Political Differences between Democrats and Republicans in Loudoun County, VA: An Expert's Perspective

Loudoun County, Virginia is a bustling suburb located an hour west of Washington DC. It is the nation's wealthiest and fastest-growing county in Virginia, and is renowned for its often congested roads and underfunded schools. Those who wish to represent the Democratic or Republican Party should contact the local committee to learn about party regulations and policies. On September 13th, I attended a counter-demonstration organized by the Republican Party of Loudoun County, Virginia, which was dominated by magicians.

Winning Loudoun was essential to President Obama's success in the state; Republican Ed Gillespie barely held onto the county last year and nearly ousted the senator. After a decade-long redistricting process, Virginia's 32nd Senate District includes almost all of eastern Loudoun County, south of Route 7.The Republican campaign in Loudoun County has one main goal: to defeat the current Commonwealth Attorney, Buta Biberaj. The party will focus on education and, in particular, on promoting kindergarten to last all day. Some Democratic voters in the county believe that people grabbing the headlines come from a noisy minority, mostly from outside the county, and don't reflect how Loudoun's voters will vote in November.

Ibraheem Samirah is competing for the Democratic Party nomination in Virginia's 32nd Senate District. John Bell, a 13-year-old Democrat, declared in March that he had been diagnosed with cancer and would not be running for a new term. Bell, along with all of the other elected Loudoun County Democrats and a number of legislators from across the state, supported Del. York, who has been a Republican and independent while confronting the conservative wing of the Republican Party and development interests long accused of controlling county politics. Loudoun County Democratic President Valerie Suzdak said that after the board implemented new rules to maintain order during public testimony (which required the speaker to live in the county or have a child in the school system), right-wing commentator Matt Walsh announced that he had started renting a house in Loudoun to attend school board meetings (Fox reported that he was paying a dollar to a resident to rent a room).

My guess is that in a state like Virginia, the political isolation of hostile rural white voters and the affluent, carefree inhabitants of the suburbs leads many people of color to adopt a pragmatic stance of taking refuge in centrist Democratic candidates, instead of risking wasting time with radical politics. In this way, Loudoun County, with its ever-evolving and diversifying public education system, became the center of a critical election for Virginia. It remains to be seen if the issues that began at Loudoun County school board meetings (and are now being raised at school boards across the U.) will be addressed by both parties.

Evan Talamas
Evan Talamas

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