For a Better Commute. For a Better Prince William County.

Haymarket Local

News
Incumbents keep seats in Prince William Firehouse Primary

The field of candidates for local elections in Prince William County is getting smaller.

Republicans held their “firehouse primary” in Prince William County on Saturday. The results of those races tell us which member of the GOP will go on to face their Democratic challengers in the November General Election.

Voting in the firehouse primary took place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at various locations across the county. The firehouse primary was held instead of a traditional primary on June 9 due to paperwork filing error on the part of the Prince William County Republican Party.

The results of the 2015 Prince William County Republican Firehouse Primary: (more…)

Manassas emergency workers used a hearse to respond to calls for help

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”380″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

 

Starting May 1, the Manassas Museum will debut their newest exhibit on the fire, rescue and police equipment used in the community. 

The museum will be hosting a reception at 6 p.m. and serve refreshments to residents looking to learn more about public safety history in the City of Manassas.

One of the unique highlights of the exhibit is the fact that back in the 1960s, responders in a hearse answered emergency response calls.

Before the first public safety group, the Manassas Volunteer Rescue Squad, was created in 1966, it was the Baker Funeral Home that would bring patients for medical treatment and respond to emergency scenes. 

Manassas didn’t see a modernized police and fire department structure until the 1950s, and relied on mainly volunteer services.

This exhibit, which displays the evolution of Manassas and its public safety organizations, coincides with the World Police and Fire Games, which are being hosted in Prince William County this summer.

“Our Fire, Rescue and Police personnel run into a building when others run out,” said Mayor Harry J. Parrish II.  “It is that courage and compassion for others that helps keep this City safe and well protected.”

The Manassas Museum will showcase the exhibit until July 15.

“I hope visitors and residents will come out for this exhibit. Our Police, and Fire and Rescue staff are top in their field and our volunteers are some of the most dedicated people I’ve met,” said City Manager W. Patrick Pate. 

This promoted post is brought to you by the City of Manassas and Historic Manassas, Inc.  

News
Millennials fleeing suburbs for cities: Challenges facing Prince William County

Committee of 100

So much has changed in Prince William County in just the past 10 years, that the Prince William County Committee of 100 came together April 16 at the Montclair Country Club to discuss what the future of the county may look like and what it may need to succeed. 

The Prince William County Committee of 100 holds regular non-partisan, educational forums to study interests, problems and goals of the citizens of Prince William County, as well as the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. It has been functioning for more than 25 years.

“The rapid growth in Prince William County over the past decade has presented enormous challenges in overcrowded classrooms, efficient commuter traffic patterns, shortages of public amenities and over-stressed public safety resources,” read a description of the forum on the committee’s web page. “Jobs and housing are the two drivers of the future economy in Prince William County. The current economic conditions threaten growth in quality jobs, housing values and expanding business opportunities. The future for Prince William County will, in large measure, be determined by how Prince William County adapts its policies to protect the future of our community.”

The panelists were Robert Buchanan, Principle of Buchanan Partners LLC and President of the 2030 Group; Dr. Terry L. Clower, Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University; G. Mark Gibb, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission; and Ralph Stephenson, Chairman and Co-Founder of Citizens for Balanced Growth. 

Brendon Shaw, director of government relations for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, served as moderator. 

Each panelist gave their take on the future of Prince William County — what it may look like and what it will need. At one point, a joke was made that more Millennials should have been invited. 

One focus of the discussion was the trend of Millennials moving back into cities instead of expanding into the suburbs as previous generations have. Gibb said a “demographic inversion” is underway. For the last 50 years the region saw the people moved out of the cities to suburbia but is now seeing a population shift toward the Beltway.

If you want people to come to Prince William County, then you have to develop areas that they want to come to, Gibb remarked. “Do you want to [be] a suburban area or be more like an area that provides amenities for these new Millennials?”

Mark Gibb, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, speaking at the April Committee of 100 program.

