have a police chief, and it didn’t matter who won that race—I was going to do that anyway,” Randall said.
Virginia’s constitution requires the county to have an elected sheriff, although in other large counties, the sheriff is only responsible for the jail and court security, with law enforcement left to a police department. In contrast to an elected sheriff, a police chief is hired by the Board of Supervisors or county administrator. Loudoun currently has the largest sheriff’s office in the state.
Randall won re-election with close to 58,800 votes to Republican John C. L. Whitbeck Jr.’s 40,891 and independent Robert J. Ohneiser’s 4,225 votes. Randall finished with 56.4 percent of the vote.
Briskman unseated second-term incumbent Suzanne M. Volpe (R-Algonkian) 6,331 to 5,359, a more than eight-point spread.
Turner defeated D. M. “Mick” Staton Jr. 7,163 to 4,684, a nearly 21-point spread.
Buffington beat back a challenge from Tia L. Walbridge 11,309 to 9,920, a more than eight-point spread.
Glass defeated James G. “Jim” Bonfils 7,542 to 5,144, a difference of nearly 19 percentage points.
Kershner defeated Democrat J. Forest Hayes and independent Sam R. Kroiz with 6,887 votes, for 45.04 percent of the vote. Hayes followed with 34.34 percent, and Kroiz with 17.25 percent.
Letourneau defeated Democratic challenger Sree R. NagiReddi 8,393 to 5,251, a difference of 23 percentage points and Republicans’ biggest victory of the night. That follows Letourneau’s 2015 result, in which he won the largest margin of victory of any elected official with a contested race.
Saines defeated W. Damien P. Katsirubas 5,083 to 2,592, a nearly 32-point spread.
The election saw the largest turnout since 1995, with more than 41 percent of registered voters showing up to the polls. Four years ago, when polls closed, 32.89 percent of registered voters had cast ballots.