The 2019 Board of Supervisors race got off to an early start Saturday when Purcellville Councilwoman Karen Jimmerson announced she will run for the Blue Ridge District seat.
The Democrat is serving in her first elective office, with a term that expires June 30. She will not seek as second term and will instead focus on her campaign for the county board.
Jimmerson made the announcement Saturday on her personal Facebook page.
“Although I know I am the qualified candidate to run this race, some people have the belief that the recent ‘turmoil’ in Purcellville may hurt my candidacy. Well, they are wrong!” she wrote.
Much of her announcement addressed the series of ongoing investigations into the conduct of the town’s management staff. The interim town manager, police chief and town attorney are all on administrative leave following a series of allegations of mismanagement or conflicts of interest. So far, the town has spent $169,583 on the situation, including $95,000 for salary expenses of the managers and two other employees on paid leave and of the new interim town manager.
“This Council has operated with integrity and taken every reasonable action along the way. We are engaging the new interim town manager in conducting an operational audit to ensure that something like this won’t happen again. In the end, I am confident this ‘turmoil’ will be for the best and will lead to efficiencies that will save the Town thousands,” she wrote. “The investigation will weed out those who are intent to place our government back in the hands of the developers.”
Jimmerson’s husband, Richard, campaigned as an independent for the Blue Ridge District seat in 2015, losing to Tony Buffington (R) by 1,288 votes. In her statement, Jimmerson said his campaign was designed to promote her political future and set the stage for her 2019 board race.
“I managed every aspect of his campaign,” she wrote. “We knew winning was a long shot but we chose to do so to prepare the seat for my run in 2019 and so that Buffington would not run unopposed with no platform to use against him in 2019.”
Jimmerson said that she has positioned herself well for a district campaign.
“I understand the political landscape and the electorate in the Blue Ridge District with strong name recognition in the County and District. I have been able to influence, build consensus, and execute with great efficiency,” she wrote. “I have managed to thwart personal attacks toward me over the years effectively. My political record solidifies and reflects my record of developing a clear path forward and leveraging the citizen’s vision to successful votes on their behalf.”
She said her main goal is to better represent the Blue Ridge District. She said previous district supervisors Janet Clarke and Buffington haven’t followed through on their promises.
“You’re either ineffective or you’re part of the problem,” Jimerson said. “I just don’t see where they have really fought for any votes for our district.”
She pointed to the Board of Supervisors’ recent 5-4 vote to allow construction of a data center along the western banks of Goose Creek, which Buffington opposed.
”I see the same type of vote playing out over and over again,” Jimmerson said. “As a legislator in Purcellville, I know what it feels like to be in the minority.”
Patrick Szabo contributed to this report.