by Jill Palermo,

2 Oct 2014

“The outcome had already been decided, but that didn’t keep 641 voters from attending a Republican mass meeting Wednesday to formally nominate Jeanine Lawson their party’s candidate in the upcoming special election to fill the Brentsville seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

“Lawson, 45, was the only candidate declared eligible to seek the nomination after Scott Jacobs, who’d also sought the Republican nod, was disqualified from the contest Sunday for not properly filing his candidate paperwork.

“Still, Lawson’s supporters nearly filled the Patriot High School auditorium to hear former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli make the motion to nominate Lawson by acclamation.

“Cuccinelli, who lives in the Brentsville District, said he met Lawson when she helped him campaign for his state senate seat about 10 years ago. He praised her as ‘a great listener, a hard-worker and an intelligent woman who we will be very proud… to have as our supervisor.’

“The crowd responded to Cuccinelli’s motion with loud applause. Prince William County Republican Committee Chairman Bill Card then called for a voice vote, which was unanimous.

“Afterward, Lawson said she was ‘thrilled’ by the turnout.

” ‘I’m touched by it,’ Lawson said after shaking hands and snapping pictures with several voters after the meeting. ‘I’m very pleased. I think it speaks to the energy on the ground, the energy in the Brentsville District.’

“The Prince William County Republican Committee decided in June to hold a mass meeting to pick their candidate for the special election they were expecting to be called when the Virginia General Assembly appointed Supervisor Wally Covington, R-Brentsville, to a vacant judgeship on the Prince William County District Court.

“Covington had been nominated by the Prince William County Bar Association late last year, and his appointment was initially expected in the spring or early summer. But a protracted battle over the state budget delayed the judicial appointments to the General Assembly’s extended special session, which took place last month.

“Lawson thanked her supporters for sticking with her throughout the extended campaign and said she is ‘happy, energized and confident’ looking forward to the Dec. 23 special election. She will likely face Jacobs, who declared his intent to run as an independent shortly after he was disqualified from the Republican contest. So far, no other candidates have signaled their intent to join the race.

“Lawson promised the crowd a ‘transparent and interactive’ governing style and said she would support job-friendly policies and only ‘tax-positive’ residential development.

“ ‘We need to stop the failed formula that has resulted in the unacceptable overcrowding of our schools,’ she said.

“In an interview after the meeting, Lawson said she planned to attend Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting when the board will vote on whether to approve Stone Haven, a residential development of 1,650 homes in the Brentsville District near Jiffy Lube Live. The planning commission has already given its blessing to the project, which members praised for its generous proffers, including a site for the county’s 13th high school.

“Lawson said she won’t support the project if the maximum number of homes remains at 1,650 and called it another example of the county’s ‘failed formula’ for new housing developments.

“ ‘When [developers] proffer land for schools, with the proposals come all these homes that quickly fill up the schools,’ Lawson said. ‘That’s why it’s a failed formula. We’ve relied on these developers and it’s not enough.’

“The winner of the Dec. 23 contest will serve as supervisor for the Brentsville District until January 2016. The entire Board of Supervisors will be up for re-election in November 2015.”