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10th House District: Minchew Brings Policy, Campaign Experience To Run

August 10th, 2011

Leesburg Today

By Erika Jacobson Moore

Leesburg attorney Randy Minchew is a familiar face in county government and Loudoun politics, and has been for many years, but his first foray into the field occurred more than three decades ago. He was in his hometown of McLean, eating lunch one summer day in 1976, when he saw new Republican candidate Frank Wolf working the crowd and talking to voters.

“So I talked to him, and he took the time to talk to me-just out of high school and a new registered voter,” Minchew said. “That really made an impression on me.”

Northern Virginia is Minchew’s life-long home, having graduated from Langley High School in 1976. After receiving his degree from Duke University in 1980 and working in North Carolina, Minchew made his way back to Washington, DC, for Wolf’s oath of office and President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration later that year. He graduated from Washington & Lee University’s law school in 1984, serving as class president his senior year.

His parents, who were raised as staunch Southern Democrats, were interested in politics, volunteering for campaigns, but Minchew said around the time he entered high school and the campaigns of Henry Howell, “they started to realize their party had left them.”

“I witnessed my parents make that change to the Republican Party, and I was fascinated by the metamorphosis,” he said, adding that it taught him about seeking candidates who truly represented his personal beliefs.

Minchew said he is a believer in community service and working hard for the causes you support. He has worked on Republican campaigns from local races, to the state campaigns of Bill Mims and Del. Joe T. May, to the federal races of Wolf and Republican presidential nominees since the 1970s, and is just as committed to giving back to his neighbors.

Minchew, who moved to Loudoun in 1992, served two full terms as chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee, as well as chairman of the Loudoun County Boy Scouts, general counsel to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, life director of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, and general counsel to the Board of Trustees of the Loudoun Country Day School. In August 2010, Minchew was appointed deputy counselor and advisor to Gov. Bob McDonnell.

After McDonnell was elected, Minchew was offered the opportunity to move down to Richmond full-time, but said it was not the right choice for his family. Instead he was given the part-time position where he could work as much as he could spare. That role, Minchew said, gave him a new view of how the state government works, as he worked on the governor’s legislative agenda from the transportation package to the privatization of the state’s ABC stores.

“It really gave me a view of the chief executive’s role in public policy and the legislative process to get things passed in the General Assembly,” he said.

After all of his years of working in government and volunteering for campaigns, this year marks the second time he is making a run for office himself. He ran in the special election in 2006 for the state Senate. It was redistricting that was the impetus, he said, noting he never expected his home to be redistricted out of May’s 33rd District, since both men live in Leesburg. But with the newly created 10th District in the House of Delegates an opportunity arose.

“You develop friendships and loyalties in politics that are almost transcendent,” Minchew said, “and I would have never run against Joe.”

But when May called him directly to tell him about the potential new district, Minchew decided it was time. He resigned from McDonnell’s administration in May, and announced he intended to run.

Like most candidates, Minchew acknowledged that “transportation and education always come right to the top” of the priority issues. Transportation must be figured out, he said, acknowledging that the $4 billion plan passed this year cannot be replicated in the same way and there needs to be a more permanent solution. But that solution cannot include tax increases of any type, he said, pointing out that the traditional reliance on the gasoline tax in particular is unsustainable as prices become cost prohibitive and new technology reduces individuals’ reliance on cars and gas.

“Funding transportation is about reallocating priorities,” Minchew said, saying he supported a more wholesale review of the state government like what occurred with the Virginia Department of Transportation last year.

Minchew believes public-private partnerships need to be expanded, and said the infrastructure bank, which was emphasized this year, could be a way to do that-with the bank serving as the public side of the equation that the private sector could apply to.

“We need to harness the thinking of the private sector to address these issues,” he said.

An infrastructure bank could address the construction funding so lacking at the state level, which would leave more of the revenues available to address road maintenance issues.

When it comes to the budget, Minchew notes that the state’s revenues are good. “We’re having surpluses. But we have to allocate the money properly.”

Minchew said it would always be painful to make decisions on what should be funded, but that it has to be done to spend the taxpayer’s money efficiently and wisely.

“There will not be a tax increase in 2012. I will go ahead and make that prediction now,” he said. “So it is going to get down to shuffling the money.”

The key functions of government are transportation, public safety and education, Minchew said, and those must be funded, instead of other non-essential functions of government, such as public radio and television.

“If the localities wish to fund that they have every right to do that,” he said. “But I believe in limited government and that government is best when it stays out of things that the private sector can do.”

