By Lynn R. Mitchell
In politics, I don’t want to hear what you don’t like about the other candidate. I want to hear what you like about yours.
Brian Schoeneman is running for Sully District supervisor in Fairfax County. A friend and fellow blogger, we were colleagues during my years at Bearing Drift. I have respected his pragmatic Republican leadership at a time when politics has become very polarizing. He is upfront with people and honest, something that has been criticized by supporters of one of his opponents. But isn’t that what we say we want in a candidate?
Saturday, April 25, is the Firehouse Primary at Westfield High School in Chantilly from 10am-4pm. I hope you will consider voting for Brian Schoeneman.
Brian began his government service as a political appointee in the presidential administration of George W. Bush, where he served as Special Assistant to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. In 2013 he was appointed by the judges of the Circuit Court in Fairfax County to the Fairfax County Electoral Board. In June 2013 he became the senior member of the Board, and helped guide the Board through a number of major changes. During the 2013 General Election, which included the closest statewide election in Virginia history, he was praised for his evenhandedness, honesty, and transparency.
After receiving his law degree from Catholic University, Brian continued his work in the maritime industry, representing the men and women of the United States Merchant Marine in the halls of Congress. As political and legislative director of the nation’s largest maritime labor union, he goes to work every day to make sure his members go to work every day, challenging government overregulation of the industry, maintaining support for programs that protect and support our warfighters overseas and protect American economic strength at home. In his spare time, he served in a pro-bono capacity as General Counsel for the Fairfax County Republican Committee, representing them in court during litigation that arose prior to the 2012 Presidential Election. He also co-owns Virginia Line Media LLC, a new media company that owns and operates BearingDrift.com and its radio show “The Score,” which can be heard across the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2013, he was honored by the Fairfax Bar Association with their “President’s Award” for his work in the community.
For more than two decades, Brian has worked to get Republicans elected to office. In Fairfax, he’s served as a precinct captain, as Communications Director for the Fairfax County Republican Committee in 2010, as General Counsel, and on the Electoral Board as one of two Republican appointees. He’s been a delegate to RPV statewide conventions in 2008, 2009, and 2013 and every FCRC convention since 2007. He ran for Virginia House of Delegates in 2011 in the 37th House District, which incorporated parts of Sully Magisterial District.
On the Electoral Board, Brian led the charge to ensure that every Fairfax County voter has a chance to exercise their right to vote, and not have that right to vote diluted by fraud, deceit or abuse. He lead efforts to create greater transparency on the Board, including innovative uses of technology like Twitter, to get the word out to voters on what was happening. He engaged the press in 2013 and 2014 to ensure that voters knew exactly what was going on during the contentious recount in 2013, and the razor thin elections in 2014. He worked to expand the hours for absentee in-person voting to allow every voter an opportunity to cast a ballot, pushed to ensure that the new General Assembly mandated photo ID requirements would not suppress votes, and he worked with the community to provide expanded translation of voting material from the legally mandated English and Spanish, to Korean and Vietnamese, two of Fairfax County’s largest non-English language groups. Brian referred over a dozen alleged cases of voter fraud to the Virginia and Federal authorities after a review of voting records revealed possible double voting in the 2012 presidential election and he helped to highlight concerns in the community about voting integrity. He earned plaudits in the election administration community for his handling of his duties on the Electoral Board.
Brian has walked his district, talking with voters while going door-to-door and attending area events and candidate forums. He has shared with voters why he feels that he is the best candidate for supervisor, and has not attacked his Republican opponents in the race. That’s what many voters want to hear. His fundraising totals were the highest of all three candidates, showing widespread support with 85 percent of the donations from small donors.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Pat Herrity reached out to voters the day before the primary:
If you live in Sully District, please vote for my friend and fellow Republican activist, Brian Schoeneman.
Right now, Fairfax has seven Democrats and three Republicans on the Board of Supervisors. I need another Republican on the Board of Supervisors. I have worked with Brian for many years and am confident that he has the leadership, experience and vison that Sully District and Fairfax County need at this critical time.
