On The Ballot: The Constitutional Officers

Loudoun has five local constitutional officers—positions mandated by the state constitution and

elected countywide—and this year voters will cast ballots for four of them. Those four serve four-year terms like other local elected officials, but Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens only faces election every eight years.

The jobs cover a variety of important functions, from the county sheriff, to its chief prosecutor, to the two offices responsible for keeping watch over the county’s assessments, taxation, investments and payments.

Constitutional offices often see little turnover, and in fact Loudoun’s longest-serving elected official is its treasurer, Roger Zurn, who began his political career as a county supervisor in 1988. The offices are also currently all held by Republicans. This year, every office is contested, and there will be at least one new face among them, as Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman has been appointed to a Circuit Court judgeship.

Asterisks denote an incumbent. Skip to an office here:

Commissioner of the Revenue
Commonwealth’s Attorney
Sheriff
Treasurer


Commissioner of the Revenue

Robert S. “Bob” Wertz, Jr. (R)*
Age: 56
Occupation: Commissioner of the Revenue
Residence: Southwest Leesburg
BobWertz.org

What are your qualifications for the office and why did you choose to run for it?

I grew up in Loudoun County, graduated from Loudoun County High School and earned my Bachelors in Business Administration from Longwood University. I have 27+ years’ experience in all facets of operations of the Office of the Loudoun County Commissioner of the Revenue. I joined the office in 1992 and held a number of progressively responsible positions working for my predecessor, a life-long Democrat, for 11 years before running for the office upon my predecessor’s decision to retire. I chose to run for the position this year for the same reason I ran the first time in 2003; because I know the job and believe I’m qualified for it. I don’t seek the position because I want to hold elective office; running for the top tax assessment job in Loudoun County is how you get it.

I earned certification as Master Commissioner of the Revenue from the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at UVA in 2008. As a member of assessment-related professional organizations, including the Virginia Association of Assessing Officers, Virginia Association of Local Tax Auditors, Commissioners of the Revenue Association of Virginia and International Association of Assessing Officers, I have continued my educational and professional development and keep up with complex and ever-changing tax regulations.

I successfully consolidated 2 separate county departments in 2012 when the Office of the Assessor was moved into the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue based upon a recommendation of a Government Reform Commission that had been empaneled by the Board of Supervisors. I now oversee a professional staff of 78 personnel who are responsible for administration of real estate, vehicle and business taxes in one of the most diverse and rapidly growing localities in the country. This entails the annual valuation of more than 140,000 parcels, vehicles and businesses generating more than $1.4 Billion in local tax revenue.

My office is a leader in technological innovations in local tax administration in the Commonwealth of Virginia and we frequently host colleagues from other Virginia localities to share information about our systems, processes and policies.

I improved the working relationship between my office and the Board of Equalization making the appeals process more user-friendly, cutting down on needless appeals. My office’s real estate assessment notice was modified to include the assigned appraiser’s name and contact information so property owners can communicate directly with the appraiser who valued their respective property. Online real estate information has been enhanced by providing assess to high resolution digital aerial imagery and information about outbuildings, their characteristics and values is also now available. I Instituted the timely notification to property owners when changes have been made to their real property characteristics that would result in a significant assessment increase the following year.

Outreach to the public has been improved through the development of seminars for the public including, Real Estate Assessments 101, Land Use 101 and Tax Relief for the Elderly & Disabled. I established an annual 8-week summer real estate appraiser intern program. This creates a pool of potential full-time employees, provides training and leadership opportunities for current staff and helps with office workload.

My office implemented an automated interface with the Clerk of the Circuit Court which provides the public with more accurate and timely updating of real property transfers and ownership information. Working with the Treasurer and the county’s tax billing and collection software vendor the County began consolidated real estate tax billing for 5 of Loudoun’s 7 incorporated towns effective in tax year 2019. (Purcellville & Hamilton are not participating). The next step is consolidated personal property tax billing and collection for the same towns beginning next year.

