Tia Walbridge, a Round Hill-area sheep farmer and small business owner, is returning to the campaign trail, announcing her candidacy for the Blue Ridge District seat on the Board of Supervisors.
Walbridge was the Democratic candidate for the 33rd District House of Delegates seat in 2017, losing to incumbent Republican Dave LaRock.
The Blue Ridge District seat is held by Republican Tony Buffington. Former Purcellville Town Council member Karen Jimmerson previously announced plans to challenge Buffington.
In her announcement, Walbridge highlighted concerns about schools and rural development.
“We reveal ourselves and our values when we spend our money. For me, there are few budget items more important than our children and their education. I am excited to run and hopeful that if elected, we may be able to fully fund our schools instead of continually requiring they raise standards with fewer resources,” she stated.
She said that rapid growth is putting a strain on the school system. “We are developing faster than our schools and infrastructure can accommodate. I would like to see a stronger working relationship between the School Board, Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors. Collectively, I believe we can better prepare and support the communities in our region.” she stated.
Walbridge wants more attention on planning issues in western Loudoun. “The concerns expressed by our residents are the lack of community building and coordinated planning when developing western Loudoun and the many problems this creates: traffic congestion, loss of green space and farmland, and strain on our public school system,” she said. “The county should work with our farmers and landowners to provide a variety of tools to support a sustainable agricultural economy and the critical mass of farmland necessary for rural Loudoun to continue to exist.”
Among those tools, she said, should be a transfer of development rights program, conservation easements, year-round farmers markets, a county-supported agricultural accelerator, and an aggregation facility.
Walbridge is a founding board member of Save Rural Loudoun, an associate director with Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District, and serves on the Virginia Agricultural Council.
“In the Blue Ridge, we enjoy a balance: strong schools, a growing rural economy with picturesque green space, and the many conveniences, job opportunities, and amenities in eastern Loudoun. This balance will only survive and thrive if we fight for it.”
Learn more about her campaign at tia4va.com.