Turn out is expected to be low. Every vote is extremely important and necessary. Please vote on Saturday if you live in Sully. If you do not please remind any friends you have that do to come out and vote for Brian. All Sully District residents will vote at Westfield High School (NOT your normal polling locations).
Over at Bearing Drift, founder Jim Hoeft wrote, “Sully Residents: We support Brian:”
In what has to be the least surprising email to anyone who reads Bearing Drift, you know that we all completely support our friend and colleague Brian Schoeneman and his candidacy to become the Republican nominee for supervisor representing the Sully District in Fairfax County. The firehouse primary will happen tomorrow, Saturday, April 25, at Westfield High School between 10 am and 4 pm. We anticipate that turnout at tomorrow’s primary to be low, so it is imperative that if you live in the district that you participate. And, if you know of people who live in the district, that you encourage them to participate too.
Brian is a hardworking, dedicated, servant leader. There is no more qualified person to be the Republican nominee. Tell your friends and neighbors in Sully to vote for Brian tomorrow!
We’re proud of Brian. And we’re looking forward to seeing him as the GOP nominee!
Brian has received the endorsements of many well-respected leaders in the community and beyond including Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Delegate Dave Albo, Fairfax County Supervisor Chairman Pat Herrity, Fairfax County Electoral Board Chairman Steve Hunt, former Fairfax County Republican Committee Chairman Jay McConville, Michael Thompson, Sr., Chairman and President, Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy; Elizabeth Schultz, Fairfax County School Board Member; Sang Yi, Korean American Republican Party of Virginia President; Elizabeth Minneman, Former College Republican Federation of Virginia Chairwoman (2014-15); Devon Flynn, George Mason University College Republicans Chairman and Sully resident; and Neb Yegezu, Northern Virginia Community College Republican Chairman, Annandale Campus.
On Saturday, April 25, I ask that you consider voting for Brian Schoeneman for Sully District supervisor in the Firehouse Primary at Westfield High School in Chantilly from 10am-4pm.
UPDATED: John Guevara won the Firehouse Primary and will now go on to face Democrat Kathy Smith in the general election in November.
Brian was gracious and generous as he thanked his supporters:
Thank you to everyone in Sully who came out today to vote in the Republican canvass. We had over 1300 Republicans make it out to the polls today, and it was great to see so many friends and neighbors who came out to support me.
In the end, we came up 56 votes short, with the winner pulling out a victory with 35.1% of the vote.
Despite the loss, I’m optimistic. We are all blessed to live in a country where free elections still exist, and where people from all walks of life come together on the second Tuesday in November (and many other days throughout the year) to choose who will govern us. Billions of people across the world don’t have this privilege and we should never forget it.
I ran the campaign I wanted to run – an optimistic, open, honest and transparent one. While we came up short, I am proud of the work we did and thankful to have so many great friends and colleagues who supported me during this campaign.
The list of people I have to thank is long, and I apologize now if I miss anybody – it’s not intentional.
First, I want to thank my campaign team, Erika Dyer – hands down the best campaign manager you could want – Peter Finocchio, Derek Magnani, and my crew from George Mason University. This race wouldn’t have come together without them.
Thanks to Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Supervisor Pat Herrity, Delegate Dave Albo, Electoral Board Chair Steve Hunt, Springfield School Board Representative Elizabeth Schultz and the many others who endorsed me during this race. Their advice and support was invaluable and I will never forget it.
Thanks to Matt Ames, Ralph Hubbard, Dottie O’Rourke, Anna Lee, and the rest of the Sully District Committee for putting the firehouse primary together. Thanks to my bosses at the Seafarers for letting me spend two months campaigning, and thanks to all of my friends and family who donated, helped our campaign, and kept us all going during the long days and nights.
Finally, I have to thank my lovely wife KayAnn and my son Nick for letting me run. I couldn’t have done any of this without them and they had to put up with a lot this campaign. I will be forever indebted to them for allowing me the opportunity to run.
Fairfax County is the best place to live, work and raise a family, and whether I’m in elected office or not, I will do everything I can to help keep it that way.
Thank you again for your support over this campaign and I look forward to working with all of you for many years to come.
We need more candidates like Brian.