Minchew has deep-rooted experience in economic development, having helped start the county’s Economic Development Commission in the mid-90s and serving as chairman in 1997 and 1998. While he was chairman of the EDC, Minchew co-chaired the Rural Economic Development Task Force-the 1997 panel that created Loudoun’s 200,000 Acre Solution report to address rural economic development. Minchew said he is proud that since that report came out in 1998 the value of the rural economy in Loudoun has doubled. “Of all the things I have done, that seems to have had the greatest number of returns.”

He said he would like to use his experience on the 200,000 Acre Solution to help McDonnell develop a plan to meet his goal of conserving 150,000 acres of land in the commonwealth.

“There is a conservation ethic that occurs in the 10th District and I am no exception,” he said. Indeed, when Minchew and his wife, a preservationist, first moved to Loudoun, they purchased an old house on Market Street in Leesburg, planning to renovate and restore it.

One issue one which Minchew is committed to working is the enforcement of the 10th Amendment, which states, “powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved, respectively, to the states or the people.”

“The state governments are granted the right to push back on the federal government,” Minchew said. “The General Assembly is given the right to be trustees for the people and there should be laws enacted by the legislature to begin that push back.”

Minchew said the most obvious overreach of the federal government is in the health care legislation, but said Virginia has much to be concerned about over the Total Maximum Daily Loads for area waterways that will be coming down through the Environmental Protection Agency.

“There is no money being provided to implement that and that is going to impact the state and the localities,” Minchew said. “There should never be unfunded mandates from the federal government to the states and from the states to the local governments.”

Minchew said he hopes he and other members of the General Assembly can work with the Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the negative impact on localities-and said it will be key to helping keep taxes down locally.

“People just cannot afford this,” he said.

Minchew said he represents a unique opportunity for the Loudoun voter-one not found in his opponents. “My lifetime of experience combined with my baseline conservative philosophy will be a benefit in Richmond and will help me to serve the people well.”

His decades of service has taught him about how to work for the people around him-and he said it is that value he will take with him to Richmond.

“Constituent services will the hallmark of my service. I’ll have an office in Leesburg. I’ll have an office in Winchester,” he said. “I want people to come to me, to come and talk to me about what they need.”

Without knowing their legislator is listening to them, residents cannot trust them, Minchew said. “People want to trust you. They want to hear that you’re an honest disciple of your values,” he said. “And that is what I am. I will work to turn their beliefs and priorities into good public policy.”

 

Minchew is making the rounds

August 10th, 2011

Winchester Star

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.

 

State Republican candidates to debate

August 9th, 2011

Loudoun Times

By Crystal Owens

Republican candidates for the state Senate’s 13th District and the House of Delegates’ 10th District will face off in debates this week.

The debates, hosted by the 10th Congressional District Republican Committee, are scheduled for Aug. 10 in Leesburg and Aug. 11 in Winchester.

On Aug. 10 state senate candidates Dick Black, Bob FitzSimmonds and John Stirrup will face off from 7:30 p.m. To 9 p.m. At the Rust Library, 380 Old Waterford Road, NW, Leesburg. A meet and greet will begin at 7 p.m.

In Winchester on Aug. 11, House of Delegate candidates Randy Minchew, Cara Townsend and John Whitbeck will debate from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department Community Center at Greenwood Mill Elementary School, 281 Channing Drive. Social hour begins at 6:30 p.m.

The state Republican primary is Aug. 23.

 

GOP candidate Minchew is leader in House of Delegates fundraising

July 19th, 2011

The Winchester Star

By Adam Van Hart

With the primary election for Virginia’s 10th District in the House of Delegates a month away, the candidates continue to gather funding.  Campaign finance reports for April through June were released Friday by the Virginia State Board of Elections.

According to the disclosures, Leesburg attorney J. Randall Minchew is well ahead of his fellow Republicans and the lone Democrat. Minchew reportedly raised $123,744. After expenses, his campaign had $111,362 on hand June 30. “We had not had a chance to compare to the other candidates,” Minchew said from his law office at Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley, Emrich & Walsh Monday. His second- quarter total was the fourth highest among all House candidates in the state, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Fellow 10th District Republican John C. Whitbeck Jr., also from Loudoun County, brought in $ 53,640 with $ 31,267 of that amount remaining. Whitbeck’s campaign attributed Minchew’s financial lead Monday as being more the result of self-funding from family and business interests and less from outside campaign donations. “We are going to work through our grassroots base of supporters, ” said John Findlay, a spokesman for Whitbeck’s campaign.

Republican Cara Townsend, the last person to file as a candidate in the race, raised $23,980 — most of which was an $18,000 selfloan she made. “We got started a little bit later than others,” said Townsend, who added that she has seen positive support.