In order to focus on the commercial tax base, I created a Commercial Real Estate Assessment division and hired a Deputy to oversee it. Given Loudoun’s worldwide leadership in the data center industry and impending Metro Silver Line opening, valuable, complex property in these areas must be properly valued for local taxes. I also created a Tax Exemptions & Deferrals Division and hired a Deputy to oversee Tax Relief for the Elderly & Disabled, the county’s land use program as well other property tax exemptions.

My office instituted the use of computer tablets by real estate appraisers in the field to enable more efficient data collection and entry of structure information into the County’s real estate tax assessment system. Tablets are also utilized by Tax Compliance Officers to ensure that local businesses are properly on the county’s tax rolls. I have also instituted Personal Property (vehicle) assessment enforcement procedures due to the elimination of windshield decals.

My many years of experience in the office makes me uniquely qualified to continue in this role.

What would you do differently or the same in the next term compared to the current term?

As the chief tax assessing officer of Loudoun County, the most important duty of the office is to ensure fair, equitable and thorough assessments. That will continue as my primary goal. I intend to build upon my record of providing efficient service without sacrificing the personal touch Loudouners have come to expect. My staff and I have prided ourselves on providing efficient, personal service whether in person, online or over the phone and that will continue. Taxpayers will always be able to reach a friendly, knowledgeable person to assist them.

The county is exploring opening a South Loudoun government service center. I support that effort and would have a branch operation in that location to better serve residents in that area if and when that comes to fruition.

My staff and I are working with the County’s Office of Building & Development as well as others to implement new building permit and land development software. An interface will be built to ensure that building, zoning, proffer and other information that needs to be considered in the real estate valuation process is efficiently transmitted to my office.

I plan to enhance online services as well. Working with the County’s real estate assessment vendor, I will provide real property owners with the ability to more easily submit data and photos of their real estate in order to ensure that we have the most accurate and up-to-date data for real estate valuation purposes.

Maintaining the confidentiality of the personal and business information entrusted to the office is also an important responsibility and will not be compromised.


Sri S. Amudhanar (D)
Age: 60
Occupation: IT small business owner
Residence: Ashburn
FriendsofSriAmudhanar.org

What are your qualifications for the office and why did you choose to run for it?

I have earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from India and MS in Systems Management from Stony Brook University in New York. I have worked in the US for almost three decades after graduation, through the evolution of technology and business processes.

My skills and services have focused on adapting organizations to new ways of doing business, establishing new ways of accomplishing goals and identifying new relevant goals.

My employers and customers have been private enterprises as well as the government. The range of technology and areas addressed have been very diverse which brings me a rounded view of what makes people and processes successful.

To mention a few, I have worked with financial institutions, hospitals and medical products manufacturers, home builders, gas and energy industry specialists, NASA, our military etc. I worked for years as a senior executive in the area of Federal Acquisitions, received a certificate in Federal Contracting and I understand how government projects and rigorous federal processes work. Our county processes do not live up to those rigors.

I have built systems that have captured over a billion dollars in contracts in financial products for military officers. I think my work experience, industry exposure, and education prepares me adequately to deliver as Commissioner of the Revenue for Loudoun County.

What would you do differently or the same in the next term compared to the current term?

I have learned that Loudoun has a significant problem in relating GIS Data, The Commissioner of Rev Office Data , and the Treasurer’s Data systems. This problem should have been solved a long time back since every thing that the Board of Supervisor decide on depends on their understanding of the state of our county. These numbers are the metrics for defining the state of our county. Additionally, one can never be sure of the fairness and accuracy of assessments unless all these systems reflect the same data. I will resolve these issues as top priority.

Next, I believe this office is labeled for Revenue so a Commissioner of Revenue is more than the Commissioner of Taxes. We need to invest in our residents and businesses to allow them to succeed and prosper, there by improving the county economy. I have many ideas for this and I hope to share them with you.

We need to be fair to rural property owners who need large amounts of land to eke a miniscule amount for a living. We also need to provide effective service to residents and businesses to allow them fairness, ensure proper compliance, and so many things that diligence requires. I don’t believe we are effective here.

I plan to deliver and perform.


Commonwealth’s Attorney

M. Nicole Wittmann (R)
Age: 53
Occupation: Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney
Residence: Lowes Island
NicoleWittmann.com

What are your qualifications for the office and why did you choose to run for it?