Mark Gibb, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, speaking at the April Committee of 100 program.

Clower told the group the county needs balance, and balance comes through planning. He said land-use plans need to tie into the region’s economic development strategies, which in turn need to tie into the transportation strategies. 

“That can put you ahead of the game,” said Clower. “Economic development is a process… It doesn’t ever stop.” 

The next meeting will be held the evening of May 21 at the Wyndham Garden in Manassas. Visit PWC100.org for more details.

News
Prince William budget to include $1 million for class size reduction

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will approve the final budget and tax rate tomorrow, April 21, at their regularly scheduled meeting.

The approved budget will now include $1 million allocated specifically for reducing class sizes in Prince William County Public Schools.

As the budget period for the Prince William County Board of Supervisors comes to a close, Supervisors Candland and Lawson took the opportunity to speak on their own budget draft with a 2.5% tax increase. In March, the board announced their advertised ceiling tax rate increase of 3.88%, and the difference between the 2.5% and the 3.88% is about $14.6 million.

Budget draft to address school overcrowding

Lawson and Candland stated their draft of the 2016 budget is focused on a plan to address overcrowding in county public schools.

The budget draft would invest county funds into reducing class sizes over the next five years, drawing funding from the Recordation Tax revenue. Under the original proposal given by Candland and Lawson, the board would invest $30 million over the 5-year period, starting with $2 million in 2016. The board decided to halve this amount – giving $1 million – and requiring the school board to match the funds.

Virginia charges a tax on the recordation of deeds, deeds of trust, mortgages, leases, and contracts, which provide the funding source Candland referenced. Currently, the Recordation Tax in the county’s budget goes toward paying for transportation projects and other small line items in the budget, stated a release. (more…)

Boy Scouts of America to host sporting clays tournament May 7-8

The Boy Scouts of America are hosting the National Capital Area Sporting Clays Tournament on May 7-8 in Haymarket.

The competition will take place at Camp William B. Snyder on both days.

On May 7, participants will take part in a VIP clinic with Redskins Hall of Famer Dave Butz, and on May 8 will clay shoot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to a release, there are 4 shooters allowed per team.

Prizes for the top shooting teams and individuals will be awarded at the end of the competition. 

Sponsorship opportunities are available for those that wish to support the Boy Scouts of America.

Contact Phillip Duggins at 540-220-9904 for more information.Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 4.45.24 PM

 

News
Wildlife federation to host habitat workshop in Nokesville May 1

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”373″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

On May 1, the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation and the Virginia Quail Recovery Initiative are hosting a workshop in Nokesville, to help residents learn about what they can do to create wildlife habitats in their backyards. 

“Our goal is trying to spread the word about wildlife habitat work that can be done even on a small scale…what we’re trying to do with this workshop is try and give folks some options. For example, converting [their land] into a wildlife meadow for continual bloom and beauty from May to October, while also providing a great habitat for songbirds and pollinators, monarchs as well as other species,” said David Bryan, a private lands wildlife biologist for the USDA-NRCS.

The workshop runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and includes free food.

“What we’re going to do at the workshop is we’re going to have an outdoor walk and talk, on the farm where we’re hosting it – which has done some habitat work – and talk about the types of things you can consider doing in your backyard,” commented Bryan.

After a walk on the property, participants will be able to engage in a conversation about landowner options and hear from a panel of landowners from surrounding counties about the habitat work they’ve done on their land.

According to Bryan, the program still has room for 25 to 30 people, and registration is required. 

Residents can register by emailing nicoleethier@pwswcd.org.

News
Stewart, Crawford don’t see eye to eye on jobs, taxes in Prince William

Republicans face off in Prince William Chairmans Race Primary Debate

Two Republicans seeking to lead the Prince William County Board of Supervisors sat down for a debate on Saturday.

Incumbent Corey Stewart faced newcomer Chris Crawford, and each discussed issues facing the county from tax bills, funding firefighters, to bringing new jobs to the region.

