Vanessa Maddox beat Joshua Thiel in Tuesday’s race to win a seat on the Town Council. She will serve the remaining 12-and-a-half months of Kelly Burk’s council term after her election to the mayor’s seat last November.
Maddox topped Thiel with 47.24 percent of vote to 44.38 percent, at a margin of 356 votes. She won in seven out of the 11 town precincts, with the Dry Mill precinct coming in at a tie, according to unofficial results.
It was the first run for public office for both candidates.
“It’s very surreal,” Maddox said of the victory immediately after results were announced. “I’m so happy right now.”
A 13-year town resident, Maddox formerly served on both the town’s Economic Development Commission and Technology and Communications Commission. Professionally, she works full time for an IT company based in Herndon along with running her own consulting business.
She was applauded by throngs of supporters and Loudoun County Democratic Committee volunteers who cheered in the jovial atmosphere of The Tasting Room at Palio in downtown Leesburg.
Maddox credited those who surrounded her at Palio’s, plus many others who worked behind the scenes, for her victory on Tuesday. “Even when I was tired … they kept me going,” she said. “I’m so proud of Leesburg.”
It was a much more somber atmosphere at nearby Dog Money Restaurant, where a large contingent of Loudoun County Republic Committee members watched the returns come in Tuesday. It was there that Thiel thanked his supporters, and also made sure to recognize Del. Randy Minchew (R-10), leading two rounds of applause for him. Minchew was also defeated on Tuesday.
“This is my hometown, it will always be my hometown, and I will always love Leesburg. I will always love the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I will always look to improve it any way I possibly can,” Thiel said in his remarks Tuesday.
The sting of defeat was palpable when the results showed a victory for his opponent.
“It’s a hard hit. I gave it my heart and my everything. It’s just not the results I was looking for,” he said. “My hometown, I thought would vote with their hearts and not with the party, but I think they picked the party, unfortunately.”
Still a member of the town’s Economic Development Commission, Thiel said he plans to stay involved with both town activities and the greater community.
“Nothing’s really going to change in the sense of me giving back to the town. I just thought this would be the next step of giving back to the town,” he said.
Maddox is expected to be sworn in before week’s end, but there will be a formal ceremony at Town Hall at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, prior to the council’s regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. She said she is looking forward to “getting in there and learning, and being a part of history.”
Maddox won’t have much time to pack away her campaign signs, as the seat will be back on the ballot next November for a full four-year term. She may have some familiar company. Thiel said Tuesday he has not ruled out another run, but will take some time to consider his next steps. The seats of Councilman Marty Martinez and Vice Mayor Suzanne Fox will also be on the ballot next November, along with a new two-year mayoral term.