The job of Commonwealth’s Attorney is not about politics, it is about public safety. I have 26 years of law enforcement experience. I have spent each day of those 26 years as a prosecutor fighting for victims, abused women and children. As the Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, I have sent some of Loudoun County’s most dangerous and high profile criminals – murderers, gang members, drug dealers and child molesters – to prison. For the majority of my career, I have specialized in the prosecution of child sexual assault, physical abuse, and homicide cases. That experience has given me insight into how to tackle domestic violence and work with both juvenile and adult offenders so that they do not reoffend. I am committed to focusing on crimes that do the most harm and understand that incarceration is not always the answer. For my first eight years here in Loudoun, I served in a dual role, both as a Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney and as the Director of the Victim Witness Program. I am passionate about working with victims and advocating for their needs. Since 2012, I have been the Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney.

In this job, experience matters. I have tried more of Loudoun’s murder cases than any other prosecutor including, including Braulio Castillo, Henri Combs LaFleur, and David Cavalieri, and convicted all of them; sending these criminals to prison for life. I am one of the most experienced sex crimes prosecutors in Virginia and am often called upon to assist other prosecutors in the field of complex DNA. I am also the only prosecutor in Virginia to ever present cadaver dog evidence in a jury trial. This is why I am the only candidate who is endorsed by law enforcement, Sheriff Mike Chapman, and Democrats and Republicans alike. I am the only candidate with 26 years of experience as a prosecutor. I hope that our community looks at this particular race not as a partisan race but as a job interview and vote for the only candidate who has the right experience for the job of Loudoun’s top prosecutor. The Washington Post called me a skilled prosecutor and being a skilled prosecutor is the number one requirement for the job of Loudoun’s top prosecutor. My opponent has never worked as a prosecutor. Since she decided to run, she has prosecuted a handful of traffic cases in Herndon. She claims to be a judge but in fact was only a substitute judge filling in for actual judges when they were on vacation or ill for a day or two at a time.

In addition to working with Sheriff Mike Chapman to keep the citizens of Loudoun County safe from criminals by lowering crime by 19% since 2012, Ihave also been on the forefront of bringing rehabilitative and diversionary efforts to Loudoun County’s criminal justice system. I have championed treatment for those suffering from mental health and addiction issues rather than criminalizing mental health problems and addiction. I have been instrumental in reinstating the Drug Court, creating the Mental Health Court, and continuing an office policy of agreeing to deferred dispositions rather than incarceration for first time drug possessions, as well as not requesting cash bonds in an effort to ensure fairness for indigent and low income defendants since I began working in Loudoun. I have supported initiatives such as the Check Enforcement Program. This program has brought $346,000 in restitution to local merchants. I have also been an instructor for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Intervention Team since its inception and have been an instructor for the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy since 2005. I have been a founding member of multiple county wide initiatives aimed at keeping Loudoun safe such as the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Domestic Abuse Response Team, the Sexual Abuse Response Team, the Improving Childhood Outcomes for Positive Endings Initiative, the Reducing Ethnic and Racial Disparity Initiative, the Critical Accident Investigation Team, the Children’s Multi-Disciplinary Team and the Opioid and Heroin Overdose Initiative.

My office has been a leader in the movement to keep juveniles out of the court system by diverting juveniles before they are charged. We have accomplished this without sacrificing public safety by allowing the schools to handle in-school behaviors and by referring kids to diversion through the Restorative Justice Program. Loudoun is the safest county in Northern Virginia while having the highest rate of juvenile diversion in the Commonwealth. I have also been a leader in the effort to keep non-violent juvenile offenders out of detention and in their homes and schools by partnering with other county agencies in the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI). When I advocated for JDAI to be brought to Loudoun in 2009, the Juvenile Detention Center was at 100% capacity. Since JDAI’ s institution, we have managed to reduce that number by 75%. Since JDAI was brought to our county, Loudoun has managed to maintain the lowest rate of pre-trial (known as pre-adjudication for youth) detention in the entire state.