On the latter note, Stewart addressed a question that asked what more is being done to bring high-paying jobs to the area as retailers like Walmart consistently rank in the list of the county’s top employers.

“We have so far, in a two-year period, have $1.5 billion in private investment in Prince William County,” said Stewart. “The jobs are there. Some are in the retail sector, but a lot of them aren’t. We’re seeing a lot of development in the life sciences industry especially in the [Innovation Park] area, and in the Route 1 corridor [in Woodbridge.]”

Crawford disagreed, and said he is tired of having to leave Prince William each day for a high-paying job.

“Innovation looks like a wheat field. I hear there’s a lot of jobs but I just don’t see it. We’ve got to get our tax rate under control…the businesses aren’t coming here,” said Crawford.

Recent local government data show the vacancy rate for commercial office, industrial, and retail space sits at 6.8% in December 2014, down from 8.3% one year earlier. At-place employment is also slightly on the rise.

Home values continue to rise, too. Stewart said he and others on the Board of Supervisors have worked to keep low the average property tax bill for Prince William homeowners, citing the bills are 30% lower than they are in neighboring Loudoun County.

“It’s not apples to apples to compare homes in other counties. Their houses are worth more,” Crawford fired back.

Both men support taking funds from the county’s fire levy that were once given to volunteer fire companies and instead use them to pay the salaries of career firefighters.

“As we become a more suburb and community and less rural, the number of volunteers is inevitably declining,” said Stewart.

Both men added they support the county’s blended career and volunteer fire system, and both thanked volunteers for their service.

The debates were held at the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center. They were co-sponsored by the Coles District Civic Association and Potomac Local.

Video of the full debate produced by Bill Golden of the Coles District Civic Association after the jump (more…)

It’s time for fresh, locally grown food

[ngg_images gallery_ids=”367″ display_type=”ds-nextgen_royalslider”]

On April 9 the City of Manassas Farmer’s Market opened for the season. This is the 24th season the City’s Farmer’s Market has been delivering fresh produce and goods to residents and visitors of the City of Manassas. On Thursdays, the Farmer’s Market is located in the Harris Pavilion and on Saturdays it is located in parking lot B or the water tower lot. Both markets are open from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.   In June, July and August there is a summer evening market from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Harris Pavilion.

About five years ago the City’s Farmer’s Market became a SNAP distributor by applying to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. This opened the door for people that are receiving assistance to purchase fresh fruits and vegetable from the market. In addition, Historic Manassas, Inc. has formed a partnership with INOVA, who supplied matching funds for dollars spent by SNAP recipients. The City of Manassas Farmers Market was one of the very first in this region to be able to offer this service to customers.

Jeff Adams has been selling Walnut Hill Farms poultry, eggs, pork, beef and lamb at the market for about five years. His motto is “from birth to plate, we know what we ate.” Jeff is a former biology teacher and telephone company employee. He bought his farm in 2001 after saying goodbye to corporate America.

Ron Burleson of Skyline Premium Meats has been a part of the City of Manassas Farmer’s Market for seven seasons.   Burleson and his wife, Suzy run a farm in Unionville, Virginia, where they raise calves. Ron and Suzy also maintain a greenhouse, and depending on the season, produce eggs. They raise an array of annuals; from hanging baskets to potted vegetable plants and beautiful handmade Christmas wreaths in the winter season. 

These are just two of the many wonderful vendors at the City of Manassas Farmer’s Market. Visit the City of Manassas Farmer’s Market soon!

News
Soldier to receive new home in Haymarket from non-profit

On April 11 the non-profit organization, Homes for Our Troops, will begin building a home for Marine Corporal Marcus Dandrea in Haymarket.

The groundbreaking for the home will be held at 14600 Washington Street at 11 a.m. and is open to the public. Residents are being encouraged to attend the ceremony, and show their support.

