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Browsing Posts tagged Ron Speakman

Ron Speakman, Mike Chapman and Verne Dickerson at April 26 debate
I have a full plate today so no full “report” on last night’s debate, but will put down some random thoughts below and invite all who are interested to comment. (Photos by Matt Vecchio added at bottom of post).

Main impression: All three candidates – Ron Speakman, Mike Chapman and Verne Dickerson – presented themselves well, spoke cogently, and provided a couple hours of interesting, civil discussion before a packed conference room. I don’t know how many people but it was probably in the neighborhood of 100+ with standing room only … the photos may give a better idea. Anyway, it was the best-attended and most substantive local political event not conducted under party auspices in at least a couple years (based on personal experience). Nice work by the organizers!

Impressions of the candidates – in the order they were sitting:

Ron Speakman: Best public speaker of the three; he was the only one who had actual applause lines. He made some good points about management at the Sheriff’s Office – why DO they have so many deputies manning the metal detector? One of his challenges was to tell how his extensive stretch of time in the business world would translate to being a good sheriff, and I think he did that well by referring to the inherent, unique difficulties of being at the top of any large organization. His proposed “self-deportation” solution to illegal alien crime is unique and has rightfully received a good amount of discussion. OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVEMENT: Prior to the debate, I had heard from people who follow law enforcement issues that Ron’s numbers regarding the increases in various types of crime in Loudoun County may need to be fine tuned. He referenced a fair amount of data and I could not judge how much of it was accurate – he was corrected on one point by one of the other candidates. He seems to be a very clear-thinking individual and I would like to feel certain that his information has been double-checked.

Mike Chapman: One of his strongest arguments is the importance of recent service in law enforcement and experience in various levels from local to international, and he made it well; in the answers to a few questions he pointed out innovations of the past ten years that would come into play if he was the sheriff and practices he had seen elsewhere that could apply here. His closing statement, delivered without notes, was by far the strongest. As my neighbor noted, “he seems the most confident.” Because of my caveat regarding the next candidate, Mike seems to be the one who could best walk into the Sheriff’s Office and speak the same language as the deputies, and he noted he would look to promote from within. OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVEMENT: Sometimes Mike gives the appearance of having a clearer idea of what he wants to do than he is able to communicate, and sometimes when the question only requires a 10 second answer he will try not to waste the rest of the allotted time. Plenty of public speakers do this, and they don’t need to, in my opinion; there are probably coaches who say otherwise. Most of his law enforcement experience is beyond the local level which connotes both positives and negatives.

Verne Dickerson: On the difficult question of “what would you do to address youth crime?” he was the only one who had a really substantive answer – involving new programs, one in collaboration with retired athletes. Though soft-spoken, Verne projects that he knows what he is talking about, has a quiet confidence that I would imagine deputies would pick up on – he seems like a reticent public speaker but when he speaks he is articulate and makes perfect sense. For every question his response indicated he was competent to handle that issue. OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVEMENT: He needs to explain exactly what the deal is with Mark Davis (candidate who dropped out and is now supporting Verne, and brings the “recent, local experience” element). Unless I am missing something, I think Verne still has to spell out whatever the position is that Mark will hold, because otherwise the combining of resumes is confusing. As with Mike Chapman, Verne has to really explain the positive aspects of bringing experience primarily from other levels – in Verne’s case, FBI.

Photos of the individual candidates are by Loudoun County’s own renaissance man, Matt Vecchio of the Loudoun Times Mirror. Thanks, Matt!

Verne Dickerson, photo by Matt Vecchio

Ron Speakman, photo by Matt Vecchio

Mike Chapman, photo by Matt Vecchio

Ron Speakman For Sheriff Campaign Event In Leesburg

Ron Speakman, candidate for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff, has an engaging manner and warm personality, which partially offset the damp chill of the kind of day best suited for polar bears or yard apes. Those of us too old for the moon bounce and face painting managed to stay relatively comfortable with help from the excellent barbecue, pleasant conversation and occasional stamping of feet to reinvigorate circulation in cold limbs. Hey, outdoor events in April are going to be hit or miss, usually going one of three ways: days of sunshine and daffodils; the kind that bring May flowers; or the ones like today that make us long for summer.