This effort has been recognized for its success and has been held out as the gold standard across the spectrum by those concerned with juvenile justice. Our commitment to real justice reform in the juvenile justice system has received worldwide recognition. My office’s innovative handling of one case (the graffiti of the Ashburn Colored School), was lauded by the Washington Post, the New York Times and the British Broadcasting Company as the future of juvenile justice.www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/stories-47936071. Even the most vocal critics of law enforcement and prosecutors have acknowledged the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office’s success in ending the school to prison pipeline. George Soros funded and anti-law enforcement candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney in Arlington County, Parisa Tafti, when speaking of her model for juvenile prosecutors recently wrote: “Nearby Loudoun County has a restorative justice program in place, which studies show leaves victims more satisfied and decreases recidivism. We have no such program here [referring to the Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office]. I would work to implement a restorative justice model in nonviolent and juvenile cases where the victims agree to it.” Falls Church New Press, April 11, 2019.

While my opponent has attempted to mislead the public by posting budget numbers and projections as somehow representative of how many juveniles are on probation or being committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice, the truth can be found at the following website: http://www.djj.virginia.gov/pages/community/csu20L.htm . These are the actual numbers from the Loudoun County Juvenile Court Services Unit which show that less than 1% of Loudoun’s 84,000 school aged children are even on probation and 0 have actually been committed. In fact, I have personally confirmed with the head of Loudoun County’s Juvenile Probation Department that at this time, only 58 children on probation in Loudoun County.

What would you do differently or the same in the next term compared to the current term?

I would continue to expand the many initiatives that have succeeded in keeping our county safe; specifically those aimed at keeping our children safe such as the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Children’s Multi-Disciplinary Team, the Sex Trafficking MDT (ICOPE), the Domestic Assault Response Team and the Sexual Assault Response Team.

Additionally, we have multiple community stakeholders that are about to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to start an Elder Abuse Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). This MDT will bring significant cooperation and understanding between our office, law enforcement, and Adult Protective Services, which will result in better services for our elderly population.

In 2016, my office supported bi-partisan legislation in the Virginia legislature that was passed into law and required that all sexual assault physical exam kits or P.E.R.K.s (also known as rape kits) be tested without delay. This practice, as well as the immediate testing of pre-2016 P.E.R.K.s, is being completed as we speak. I am dismayed that my opponent is both unaware of this change in the law and is claiming in her campaign mailers that she will champion the testing of all untested “rape kits” if elected. She appears to be unaware of the change in the law and this important pro-victim legislation that was supported by the National Organization of Women. In fact, Attorney General Mark Herring recently released a statement concerning this very issue stating that there are no untested rape kits or P.E.R.K.s in Virginia since 2016 and the backlog of pre-2016 rape kits or P.E.R.K.s will soon be eliminated. See https://www.oag.state.va.us/media-center/news-releases/1417-march-27-2019-testing-completed-on-pre-2014-backlog-of-untested-rape-kits

I would also continue the groundbreaking work that our office has done in the field of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. Last year, one of our domestic violence prosecutors successfully prosecuted and defended on appeal the case of Cody v. Commonwealth, where the doctrine of “forfeiture by wrongdoing” was accepted for the first time in Virginia and became a game changer in the fight against domestic violence. My prosecutors have worked in multiple innovative ways to achieve convictions against domestic abusers, particularly in the field of strangulation. They are considered leaders in their field and have been asked to teach webinars on behalf of the nationally recognized Strangulation Institute and also teach courses to all of the judges in Virginia. We also worked with Fairfax INOVA to help bring the forensic assault nurse examiner program to Cornwall Hospital. Thanks to that program, forensic exams for our domestic violence victims have doubled in the past year providing us with valuable evidence against abusers.

I have also been in the process of working with multiple defense attorneys, pre-trial officers, and other county stakeholders to develop a program that will divert adult larceny and drug offenders from the criminal justice system. I am extremely excited about the possibilities for this program as it will allow these first time offenders to expunge their record if they complete the program successfully. It will be directed at those charged with both misdemeanor and felony offenses and will be the first of its kind in the Commonwealth. I’m looking forward to serving as your Commonwealth’s Attorney so I can continue to keep Loudoun County safe. Unlike my opponent, who has spent her career protecting dangerous criminals, including murders, rapist, and child molesters, I will continue my lifelong mission to serve and protect victims. Specifically, I will continue my commitment to serve and protect the citizen of Loudoun County as I have every day for the last 15 years by advocating for victims and taking violent criminals off our streets. We live in a safe and prosperous county due in large part to the hard work of the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. Unlike my predecessor, I have a strong relationship with Sheriff Mike Chapman. Together, Sheriff Chapman and I have over 60 years of law enforcement experience. We are your law enforcement team and have the experience and expertise required to keep Loudoun County the safest area in the region for my children and yours.