All of the cost for the home will be covered by Homes for Our Troops, as well as several donors and community partners, including Arlington Construction Management.

Dandrea was severely injured while serving in Afghanistan, according to a town release.

According to a town release, Dandrea lost both of his legs during his second deployment to Afghanistan in February of 2011.

The home will be built with several special features and adaptations to make it more accessible for him to use, including wheelchair access and lowered countertops, said a town release.

“We at Homes for Our Troops do not believe giving a home to a severely injured Veteran is charity. We believe it is a moral obligation of our society. They fought to protect our freedom and independence, and we are now giving them back some freedom and independence by building them a specially adapted home,” said President and CEO of Homes of Our Troops, Tim McHale, in a release.

Manassas Airshow Bringing in the Big Jets

The Manassas Airshow is bringing in Breitling Jet Team
The Manassas Airshow will take place Saturday, May 2.
This is the flattest run in the area, on the runway.
The 3rd Dimension Parachute Team.

On May 2, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Manassas Airshow is bringing in Breitling Jet Team, the largest professional civilian flight jet team. This team demonstrates aerobatics with precision, speed, mastery and style. The Breitling Team coordinates a meticulous ballet in which planes sometimes fly within three meters of each other at speeds of over 700 kilometers  per hour.

They are really a sight to see and the event is free to the public. 

Also performing this year are the 3rd Dimension Parachute Team, the American Helicopters Demonstration Team, Andrew McKenna P-51 and T-6 Aerobatics, the Flying Circus Stearman Flight, Scott Francis MXS Aerobatics, Jack Knutson Extra 300 Aerobatics, Matt Chapman CAP 580 Aerobatics, Randy Devere CJ-6 Aerobatics and there will be an RC Modeler Jet Demonstration. Along with these performers, the Manassas Airshow offers aircraft displays, military re-enactors and much more.

Also at the Manassas Regional Airport on April 26 at 7:30 a.m. runners will be getting ready to race the Manassas Runway 10K/5K presented by the Bull Run and Manassas Rotary Clubs. This is the flattest run in the area, being held on the actual runway.

The Texas Raiders B-17 will be at the Manassas Regional Airport from May 3 to 6 offering rides on their B-17, which is one of only eleven B-17 flying fortresses still flying today. On May 8 from noon to 1 p.m. 15 historically sequenced warbird formations will participate in the World War II Victory Capitol Flyover in honor of the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. While several of these majestic warbirds are visiting the Manassas Regional Airport, they will be giving tours, May 9-10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on any of these events, visit manassascity.org/airportevents.

Traffic
Here’s how the Bi-County Parkway could still happen

Highway would link Prince William, Loudoun counties  

You may count the Bi-County Parkway down, but don’t count it out.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is no longer seeking federal funds for the 10-mile highway that would link travelers on Interstate 95 in Dumfries to I-66, and ultimately to Dulles Airport in Loudoun County.

The project must now undergo a statewide review process mandated by House Bill 2, also known as the “HB2” process, where highway projects that are not fully funded funnel through a state review process.

“This is a new prioritization process we’re still developing where projects will be screened and scored based on their ability to improve traffic congestion and highway safety,” said Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tamara Rollison.

Projects that will go through HB2 screen have yet to be identified.  The HB2 scoring rubric is expected to be finalized in June, and the Commonwealth Transportation Board in Richmond could select their first projects for review by fall. 

The Commonwealth Transportation Board may be review projects  at urging of a local board of supervisors or a metropolitan planning organization.

“The big difference between the HB2 process versus the old process is that, for the first time, [the review process is mandated] in legislation. This administration is trying to take politics out of transportation as much as possible. It’s about taking limited dollars in within the state to meet as many transportation needs as we can,” added Rollison.

VDOT notified Northern Virginia Delegate Tim Hugo by letter it was no longer seeking federal funds for the project. That letter also addresses the HB2 process.

