Minchew is making the rounds
By Adam Van Hart
WINCHESTER- Local politicians, school leaders and business owners got a chance to meet 10th District House of Delegates candidate J. Randall “Randy” Minchew during a reception Tuesday in advance of the Aug. 23 GOP primary.
Minchew, 55, an attorney with the Leesburg law firm Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley, Emrich & Walsh PC, is seeking the Republican nomination in the new 10th District, which includes portions of Frederick, Clarke and Loudoun counties.
Frederick County’s Shawnee District is now in the 10th District. So are Clarke County’s White Post District and part of the Millwood District, specifically the Millwood Precinct south of Senseny Road.
The reception was held at the OakCrest Cos. on Kent Street and was co-hosted by former state Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr. of Winchester, who said it was an opportunity to introduce Minchew to local community leaders.
“Being a Loudoun County resident, he has obviously had more day-to-day contact with citizens of [that] county,” Potts said.
The event’s agenda was straightforward, with Minchew making a short speech that reiterated his positions on issues such as education and transportation.
He wants to increase funding to area schools through changes in the Local Composite Index (LCI).
“Communities like Frederick County put more in than they get out,” Minchew said.
School funding in Virginia is determined by the index. The LCI figure calculates a jurisdiction’s wealth and the amount a school system must pay for its basic eduction. The figure has an 80 percent cap, but no minimum.
Frederick County School Board member John Lamanna said he was impressed with Minchew’s understanding of funding issues and his understanding of the LCI.
While the answer pleased Lamanna, Mark Merrill, chief executive officer of Valley Health System, said he preferred an approach that would give all school systems the funding they need – and not by taking from one to give to another.
When Minchew discussed generating more transportation funding, he got the interest of Frederick County Supervisor Gary Lofton.
If more money is provided, it could be used to help improve secondary roads, Lofton said.
James Vickers, chief executive officer of OakCrest, a residential and commercial real estate firm, said Minchew’s pro-business stance, especially in terms of fewer regulations, is something he supports.
Potts was unstinting in his own remarks about the candidate: “He is the kind of person we need to aspire to public office.”
Between discussions of policy issues, however, some political plugging took place, with Minchew encouraging voters to support state Sen. Jill H. Vogel, R-Upperville, in her re-election bid in November.
He predicted that Republicans would take control of the Senate, which now favors Democrats by a 22-18 margin.
Minchew is facing fellow Republicans John C. Whitbeck Jr. and Cara Townsend in the Aug. 23 primary.
Townsend and Whitbeck are also Loudoun County residents.