With the Aug. 23 primary approaching, the three Republicans are mobilizing for a final push. The general election is set for Nov. 8. But while they battle for their party’s nomination, Democrat David Butler — with no primary opponent — has an easier route to Election Day.

The Leesburg Town Council member brought in $56,563 in the second quarter. Most of that was from two $20,000 loans he made to himself. As of June 30, he had $39,956 in his campaign coffers. Nonetheless, Butler sounded confident Monday, and said he has been receiving positive feedback. “Since we don’t have a primary, we can follow a little different route,” he said.

The 10th District, which does not have an incumbent, was relocated from southwestern Virginia in this year’s redistricting plan, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Justice in June. It includes portions of southern Clarke County, Frederick County east of Winchester, and parts of southern Loudoun County. Frederick residents in the Shawnee District will be voting in the 10th. Shawnee’s four precincts include Parkins Mill (3,790 residents), Shenandoah (2,576), Carpers Valley (4,131) and Armel (3,152). Residents in Clarke’s White Post district (1,823 active voters) and part of the Millwood precinct (1,162 active voters) also are in the 10th. While the four 10th District candidates battle for that open seat, local incumbents could have smooth sailing to re-election. They include Del. Beverly J. Sherwood, R- Frederick County; Del. Joe T. May, R-Leesburg; and Sen. Jill H. Vogel, R-Upperville. No opponents have emerged to challenge for those seats on Nov. 8. While the Democratic and Republican parties had to certify their candidates in June, independent candidates can register through Aug. 23. Barring this occurrence, however, the aforementioned incumbents will face no opposition.

In the 27th Senate district, Vogel brought in $ 25,387, with $166,296 still on hand.

Sherwood, in the 29th House district, raised $ 18,608, with $32,124 cash in the bank.

May, in the 33rd House district, brought in $ 4,200 and had $29,460 on hand.

Minchew’s Broad Base

June 14th, 2011

Too Conservative

June 13, 2011

Yesterday, Bill and Jeannie Stoltesz hosted a fantastic event at their home in Leesburg in honor of Randy Minchew, candidate for House of Delegates for the 10th District. Randy, as a long-time Loudoun County Republican and true “Southern gentlemen,” has built a broad, committed base of supporters as indicated by the more than 100 people in attendance including Del. Tag Greason who, before Randy had announced his intention to run, had endorsed Randy’s opponent in the primary, John Whitbeck.  Also showing their support were Republican candidate for sheriff Mike Chapman and the man he seeks to unseat, independent Sheriff Steve Simpson, along with Treasurer Roger Zurn, Clerk of the Court Gary Clemens, Commissioner of the Revenue Bob Wertz and Leesburg councilman Ken Reid.

While Minchew’s campaign is in high gear and appealing to a diverse set of Republicans, Whitbeck’s campaign seems to be stuck in the mud over the Openband issue and drawing support primarily from the more extreme elements of the local party.  Should be in an interesting summer.

Minchew Launches Bid For 10th District Seat

May 20th, 2011

Leesburg Today

By Erika Jacobson Moore

In an event attended by more that a dozen candidates and county officials, former Loudoun County Republican Committee Chairman and long-time Leesburg attorney Randy Minchew announced he would be seeking his party’s nomination for the new 10th District seat in the House of Delegates.

Lansdowne resident and Leesburg attorney John Whitbeck also is seeking the Republican nomination for the 10th District.

Standing in the historic courthouse in downtown Leesburg, just across the street from the Leesburg offices of Walsh Colucci, where he is managing shareholder, Minchew was introduced by a series of Loudoun Republicans. Immediate past chairman of the LCRC Glen Caroline went first, followed by county Treasurer H. Roger Zurn Jr. and then Del. Joe T. May (R-33), one of Loudoun’s longest serving representatives.

In his opening, Minchew said that if he could be half the delegate that May has been for Loudoun he will consider himself a success and told the audience of his first experience in Republican politics. In 1976, he was attending McLean Day in his hometown in Fairfax County, and he met a young man who was working the crowd, campaigning to win the Republican nomination for the 10th Congressional District. That man, Frank Wolf, stopped by the booth where Minchew was and spoke to him.

“I was impressed he spent so much time with a high school student who had just earned the right to vote,” Minchew said, noting that he was committed to Republican politics from that moment forward.

