Waterford resident and DC city government official Forest Hayes has announced he will challenge Supervisor Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin) for the Catoctin District seat on the county Board of Supervisors.
“As Supervisor, I will prioritize high-quality public school education for all and small school modernization in the west, a robust rural economy, workforce housing, universal broadband throughout the west, and preserving open spaces,” Hayes stated.
He is a senior advisor to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, working in the executive office of the mayor. Previously, Hayes serve on the staff of the U.S. House subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development Appropriations. In that role, he pushed to increase funding for the rural economic and community development programs. Hayes has also served as staff to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations for Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-NY), and Chief of Staff to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, (D-TX), Rep. Julia Carson (D-IN), and Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN).
Hayes said the Catoctin District is feeling the stress of “aggressive property tax programs” and a diminishing rural landscape and agrarian culture.
“Loudoun County is changing rapidly, and we must ensure our government adapts in order to consistently provide a first-class public school education to a growing and diverse student body, while investing in traffic congestion solutions that actual solve the problem,” Hayes said. “As supervisor, I will work with my fellow supervisors and the people of Catoctin to implement a smart growth development strategy which encourages workforce housing and mixed-use development around Metro stations, even as we protect and grow our wine and tourism industry to preserve the beauty and history of Western Loudoun.”
Hayes said he was raised in a Baptist church in Gary, IN, the son of a postal worker and the grandson of a steel factory worker. He said he “draws upon his working class background and deep faith for strength as he seeks to provide a fair shot for all Americans.”
Hayes has worked in the public and private sectors, ranging from rural economic development to urban neighborhood transformation and revitalization. He said he has administered and overseen the development of over $2 billion in construction and real estate assets. He has served as consultant to local municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, and community development corporations.
“I believe the most sacred duty of government is to guarantee a ‘fair shot’ for all to succeed and thrive,” Hayes stated.
Hayes plans to seek the Democratic nomination. He lives in Waterford with his wife, Nicole, an executive in the federal government and graduate of the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, and children Brayden Forest and Ella Nicole, who attend Loudoun County Public Schools.
The Board of Supervisors elections will be held in November, 2019.