Councilman Ron Campbell kicked off his mayoral campaign Sunday afternoon at Delirium Cafe USA in downtown Leesburg.
Campbell began his speech by recognizing his family who had gathered for the occasion, including his wife Barbara, children and grandchildren. He said it takes the support of family to be an effective public servant.
The past few years, he said, have served as an opportunity to take inventory on what is most important in life. Campbell noted his two bouts with cancer, as well as becoming acclimated in a new community. Campbell and his wife moved to Leesburg 17 years ago. It was soon obvious to him that serving his neighbors in a greater capacity was the way to go.
“When politics doesn’t make sense to me, people always do,” he said.
He said it doesn’t matter what constituents’ political leanings are because “when it comes to Leesburg, I need you to talk to me.” He said that collaborative relationships with the Board of Supervisors and even the School Board are essential, as well as a good working relationship within the Town Council.
“I want people to hear us collaboratively as a community,” Campbell said. “The decisions we’re making today will impact the quality of life we have here.”
At the end of the day, it’s about “people over politics” for him.
“I envision a very active partnership with our history, present and very active future,” he said. “It should work for all of us, not some of us.”
He said he wants to start a new vision of inclusion for the community.
“Leesburg is in an OK place but we need to reposition it in a better place for a better future,” he said.
Campbell pointed to the recent criticisms directed his way for calling the special meeting to discuss allegations made against Mayor Kelly Burk.
“People can challenge and distort the truth but at [age] 65 and a half I’m pretty stubborn about who I am,” he said.
Campbell noted that there has never been a black mayoral candidate in Leesburg. “But there will be one who will win,” he said to applause.
Campbell and fellow council member Tom Dunn are both challenging Burk for the mayor’s seat.