Politicians said that notice is a sign of defeat for a once contentious project. Two years ago, a debate over the Bi-County Parkway had highway officials, business leaders, politicians, and residents who live along the Route 234 corridor up in arms. 

On Tuesday, Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart released this statement: (more…)

News
Futrell, Qarni and McPike to meet for Prince William Primary Debates

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 11.26.47 AMThree candidates in the Democratic primary for the 29th district Senate seat will meet for a primary debate on Monday, May 18 at 7 p.m.

The three candidates – Jeremy McPike, Delegate Michael Futrell and Atif Qarni – are hoping to fill the long held seat of Senator Chuck Colgan, will debate local issues concerning governance in the district, which includes Prince William County and Manassas.

The candidates will take part in a state-run primary on June 9, which will decide who will go against Republican challenger Hal Parrish, Mayor for the City of Manassas, in November.

You may submit questions for the Democratic Senate primary debate. 

The debate will be held in the auditorium at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building at 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge. 

Potomac Local is sponsoring the event, in partnership with the Prince William County Democratic Committee. 

 

The candidates were briefed on the format of the debate as follows:

— Candidates will be introduced to the audience
— Short bios for each candidate will be read
— A candidate will be asked a specific question
— The candidate will have two minutes to respond
— An opposing candidate will have one minute for rebuttal
— A new question is asked of different candidate and process repeats

Stephanie Tipple, Prince William Regional Editor for Potomac Local, will moderate the debate. 

Bob Gibson, Executive Director for the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, and Stephen Farnsworth, author and professor at the University of Mary Washington, will be the panelists for the debate.

Potomac Local will accept reader-submitted questions that may be asked of the candidates during the debates.

The event is open to the public.

Campaign literature and signs are permitted outside of the Ferlazzo building and must be removed upon event conclusion.

RELATED: Stewart, Crawford; Nohe, O’Meara to meet for Prince William Primary Debates

News
Stewart, Crawford; Nohe, O’Meara to meet for Prince William Primary Debates

Four candidates for elected office in Prince William County will meet for two separate debates Saturday, April 11.

First at 5:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart will meet his Republican challenger Chris Crawford to debate local issues concerning governance of Prince William County and the task of leading its Board of Supervisors. Both men are candidates in an April 25 party canvass, also known as a “firehouse” primary where Republican voters will decide who will go on to face Democrat challenger Rick Smith in November.

You may submit questions for the Chairman’s Primary Debate.

At 6:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe will meet with Republican challenger Paul O’Meara to discuss streetlight issues facing voters in the Coles District, which spans from the mid-county area to neighborhoods around Manassas.

To date, no Democrat seeks the Coles District seat, so this could be the debate that helps voters decide who will become the next Coles District Supervisor.

You may submit questions for the Coles District Primary Debate.

The debates will be held at the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center on Hoadly Road in Woodbridge. The event is co-sponsored by the Coles District Civic Association and Potomac Local.

The candidates were briefed on the format of the debate as follows:

  • Candidates will be introduced to the audience
  • Short bios for each candidate will be read
  • A candidate will be asked a specific question
  • The candidate will have two minutes to respond
  • An opposing candidate will have one minute for rebuttal
  • A new question is asked of different candidate and process repeats

Potomac Local Publisher Uriah Kiser will moderate the debates. The local online news organization will accept reader-submitted questions that may be asked of the candidates during the debates.

The candidates, audience members, and all those involved in the debates are asked to adhere to the following rules:

  • Occupants of the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center must remove their footwear at the door and place footwear in a storage area inside the center.
  • Campaign literature and signs are permitted outside of the community center and must be removed upon event conclusion

RELATED:  Futrell, Qarni and McPike to meet for Prince William Primary Debates

News
Prince William Board takes up new homes, gas station, daycare issues

Prince William Supervisors will meet Monday night to for a series of public hearings on new construction projects in the county.