Buta Biberaj (D)
Age: 55
Occupation: Attorney
Residence: Kirkpatrick Farms
Biberaj2019.com

What are your qualifications for the office and why did you choose to run for it?

Qualifications:

  • I graduated from the George Mason School of Law now named Antonin Scalia Law School in 1993. I am licensed to practice and admitted to the Maryland, New York, Virginia and United States Supreme Court Bars.
  • I opened my law practice in Leesburg in Nov. 1993 – and for the last almost 26 years, I have maintained my practice in town.
  • I was appointed by the Loudoun County Circuit Court to be a Substitute Judge for the Juvenile and Domestic Relations and General District Courts in Virginia. I presided in those courts in Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William, Page,
  • I was a Virginia Supreme Court Certified Guardian Ad Litem for 23 years and was selected by judges to represent the best interests of children and elderly persons.
  • I was an elementary school teacher for 3 years prior to attending law school.
  • I was a supervisor and manager for Costco for 7 years while working as a school teacher and thereafter attending law school. Responsible for hiring, scheduling and developing employees; budgeting and asset management.
  • Held many leadership positions, including but not limited to:
    • Legal Redress Chair, Loudoun Branch of the NAACP
    • President of the Loudoun County Bar Association 2014
  • Created the Street Law Program – mentorship program for at-risk students at Douglass School in Leesburg.
  • Co-Chair for the Julia T. Cannon Memorial Color of Justice Program – Camp REAL Program with LCMH and LCPS. Provide exposure of legal professionals to students from Loudoun.
  • Member of the Ad Hoc Committee Loudoun County Juvenile Court – Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative. Appointed by the Loudoun Juvenile Court Judges to investigate, research, report and recommend changes to the excessive pre-trial practices of juveniles in Loudoun, 1999.
  • Member of the Best Practices Court Team for Foster Care / Child Abuse and Neglect Cases. Appointed by the Juvenile Court Judges to improve the practices and policies related to children involved with child protective services and foster care.
  • Presenter at the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges on Child Trafficking and Forced Children Marriages.
  • Presenter at various continuing legal education programs to judges and lawyers on Diversity in the Courts, Foster Care, Criminal Law, DUI and various Trial topics.
  • Recognized by numerous Trial Programs for Excellence in the Law – most recently 2019, Litigator of the Year and Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Virginia.

As a resident of Loudoun County since 1996, and a business owner and trial lawyer since 1993, I am very invested in my community. In addition to being a lawyer representing thousands of individuals and families, I have developed programs that are geared towards keeping our emerging adults (ages 16 – 22) out of our courts. I have always practice the ideas that as a community we are better off preventing crime (changing kids’ decisions so they don’t act unlawfully), and protecting individuals (having safety plans, building support systems, and identifying services) rather than waiting for a wrong to be committed, and a victim be created so that we can prosecute the wrong (either civil or criminal). After spending almost 12 years as a substitute judge, I also saw how inefficient our criminal justice system was because it did not serve the best interests of our community. I saw that we were not protecting victims – most of the time they were not involved or informed about the court processes, they were not made part of the solution, and services were not provided once the case was completed. I saw that we were criminalizing juvenile / kid behaviors in the schools and contributing to the school to prison pipeline because we were expelling students, referring minor misbehaviors to the Juvenile Court Services Unit, labeling them as “bad kids” such that they were missing out on their educational opportunity. I saw that we were over-incarcerating people who were charged with an offense and held for extended periods of time pretrial (so that they lost jobs, and made their families financially and housing unstable) or putting them in jail for non-violent and low level crimes that resulted in them losing employment, housing and community stability. I saw that we had a Commonwealth Attorney’s office that did not account for the resources we were losing by not being fiscally accountable to our community – we were spending millions of dollars to incarcerate when we could be investing in drug programs, school counselors, additional law enforcement services, etc. Lastly, there was no accountability to the community by that office because they did not provide data on how they prosecuted cases.

