Seal of Virginia
Seal of Virginia

The Virginia General Assembly is composed of two houses, the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate. Members of the House of Delegates serve two-year terms, and members of the Senate serve four-year terms, elected at a two-year offset from our gubernatorial elections. This year, both houses are standing for election.

British colonists established what is now called the General Assembly in 1619 at Jamestown, where it was called the House of Burgesses. It moved to Williamsburg in 1699, and then became the General Assembly in 1776 when the American colonies declared independence. It moved to Richmond when that city became the state capital in 1780.

The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest legislative body in the western hemisphere.

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Seal of Loudoun County
Seal of Loudoun County

Article VII Section 5 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia establishes that each local government must be governed by an elective body. In Loudoun County, this body takes the form of a Board of Supervisors, which has responsibility for all local legislation, budgeting, and appointments. It operates under the authorities and limits set forth by the Virginia General Assembly.

The board is composed of nine members, all of whom serve concurrent four-year terms on the same election schedule as the Virginia Senate. The chairman is elected in a county-wide at-large race, and the remaining eight members are elected by voters from each of the eight named county districts. Currently, the Republican Party holds a majority of six seats, and the Democratic Party holds three seats.

Chairman

The Chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is the leader of the board and the highest local elected official.

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Loudoun County Constitutional Offices

Seal of Loudoun County
Seal of Loudoun County

Article VII Section 4 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia establishes several elective local offices that must be filled in every city and county. These offices are Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff, Commissioner of Revenue, Treasurer, and Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Those elected to these offices serve four-year terms, except for the Clerk of the Circuit Court who serves an eight-year term. Elections are typically held in the same year as Virginia Senate elections. This year in Loudoun County, all these offices except Circuit Court Clerk are up for election.

Commonwealth’s Attorney

In the race to serve as Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Buta Biberaq (D) and Loudoun County Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney M. Nicole Wittmann (R) are vying for an open seat. Incumbent Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman (R) is not seeking reelection.

The Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney is responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes in the county, including felony, misdemeanor, traffic, and juvenile offenses. Commonwealth’s attorneys serve a four-year term.

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Article VII, Section 10, of the Constitution of Virginia requires local governments to obtain voter approval to issue bonds. Voters in Loudoun County, Virginia, will be asked to consider four bond referendums on this year’s ballot.

Bonds are debt. When they are sold, the issuing government receives an influx of cash from the purchasers. But, like a bank loan, that money must be repaid over time with interest.

Like any other loan, bonds should only be used when necessary. Most projects should be funded directly from the general fund (i.e., from the “money in the bank”). Only when some specific project is very important, but too large to fund directly, should we turn to using bonds for financing.

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The report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Donald Trump (R), his 2016 campaign, and Russian interference in the election, gave us the answers to many questions. Read the report here (PDF link).

We know, for example, that the Russians attempted to interfere in our election. At first, they attempted to sow general discord and advance the campaigns most likely to create chaos—Trump’s on the Republican side, and Senator Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) on the Democratic side. Later, after Sanders had lost the Democratic Party primary, they threw their weight more exclusively behind Trump.

We also know that there were no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government or its proxies. There were some isolated meetings and other contacts—typical of those in any high-level political campaign—but there was no direct coordination. The Trump campaign did not knowingly seek or accept Russian support.

All of this is laid-out plainly in the first volume of the Mueller report, and, thankfully, the press seems to have let most of these issues drop (although a lack of evidence didn’t stop them from harping on “Trump and the Russians” for the preceding two years). The ongoing controversy has been related to the second volume of the report, where Mueller was much more equivocal in his conclusions. Well, actually, he didn’t bother making any conclusions at all.

This was a dereliction of duty.

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