Minchew called himself a “moth to a flame when it comes to community service.” In addition to being chairman of the LCRC, Minchew served as chairman of the Goose Creek District Boy Scouts, general counsel to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, life director of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, and general counsel to the Board of Trustees of the Loudoun Country Day School. In August, Minchew was appointed deputy counselor and advisor to Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Minchew also co-chaired the 1997 panel that created the county’s 200,000-Acre Solution report to promote rural economic development. Yesterday, Minchew said he was proud that since that report came out in 1998 the value of the rural economy in Loudoun has doubled.

He called himself a candidate with “strong Republican principles” and who believes in the tradition of civility in Virginia state government. He said he is staunchly pro-life, and believes in the right of people “to raise their children and run their family with little government interference.” Minchew also said he believes strongly in the 10th Amendment, which addresses states’ rights. It is often overlooked, he said, but it is one of the most important in helping keep down federal government interference in Virginia state government.

“I will fight for the 2nd Amendment. I will fight for the preservation of human life, and most importantly I will fight for the preservation of liberty,” he said.

As it has been for the General Assembly over the past several years, transportation and education remain the two biggest issues for the state government, Minchew said. He acknowledged that the state, and Loudoun, have long-term needs that have to be addressed, and planning for the future in transportation is key. When it comes to education, Minchew noted the importance of last year’s fight to protect the Local Composite Index and said it was key to ensure that Loudoun gets its “fair share” of education dollars put back into the school system.

He promised to focus on job creation and keeping taxes low for Virginia families. He pointed to McDonnell’s recent statements about the relationship between the two.

“Job creation and the maintenance of a low tax environment go hand in hand,” he said. “We need to keep taxes low and the impact of taxes low so jobs can continue to grow.”

While the campaign has just kicked off, more information about it can be found on the Facebook page Randy Minchew.

Minchew enters Delegate race in 10th district

May 19th, 2011

Loudoun Times-Mirror

By John Geddie

In a campaign marked by uncertainty due to shifting election districts and multiple candidates, one of Loudoun’s longtime heavyweight political figures has thrown his hat into the ring for the newly created 10th district seat in the House of Delegates.

J. Randall “Randy” Minchew, a prominent Leesburg lawyer and Republican Party figure announced his candidacy at the Old County Courthouse May 19.

Minchew is a former chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Party. An attorney with Walsh Colucci Lubely Emrich & Walsh, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) appointed Minchew as his deputy counselor and advisor to the governor in August 2010.

Locally, Minchew has served as president of the Loudoun Bar Association, on the Board of Directors for the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and as chairman of the Loudoun County Economic Development Commission.

At Minchew’s announcement event, he was introduced by former Loudoun County Republic Party chairman Glen Caroline, Loudoun County Treasurer Roger Zurn and Del. Joe May of the 33rd district. Each of the speakers noted Minchew’s calm and professional nature, referencing him as a return to Virginia civility.

Both Caroline and Zurn mentioned that Minchew has served as a counselor and advisor for many of the political figures in Loudoun.

“There is not a single politician in Loudoun County who has not called Randy for help and for advice,” said Zurn.

May told the crowd that Minchew assisted on each of his political campaigns over his 18 years in office.

Almost professorial in tone, Minchew addressed the crowd by waxing historic on the atmosphere in the courthouse and its portrait of former Supreme Court Justice John Marshall.

Minchew’s comments transitioned to his beliefs regarding where the most work needs to be done for Loudoun, specifically improving transportation in the region and explained that “creative leadership” was necessary to achieve the task. Minchew reiterated his party’s position that economic success stems from keeping taxes low and minimizing the impact of government.

However, Minchew also reassured conservative voters of his stance on social issues. He described himself as pro-life and a strong proponent of gun rights under the Second Amendment. He also expressed his appreciation for the limiting effect of the Tenth Amendment and its limitation of federal powers to only those articulated in the Constitution.

This is not Minchew’s first attempt at elected office. He waged an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination when the Loudoun state senate seat became available in 2006.

While the redistricting plan still requires Department of Justice approval, the proposed tenth district includes most of Leesburg and Lansdowne along with the southwestern section of the county, including Middleburg, Lenah and St. Louis. The 10th House of Delegates district then extends into Clarke and Frederick counties.

Minchew will have opposition for the Republican nomination. John Whitbeck of Lansdowne announced his candidacy earlier in the year and has already received the endorsement of Del. Thomas “Tag” Greason of the 32nd district in early April. Two candidates have also announced their candidacy for the Democratic nomination, Leesburg Town Council member David Butler and Jim Magner of Ashburn.
Minchew is a resident of Leesburg. He is married and the father of one. Minchew is closely associated with the scouting movement in Loudoun, acting as scoutmaster of Leesburg Boy Scout Troop 998.