Editor: I am writing in response to Ron Campbell’s letter that appeared in the online version of Loudoun Now on Feb. 5, the day before Leesburg’s Special Election.
Mr. Campbell encouraged people to not vote for Neil Steinberg because Neil was endorsed by Loudoun Democrats. Why did Mr. Campbell not disclose that when he ran for Town Council in 2016, he sought and received Democratic endorsement? Why did Mr. Campbell not disclose that he was a member of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee (LCDC) until one month ago when he chose not to renew his membership?
Mr. Campbell wrote that “Gwen Pangle and Josh Theil are running unendorsed in favor of pledging to work for all residents of the town and not the party.” Mr. Campbell knows that in 2016, Gwen ran for Town Council with the Democratic endorsement. Mr. Campbell knows that the Loudoun Republicans promoted Josh Theil.
As Mr. Campbell was a member of the LCDC until one month ago, there were already four Democrats on the Town Council which makes his letter a bit confusing. However, since Mr. Campbell indicates that the election of Neil Steinberg would result in four Democrats on the Council, I will assume that at some point during the last year, Mr. Campbell no longer considered himself to be a Democrat even though he did not resign his LCDC membership.
The Democrats on the Leesburg Town Council do not always vote the same way, as any examination of the voting records shows. Perhaps Mr. Campbell considers the Democratic members of the Town Council to be a voting bloc because they have been united in opposition to his proposals, in particular those involving development. The Democrats oppose Mr. Campbell’s proposals because they are contrary to their shared vision of Leesburg’ future. It is easier to dismiss those opposed to his proposals if he assumes that their opposition is rooted in party affiliation.
Mr. Campbell never met with Neil Steinberg to determine if he is a person who would vote based on party affiliation. If there is one thing I learned from campaigning for Neil, it is that the people who do know Neil trust him and know that he is an independent thinker.
However, Mr. Campbell does know that Neil disagrees with his development proposals. Has he chosen to assume that Neil’s opposition stems from his identification as a Democrat rather than crediting Neil with having reasons for his opposition?
Are the tactics used by Mr. Campbell more likely to cause divisiveness.? He timed his Feb. 5 letter so as to not allow time for response before the election? Is it not divisive to brand Democrats as more concerned about party? Frankly, I have no idea what Mr. Campbell means when he talks about Democrats working for party instead of Leesburg. It sounds more like a campaign slogan.
Patti Maslinoff, Leesburg