What would you do differently or the same in the next term compared to the current term?

  • I will create a data collection process to include analysis and establish policies.
  • I will create a diverse office culture – increase the diversity in the office of personnel (race, religion, education and prior legal experience so that it is NOT predominantly career prosecutors (who have never practiced a different area of law)
  • I will require our attorneys to be engaged and invested in our community – participate in the community so that they are a part of Loudoun rather than apart from Loudoun.
  • I will create a drug court in the Juvenile Court
  • I will create a Veterans Court
  • I will work with the community to provide synergies that prevent crime – education for the elderly on how to avoid being cheated by phishing scams, bad contractors, etc.; work with the Board of Supervisors to have in county treatment centers so that we are investing in mental health and drug services within the county and we are not sending our tax dollars to other counties; work with LCPS in establishing better discipline policies so we are not referring 1500 cases per year to the juvenile court services.
  • I will work with law enforcement so that they better understand the rights of the citizens and the importance of following the laws so that we are not sued and don’t pay out millions of dollars from law suits.

And, that is my plan for the first year.


Sheriff

Michael L. “Mike” Chapman (R)*
Age: 62
Occupation: Sheriff
Residence: Leesburg
ReelectSheriffChapman.com

What are your qualifications for the office and why did you choose to run for it?

I first ran for the Office of Sheriff in 2011 to bring my experience and leadership skills to what had become a stagnant approach to law enforcement – an approach that was putting the citizens of Loudoun at risk.

I ran on the premise that I could improve Service, Technology, Efficiency and Professionalism, and we have made significant, measurable strides in each area in the years since. This approach is still the foundation of the service the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) provides, and I’m grateful for the overwhelming and ongoing support from citizens and the strong partnerships we have forged with community groups and leaders.

I’ve served on the front lines of law enforcement for over 40 years – from taking on cocaine traffickers in Miami in the 1980’s, to fighting the opioid epidemic we face today in Loudoun, and everything in between. I’ve served on a local police department, across the globe with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as a law enforcement subject-matter expert in the private sector, and as your Sheriff since 2012.

My career began as a police officer in Howard County, Maryland – serving in patrol, as a SWAT member and as a detective — before moving on to a 23-year career with DEA. There I worked in Miami and Tampa; McAllen, Texas; and Karachi, Pakistan to break up dangerous narcotics networks and keep illegal drugs off America’s streets. I also served as the narcotics advisor to the Ambassador in Seoul, Korea; as the director of regional operations for the Far East; as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Northern California; and as DEA’s Chief of Public Affairs. From there, I worked in the private sector for several years before being elected Sheriff.

I am a graduate of the FBI Executive Institute; the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Program; the US Drug Enforcement Administration Academy; the Howard County (MD) Police Academy; the National Sheriff’s Institute; the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute; the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Institute Executive Leadership; and the US Army War College; and received a Leadership Certification from the Harvard JFK School of Government.

My education includes a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy University; a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland; and an Associates of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement from Montgomery (MD) College.

I serve on the Executive Board for the Major County Sheriffs of America and as its Vice President for Homeland Security, and as Chairman for Homeland Security for the National Sheriffs’ Association. I’m regularly called on to participate in forums to address national public safety issues and speak to the success we have had in Loudoun County and how we are achieving it. I’ve been sought out by Presidents Obama and Trump, as well as Vice President Biden, to address MS-13 and gang crime, police-community relations, and illegal drugs crossing our borders. Thanks to LCSO’s proactive programs to mental health issues, I was invited to Capitol Hill to help announce the bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health Act with Actress Glenn Close and Senators Blunt and Stabenow.

What would you do differently or the same in the next term compared to the current term?

