Ohneiser Launches Independent Campaign for County Chairman

Former School Board member Robert Ohneiser announced Tuesday he is running for the county chairman at-large position on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors as an independent.

“I believe Loudouners are quite tired of hearing self-serving partisan rhetoric from political climbers who spend most of their time taking from the public trough instead of having a demonstrated legacy of volunteering to help Loudoun as I have with over 40 man years of serving Loudoun,” Ohneiser wrote in an email announcing his candidacy.

He said the Board of Supervisors should focus on “efficiency, fairness and full community support.”

“As a recently retired attorney with Loudoun elected official experience combined with decades of Loudoun-based community volunteerism, I am uniquely capable of managing the county agenda working full time with both parties to move defined problems to successful resolution,” Ohneiser wrote.

He served on the Loudoun County School Board representing the Broad Run District for eight years beginning in 2003. In 2011, he unsuccessfully ran for the At-Large position on the School Board, and in 2015 unsuccessfully ran for Commonwealth’s Attorney as the Democratic candidate. In 2018, when former School Board member Eric DeKenipp left his seat early, he endorsed Ohneiser to be his replacement, although the School Board selected Chris Croll to fill the seat.

In his campaign announcement, Ohneiser voiced concern about the cost of Metrorail and the school budget, claiming the school budget “may push the already unfair property tax rate upward by over 30 cents.” Ohneiser also wrote that he would not accept any campaign contributions for the countywide race.

“As the only candidate who takes no campaign contributions, I will not be beholding to any developer, Richmond required party obedience or other lobbyist influences,” Ohneiser wrote.

He said his priorities include pushing the property tax rate back below one dollar per $100 of assessed value for the first time since 2008; addressing traffic problems on Rt. 9 and Rt. 15, including that he will “require” the Virginia Department of Transportation to meet its own published minimum standards and the owners of the Greenway to provide discounts to Loudouners, both issues under state authority; and coordinating with Fairfax County to address issues around Dulles Airport and dealing with the state and federal government.

Ohneiser recently retired as an attorney, having also served in executive roles at other businesses and having served on the Board of Education of West Paterson, NJ, now known as Woodland Park.

“Being Chairman is a full time, serious job not a part time endeavor to build up one’s law firm or operate as a ceremonial head distracting precious county resources on ad hoc issues of distraction,” Ohneiser wrote.

Ohneiser joins a race against incumbent Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), a Democrat seeking a second term, and Republican challenger John Whitbeck.

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