New homes at Hoadly Falls

One of them is a rezoning request for Hoadly Falls Phase II. The housing development would sit just off Prince William Parkway at the intersection of Hoadly Road in Woodbridge. The Board must decide Tuesday to rezone about 28 acres of land from agricultural land to semi-residential land so developers may build 15 homes.

This new phase of Hoadly Falls would join a yet-to-be-built Phase I that will be constructed in the same area and will bring 16 new homes to 40 acres of land.

The county’s planning commission approved phase two earlier this month, but demanded developers consider reducing the density of the development to one home per two and a half acres of land, save more existing trees, and be more clear about where entry and exit points to the neighborhood will be built.

Developers are expected to pay about $572,000 in proffers to the county that will help offset impacts to county services like schools, water, fire and rescue, transportation, and libraries.

As for Hoadly Falls Phase I, officials Tuesday night must also decide if they will bar developers from creating an access point to the neighborhood directly from Prince William Parkway. An amended plan, if approved Tuesday, would eliminate the parkway entrance and the signal light that would come with it, and allow drivers access to the neighborhood via Davis Ford Road. The county’s planning commission approved the request earlier this month, and it’s now waiting for final approval from the Board of Supervisors.

Daycare problems

On the edge of the Town of Occoquan, Sammy’s House Home Daycare is fighting to exist. Prince William zoning officials last year denied a permit to allow the home daycare on Mount High Street to accommodate up to 12 children. On November 13, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors upheld that decision as county officials say the daycare is not in compliance with county zoning rules.

(more…)

Manassas celebrates Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3

Manassas, virginia, city, visit

When you say the words “Founders’ Day” it brings back images of a kinder, gentler time when people shared stories on front porches. The City of Manassas is celebrating Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3, with restaurant specials, shops staying open late and, of course, birthday cake.

Stores and restaurants will be focusing on the history of the city and the buildings they inhabit.

This celebration is the brainchild of Councilman Ian Lovejoy. He was curious about the actual date the town was founded and in researching that date, found that the City was recognized as a town on April 2, 1873 by the General Assembly. The area was known as Tudor Hall, prior to that, until William S. Fewell, who owned the land, laid out the first six blocks and began selling lots.

The first official council meeting was held on May 17, 1873. Due to the town’s growth over the years, the town submitted a request to the General Assembly and in 1975 officially became the City of Manassas. From humble beginnings in 1873 as a half mile town concentrated along the railroad tracks, the City of Manassas grew to 10 square miles of homes, schools, shops and restaurants and more than 40,000 residents.

This Founders’ Day, come celebrate with the City of Manassas in Historic Downtown from 6 to 9 p.m. The Manassas Museum will host a City of Manassas trivia contest and a book signing. Love, Charley will offer cake, The Bone will have a beer garden and City Square Café is offering a three course dinner special and encouraging diners to dress in period attire. These are just a few of the offerings for First Friday. For more offerings and information, visit visitmanassas.org.

Cardinal Forest has 1,000 apartments and trusts JTC with IT infrastructure

Vanessa Zambrana is the On-Site Community Manager at Cardinal Forest, located in Springfield, Virginia.

Cardinal Forest is a large condominium association and community that manages over 1,000 condo units for its owners within Fairfax County.

Zambrana has worked at Cardinal Forest for nine years and during all of those years, Cardinal Forest has “always used” Jewell Technical Consulting, Inc. (JTC, Inc.) for their services.
Recently, JTC, Inc. deployed a new server for Cardinal Forest. Zambrana was able to explain how the experience turned out for them.

“They do our monitoring of our server behind the scenes and everything and we got a notification from them that the current server we had, the software that runs the machine wasn’t going to be supported by Microsoft any longer,” said Zambrana. “So they basically told us we could use it up until the time that the support expires by Microsoft, or we could replace it, so we planned the replacement, I would say less than a year ago.”

