Ron Campbell kicked off his campaign for the Leesburg Town Council today at Douglass Community Center, saying he aims to continue the legacy of those leaders who came before him.
Campbell is running for one of three council seats up for grabs in November’s general elections.
Pastor Michelle Thomas, Campbell’s friend and pastor, began the kick-off
festivities by noting that former Douglass High School—built in 1941 as the first high school for black students in segregated Loudoun County—is the “birthplace of new movements.” She asked the dozens of friends, family and supporters gathered to join Campbell’s movement.
“Ron is a guy who knows a lot about a lot, but he’s a leader. He brings a lot together,” she said.
Vice Mayor Kelly Burk, who is running for election in November but for the mayor’s seat, offered some background on Campbell, noting his years of service as an activist and volunteer in various capacities, including helping mentor young men in jails and being a voice for sexual assault victims.
“We need Ron on the Town Council to bring us to a level where we are not at right now,” she said. “We need someone honest, with integrity, transparent.”
Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large), a friend of both Campbell’s and his wife Barbara, vowed to work just as hard to see her friend elected to office as the Campbells did for her in her bid for the chairmanship.
“Good people have to get in office if we’re going to do good things for the town and for the county,” she said.
Campbell said he plans to draw on the traditions set before him by his parents, who involved him in their activism at a young age. But when he and his family moved to the town in 2001, he had no ambitions for political office but has realized over the years, “somebody has to stand out front sometimes.”
“God will help you understand what your assignment is. This community is my assignment,” he said.
He said his primary goal between now and Election Day was to listen to the community, recognizing that council members “get elected to represent the voices,” as well as build relationships within the town.
“This is intended to be a people’s campaign,” Campbell said.
As a council member, Campbell said he would bring “the best of [his] tools and talents,” to the town,” and won’t back down from the job at hand.
“Not only am I willing to look at how to compromise, but to say the things that need to be said,” he said.
Noting to the dozens of family, friends and supporters gathered on Saturday and that “Leesburg is a community of family and friends,” he also read an endorsement by perhaps one of his youngest supporters.
Holding up a letter from a fellow member of his church, Anna Thomas, Campbell read her words to him.
“Deacon Ron, I’m rooting for you.”
The council seats of Katie Hammler, Bruce Gemmill and Tom Dunn expire Dec. 31. Campbell is the first candidate to enter the race.