Walbridge Wins COLT Debate as Candidates Present Clear Choice to Voters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2019
Round Hill — Last night, Tia Walbridge, Democratic nominee for Blue Ridge Supervisor, emerged as the clear victor over incumbent Tony Buffington in a debate co-hosted by the Coalition of Loudoun Towns, Loudoun Times-Mirror, and Loudoun Now. The debate lasted 90 minutes, covering topics ranging from school funding to conservation and zoning.
“Tonight, voters had a chance to see the clear choice in this election,” Walbridge said in a statement following the debate. “Do we want to settle for more empty promises and lip service from our western Supervisors, or do we want to elect a champion with the policy knowledge and boots-on-the-ground experience to understand how decisions made on the local level impact us every day?”
The distinction between the candidates was on full display as Buffington doubled-down in his insistence that there is no difference between a Purchase of Development Rights program and a Transfer of Development Rights program and that the language included in the new Comprehensive Plan meets the legal standard necessary for the program to be implemented in Loudoun. He also misrepresented his voting history, falsely claiming he has consistently supported Loudoun public schools and increased pay for county employees. Buffington has only voted to fund schools in election years, and he has repeatedly voted against increased pay for county employees while voting to give himself a pay raise. He also admitted that he’s received more contributions from real estate and construction companies than any other industry.
In clear contrast, Walbridge presented a thoughtful, long-term vision for the county to protect its balance of rural and suburban economies and landscapes, support public schools, and alleviate traffic congestion by investing in our infrastructure. She offered a vision for the future of the county that embraced an innovative idea for a new Natural Resources Department, the tightening and enforcement of the county’s notoriously lax zoning code, and the inclusion of a greater diversity of voices in big decisions made about the county and on behalf of residents.
The election for Blue Ridge Supervisor will take place on Nov. 5.