Jill Turgeon, serving her second term on the Loudoun County School Board, has announced her intention to run for the county’s top seat.
Turgeon told Loudoun Now today that she will likely run for county chairman, an at-large position currently held by first-term Democrat Phyllis J. Randall.
“After much personal reflection and consideration, as well as consultation with a number of influential individuals within the region, I am confident that if I do choose to run, I will be able to provide the necessary leadership to move Loudoun County into a prosperous future,” Turgeon said.
She said, at this point in the race, she’s not thinking about her run as going up against Randall or any other specific candidate. “It’s really about what I think I can bring as a leader and facilitator on the board, and that’s what I’m going to focus on at least in this phase of the campaign,” said Turgeon, who is the first to publicly announce a run for the office which is open for reelection in November 2019. Randall is expected to seek reelection.
Before being elected to the School Board in 2011, Turgeon taught second-grade at Cool Spring Elementary School in Leesburg. She served as vice chairwoman of the School Board from 2012 to 2015. Although she serves in a non-partisan position as a School Board member, she said she plans to seek the endorsement of the Loudoun County Republican Committee in her run for the Board of Supervisors.
As county chairwoman, she said she would focus on economic development, transportation, and continuing the county’s strong educational offerings, while also working to improve youth services and mental health awareness.
She said it’s important that a strong candidate runs to lead the Board of Supervisors, especially as Loudoun sits at a crossroads on a number of important issues, including the reworking of the county’s comprehensive plan, improving the road network, and working to attract more businesses.
Speaking to the Envision Loudoun initiative that is overhauling the county’s comprehensive plan, Turgeon said it’s important to maintain the Transition Policy Area as a buffer between Loudoun’s suburban east and rural west.
“Loudoun County has so many unique regions—some urban, suburban, and rural—that we need to make sure that we highlight and maintain because they really make Loudoun Loudoun,” she said.
She would also like to provide a perspective on the Board of Supervisor of a former classroom teacher and School Board member, especially during the budget process. Roughly 56 percent of the county’s annual operating budget goes to local public schools, and she said she has the expertise to help guide that annual conversation.
“I will have gone through eight budget cycles on the School Board at the time of the chairman election in 2019, which gives me a deeper understanding of how the school budget impacts the county budget and an understanding of how the school budget is developed,” she said. “It would certainly be an asset to the board.”
Before joining the School Board, Turgeon taught for 10 years, from pre-kindergarten through elementary school. She operates her own photography business and helps her daughter market a patented baby product. She is also a part of the American Enterprise Leadership Network, which works on poverty and educational policy.
She and her husband, a Loudoun County Public Schools teacher, live in Round Hill. They have three children: a daughter who graduated from Loudoun Valley High School, and a daughter and son who graduated from Woodgrove High School.