A soon-to-be downtown resident has announced his candidacy for the Leesburg Town Council.
Bill Replogle has lived in Leesburg since 1991, when he and his family moved to the Woodlea Manor neighborhood. Although he has lived outside of town limits, in River Creek, for the past dozen or so years, this month he will move to North Street.
Replogle said he’s looking forward to living within walking distance to the downtown, and could even walk to Town Council meetings, should his first bid for public office be successful.
He previously served on the town’s Environmental Advisory Commission, and even chaired it for a while. It was there he got to know Mayor Kelly Burk, who, at the time, was a Town Council member and served as the council’s liaison to the committee in the early 2000s .
“It was a great experience working with Kelly,” he recalled. “[The commissioners] took it from a commission in name only to one that got a lot of things done.”
It was Burk who was pivotal in Replogle throwing his hat in the ring for a council seat.
“I had a lingering desire to get more involved,” he said. “The move to downtown seemed like the right time. And Kelly called me and one thing led to another.”
Replogle’s life’s work is in advertising and as a creative director. He runs a small advertising agency, Fuel House, with local and regional clients. It’s a career that led to him being involved with helping to rebrand Loudoun County in the 1990s, “when the internet was just getting going,” he said. Throughout his career, he’s worked closely with many transportation agencies, including the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and the Virginia Railway Express. He’s also been involved with local environmental organizations like Save the Trail and climate change advocacy work.
“I’m kind of green-blooded,” he said with a laugh.
It’s all these efforts, including his time serving on the EAC, that he believes gives him the experience to be an effective council member.
“I could be helpful with my creative thinking and problem solving, with my economic development work looking at how to revitalize the local economy. I’d really like to be helpful in that regard,” he said.
The revitalization of the local economy, as the town and state begin to reopen in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, tops his list of priorities. Replogle also cites local environmental issues aspriorirites he’d like to address if elected. He points to the potential for the town to acquire the former Westpark Golf Club property as a key example.
“How can we make that happen without being something that puts us in the red,” he said. “We can figure out a good public-private partnership.”
Smart growth is also top of mind for Replogle.
“How do we continue to grow the town and the county in a way that does not take away from the historic charm,” he said. “We need to make sure it’s well thought out and aesthetically pleasing. We have a nice aesthetic downtown now. We need to preserve that.”
Replogle also points to the divisiveness apparent sometimes on the current Town Council and said, while he is a proud Democrat, he’s worked well with colleagues from all political persuasions and would like to bring that same collaborative spirit to the council dais.
Replogle is working on his website,billforleesburg.com, which he expects to be active soon.
He joins four other candidates vying for one of the three council seats on the ballot in November. That list includes incumbent Tom Dunn and fellow challengers Ara Bagdasarian, Kari Nacy, and Zach Cummings. Burk is the only candidate thus far to file to run for the mayor’s seat.
The filing deadline is at 7 p.m. June 9.