Lovettsville-area farmer and community activist Sam Kroiz has announced he is running for the Catoctin District seat on the county Board of Supervisors as an independent.
Kroiz said he feels “called to serve.”
“Just way the politics are so ugly these days, it’s like people need to step up and get involved,” Kroiz said.
Kroiz is a familiar face to many in western Loudoun, as an eighth generation farmer on his family’s farm Georges Mill, as the fiddle player and vocalist for the old-time bluegrass trio Short Hill Mountain Boys, and as one of the most prominent voices in the opposition to plans to put what was apparently an AT&T data center on top of Short Hill Mountain.
He said he wants to use the campaign, as much as anything, as a tool to connect people, and said even if he loses, “at least I’m getting the word out about all these things, organizing, so whoever does win we can hold accountable on all these types of things.”
“I’m educated on the issues, but at the same time, the challenges are so big, I can’t do it myself,” Kroiz said. “No person can do it themselves. So, I’m really going to need a lot of help on the campaign, but I’m going to need a lot of help governing also, and bringing people out to do the things that need to be done for Catoctin and the county altogether.”
He stands out from the other candidates for more than his lack of party affiliation. If elected, Kroiz would be the first full-time farmer on the county board since Helen Marcum represented the district in the 1990s.
Kroiz is in a race against DC government official and Democrat Forest Hayes, and Leesburg attorney and Republican Caleb Kershner. The incumbent supervisor, Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin), is locked in a three-way primary race for the 13th State Senate district seat.
Kroiz said, “local politics are the most important politics,” and that he hopes to elevate the level of discussion on the county board.
“I have opinions on things, I have a moral compass, but there’s a lot of issues that I can see both sides of,” Kroiz said. “They’re tough issues to deal with and we just need to have a good, honest discussion about them.”
In particular, he voiced concern about the difficulty of keeping a farm in business in Loudoun, and about proposals to allow more development, including data centers, in the Transition Policy Area buffering suburban east from rural west.
“The rural area is under threat. People are like, ‘oh, people out there, they’ll never sell’… I don’t think people realize how quickly it all can change, and the point of no return will come faster than we know.”
In an email, Kroiz wrote, “we are under no obligation to accommodate every new home that developers project they would be able to sell if we let them build, yet this concept is currently driving our Comprehensive Plan Review. County leaders should instead determine how many new residents we can accommodate while maintaining our high quality of life and getting our tax rate under control, and use this as the basis for development planning.”
He said he is running as an independent “because both parties are distracted from this basic concept by other partisan issues and interests.”