“Our board of directors funded it through this year’s budget and then we decided, January 1, that we were going through the process to get it started.” I think Microsoft stopped supporting sometime in the summer, and we just wanted to be ahead of the game,” added Zambrana.

Cardinal Forest is professionally managed by Cardinal Management Group Inc. which also oversees residential association property management.

Cardinal Forest’s chose JTC, Inc. over other companies to an existing relationship it’s parent company had with the firm, so JTC was a natural fit.

Prior to replacing the old server, Zambrana, as well as the other staff at Cardinal Forest had to deal with slow Internet and an even slower server.

“Our old server was 10 plus years old, so everything was really slow. It would take the longest time just to open a file,” said Zambrana, “Now things are a lot faster.”

Thankfully, the process of JTC, Inc. going in and replacing the old server and transitioning to the new one, was efficient and painless to business operations.

JTC is a Microsoft Certified Partner and a Dell Authorized Partner and utilizes Microsoft and Dell technology.

News
Judge rules against Prince William Republicans, Primary Election not likely

Updated with new information at 4 p.m. 

072914-First-on-pl

 

In keeping with what it calls the “status quo,” the Prince William Electoral Board will not allow local Republicans to hold Primary races in June.

The Prince William Electoral Board decided not to allow a Republican Primary Election after the Prince William Republican Party chairman missed a filing deadline on Feb. 24 to request the Primary Election. The Primary vote would have decided which GOP candidates would move on to face Democrats in November’s General Election.

Republicans filed a writ of mandamus asking for a judge to step in and allow a Primary Election. Arlington Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan, who is retired but agreed to hear the case in Prince William court, ruled against Republicans on Friday saying that it is up to the Prince William County Electoral Board to allow a Primary, and that a “mandamus is not the right way to proceed.”

Republicans argued state law allows incumbent candidates who have won a previous Primary Elections to automatically be allowed another Primary. The judge didn’t see it that way and said state law mandates a Primary Election must be requested by a party or candidate in advance.

Sheridan also denied a request to issue a declaratory judgement that could have ordered the local electoral board to a Primary.

“It is not for a judge, in light of all this, to tell [political] parties, state, or local organizations how to proceed,” said Sheridan.

Several incumbent Republicans are up for election this year. Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart, and Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe, each face challengers. Incumbents Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan and Sheriff Glen Hill are also Republicans on the ballot.

After missing the filing deadline, Prince William Republicans appealed to the State Board of Elections in Richmond to allow them to hold a Primary. That agency deferred to the Prince William Board of Elections and said it was the only agency that had the had the authority to allow such a Primary. 

That Board in 2-1 vote, comprised of two Democrats and one Republican, ruled that it didn’t the authority to allow the Primary.

Republicans are now unsure how they’ll pick who will be on the ballot for local races in November. They now have options of holding a convention, or a “firehouse canvass” in instead of a Primary Election where voters would head to their regular polling places, or cast absentee ballots.

“This is an attempt by the Democratic Party to disenfranchise members of our military, the disabled, and those who will not be able to participate in this electoral process,” said Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart.

Stewart added the Electoral Board has historically been non-partisan, but added that it is no more. He also voiced confidence that his fellow incumbent Republicans will win the local races.

Prince William County Electoral Board member Keith Scarborough said Republicans failed those who serve in the military overseas, or those who might not be able to participate in a nominating convention or firehouse canvass.  

“This was something that was forced on us by the failure of the republican committee to file paper work to request a primary,” said Scarborough. “We have enough to do we’re not going out to look to meddle in someone’s Primary process.”

Scarborough maintains the local electoral board doesn’t have the legal authority to allow for a Primary Election.

“If the situation was different and a Democrat missed these deadlines, I would feel the same way. Following the rule of law should not be a partisan thing,” added Scarborough.

It’s not clear if Republicans will appeal Sheridan’s decision. Stewart said the hearing was “fair.” 

Page 27 of 33« First...1020...2526272829...Last »