We have experienced extraordinary success during my tenure as Sheriff, and I’m determined to do even more. Our crime rate has plummeted by 19%; we are the safest jurisdiction in the Washington Metro area; we’ve experienced the greatest reduction in opioid overdoses in the Baltimore/Washington region; and citizen satisfaction has been at a 90% level as regularly measured by the University of Virginia and the consulting group, ICMA.

Under my leadership, LCSO initiated a nationally recognized School Resource Officer (SRO) program, which is now present in every county high school and middle school to help keep our students safe, and I have proposed its expansion to all schools in the county. SROs are proven to be one of the most effective ways of not only deterring school violence, but also of discouraging bullying and drug use, and building positive relationships with our children and youth. The SRO initiative is part of what ought to be a comprehensive approach to making our schools and students safer, and I am committed to this in my next term.

LCSO also operated a nationally recognized Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, which I expanded from elementary schools to all our middle schools at no cost to the county. This fall we introduced the Safe2Talk App, in coordination with the Loudoun County Public Schools, so students can report school safety concerns directly to our Emergency Communications Center anonymously and without fear of retaliation.

We also have a nationally recognized Crisis Intervention Program and have trained 100% of our deputies in de-escalation techniques and avoidance of violence. LCSO also manages the Adult Detention Center where we have expanded our re-entry programs with a resulting 10% reduction in recidivism during my tenure.

Loudoun was the first county in Virginia to acquire Narcan for use by our deputies, and as a result we have saved lives when dealing with opioid overdoses. We are also the first in Virginia to acquire a drone, establishing Project Lifesaver to enhance the safety of our citizens in search and rescue operations, including cases where citizens with Alzheimer’s or other dangerous medical conditions have left home and may be lost.

I put a high priority on meeting and communicating with citizens every day, issuing educational videos on social media – most recently on vaping, gun safety, and what to do if your vehicle is pulled over by a deputy — and holding regular meetings in all parts of the county where citizens can meet with the local deputies and senior members of my team who serve them.

I cannot address accomplishments without expressing the great pride I have in the more than 700 men and women who serve as members of the LCSO. When I started here, training and professional standards were not a priority, the Office was struggling to attract and retain high quality personnel, our salaries and benefits were among the lowest in the region, and there were significant lapses in management and performance.

That has all changed – and I have been extremely proactive in lobbying on behalf of the men and women that serve this agency. Today, LCSO is a magnet for attracting the best and most dedicated deputies and civilians in the region, and we are considered one of the most professional and forward-looking law enforcement agencies in the nation. I look forward to serving as your Sheriff for the next four years, to keeping LCSO at the cutting edge of law enforcement innovation and success, and to keeping you safe.


Justin P. Hannah (D)
Age: 28
Occupation: Investigative Analyst at the Department of Defense
Residence: Aldie
JustinHannah.com

What are your qualifications for the office and why did you choose to run for it?

Since an early age I knew I would pursue a life of service. From my father who is a Vietnam veteran, and from my teachers, I learned about the men and women who served this country, fought with incredible bravery, and even laid down their lives to defend it. It was because of them I felt compelled to serve. In 2009 I joined the Army National Guard. While In the Army National Guard I received degrees from Valley Forge Military Academy & College and ​The American University School of Public Affairs. After completing after completing my degrees, I managed the training and oversight of Army Reserve Soldiers and reserve officer cadets. In 2015 I went on active duty and deployed to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. I augmented with a Special Intelligence Detachment and deployed with special operations forces. I completed over 150 combat flights achieving over 750 combat flight hours to deliver real-time intelligence support to special operations forces on the ground and in the air. Upon returning stateside, I was assigned to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and served as an International Affairs Officer for Eastern Europe. I later assumed command of a Counterintelligence/Human Intelligence unit. I supervised 110 personnel with the mission of providing rapid response to conflicts across the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Currently, I am in command of a unit with direct ties to policing. This unit is the only of its kind in the U.S. Army. It has the unique role of providing rule of law support in foreign countries where it is stationed. When deployed, it is the mission of this unit to investigate criminal activity in the host nation, and deliver investigations to the local courts in order to assist in the enforcement of their laws. After leaving active duty, I have remained in the Army Reserves, worked as a Senior Analyst for BAE systems, a TSA employee, and an investigative analyst for the U.S. Government. I decided to run for Sheriff because Loudoun is changing. We are growing in size, and the threats we face today are different. And we know the old ways no longer work. We need new leadership in the Sheriff’s Office.

What would you do differently or the same in the next term compared to the current term?

There is currently a threat of gun violence that we all face. As a parent, I know the worst fear we have is that when we let our children go outside to play, or send our children to school, is that they won’t come home. There are currently parts of Loudoun County where stray bullets are hitting homes and people. People are carelessly firing their guns without understanding the consequences. I also believe School Resource Officers (SRO), should not be forced on schools without the input of parents and school faculty. I understand certain schools may be better served with more counselors. This should not be a unilateral decision.

Undocumented residents must feel comfortable coming to the police to report a crime. Unfortunately, they do not currently feel safe to do so. The threat of deportation of otherwise law abiding residents makes us all less safe. If an undocummented person commits a crime, cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will be handled on a case by case basis. We now understand that the D.A.R.E. program has been empirically proven not to reduce the use of drugs and alcohol among young people. There are better programs out there and we must strive to implement those better and smarter


Treasurer

H. Roger Zurn, Jr. (R)*
Age: 64
Occupation: Treasurer
Residence: Leesburg
RogerZurn.org

What are your qualifications for the office and why did you choose to run for it?

I have the honor of serving as Treasurer for 24 years. There has much growth over that time but the one consistency has been sound fiscal management. I am proud to have been a part of the finance team that has taken Loudoun from Single A to Triple A bond rating. I have managed the County’s investments which has achieved consistently high returns, compared to the benchmarks, without a single loss EVER. Also currently over 3.2 billion dollars comes through the Treasurer’s Office with all monies being properly accounted for, in fact we have had consistently clean audits through those many years.

I am running because I genuinely enjoy my job, think I do it well and have always put customer service at the forefront of my tenure. I would be honored to be elected to serve the citizens of Loudoun once again.

What would you do differently or the same in the next term compared to the current term?

We are constantly innovating, such as undertaking billing and collecting for 5 of the County’s 7 Towns which has never been done before in the Commonwealth. I plan on continuing to manage our investments safely, be sure that proper controls are in place and to speak out when necessary should I believe Loudoun’s fiscal health may be jeopardized.


Kannan Srinivasan (D)
Age: 53
Occupation: Senior finance professional
Residence: Potomac Falls
KannanforLoudoun.com

What are your qualifications for the office and why did you choose to run for it?

I am a Senior Finance Professional with 30 years of experience in the private sector, building high performance teams and helping multibillion-dollar enterprises achieve and manage high growth in customer service and in financial sector. I graduated from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA with Master’s degree in Accounting and I am also a Chartered Accountant and a Member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. I specialized in Governmental financial performance in my Masters program at Old Dominion University. I am a resident of Northern Virginia since mid-90s and have been a Loudoun resident for about 20 Years.

Both my parents were public school teachers in India and they instilled in me the value of public service. I currently serve in the Loudoun Fiscal Impact Committee and in Virginia Medicaid Board. I want to bring my rich private sector experience and my passion for public service to serve the residents of Loudoun as their Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and help to take Loudoun to next level.

What would you do differently or the same in the next term compared to the current term?

Loudoun is one of the fastest growing and wealthiest County in the Country. The needs and aspirations of the County has changed dramatically. I will be a change agent to promote innovative programs with public-private partnerships to meet the current needs of the County. I will also bring cutting-edge technology to provide best-in-class customer service. I will be an advocate for promoting financial education.

I am a fiscal conservative who believes that your precious tax dollars should be spent and invested with fiscal prudence and in running an efficient and effective government that prioritizes initiatives that aligns with our values. I am running on a platform of Transparency, Innovation and Accountability to align Treasurer’s duties to a modern Loudoun. I will bring:

  • Full Transparency on how your tax dollars are invested and its returns.
  • Innovation with best-in-class customer experience.
  • More Accountability for better performance management across county functions to ensure best value for your tax dollars.

I commit to serve Loudoun citizens with fairness, integrity and being a steward of their hard-earned tax dollars. I humbly seek your support and your vote on November 5th for an opportunity to serve as your Treasurer.

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