Considering the buzz-kill weather, Mr. Speakman had a nice turnout. I was only there for the middle hour and saw about 45 guests, at least 35 of whom were old enough to vote, and was told a few people had come and gone already. Granting some late arrivals I estimate 45 adults.

It meant all the more opportunity for those who were there to talk to Ron Speakman. As someone attending mentioned, he is much more a “people-person” than a typical retail politician. He has conversations, gives thoughtful answers, and genuinely appears to enjoy the social aspect. This should work out well for him because there will be a decent amount of time and a few more public opportunities to meet more voters between now and the Convention or primary.

Sorry for the small number of photos but it took me a while to get started and then I got cold and had to sceedaddle. Life during wartime, this ain’t. You can hover your mouse over the pictures to see who is in them and click on each for a larger version.

Ron Speakman with Ranjani and Theron Johnson

Michael McPoland, Jen Roberts and Bob Wertz at Ron Speakman campaign event

A new location for the debate has just been announced for the debate between Republican candidates for sheriff, Mike Chapman, Verne Dickerson and Ron Speakman:

April 26, 2011, Tuesday, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

NEW LOCATION-Executive Conference and Training Center
22685 Holiday Park Drive, Dulles, VA 20166 (Near the Holiday Inn Dulles Airport)

Sponsored by:
Loudoun County 912 Tea Party,
Loudoun County Young Republicans,
Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Virginia

Please RSVP to, or

Prince William County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart has endorsed Ron Speakman for Loudoun County Sheriff:

Chairman Corey Stewart of the Prince William County (PWC) Board of Supervisors has announced his endorsement for Ron Speakman for Sheriff of Loudoun County.

Chairman Stewart stated, “Ron Speakman has already proven his knowledge and his leadership both as a decorated cop in Leesburg, and as a very successful businessman in Northern Virginia.”

“His issue-oriented campaign puts the focus of the race where it needs to be – the safety of the citizens of Loudoun County,” said the veteran Chairman.

“Ron’s novel and well thought out plan on dealing with criminal illegal aliens through voluntary deportation demonstrates the type of innovative and out-of-the-box thinking that will serve Loudoun County well,” Chairman Stewart added.

Ron Speakman welcomed the endorsement noting that, “Chairman Stewart has himself been on the vanguard of protecting the citizens in his County through the aggressive use of existing law to combat crime and to deal with crime committed by illegal aliens in Prince William County.” Speakman called the Chairman one of the most important voices in the Commonwealth for the rule of law and the safety of citizens. Speakman stated that “The fact that violent crime is down 30% in Prince William County, while 3,000 illegal aliens have been turned over to ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] speaks for itself.”

In the interest of keeping facts straight, this seems like a good time to provide a brief overview and timeline of the “civility pledge” issue in the Republican contest for the Loudoun County Sheriff nomination. As more people begin paying attention to the candidates they are likely to see references to the controversy. For the benefit of voters and also the four campaigns, it is to everyone’s benefit that going forward our conversations reference facts rather than suppositions.

In the first comment to a recent discussion thread, a local blogger asked why one of the candidates had not yet signed the civility pledge, and implied she had inside information that the pledge had been forwarded to one of the other campaigns. During the further discussion on that post, we have seen the suggestion that certain parties are permitted to refer to the controversy when they think appropriate, while others who do so are guilty of causing a distraction.

Some clarification obviously is needed. Here are the basic facts:

In late February 2011, the Mike Chapman campaign sent out a direct mail postcard that included a chart purporting to compare the four candidates’ qualifications for the office of sheriff. This campaign mailer depicted Mike Chapman’s qualifications as superior to those of the other three candidates.

For those who have not seen it, the campaign postcard is featured prominently on Mike Chapman’s Web site. (For a full size version of the card, click here).

On February 28, 2011, Verne Dickerson addressed the Loudoun County Republican Committee and criticized the Chapman postcard. Mr. Dickerson’s speech is reprinted in full on his campaign Web site. Regarding the postcard, Mr. Dickerson said:

…let me take care of a troubling issue:

I received a hand-addressed postcard in the mail from an opponent this past week. In a race that all candidates pledged would be clean and positive, this opponent sunk to a new low, skewing the truth to smear fellow Republicans.

To the one responsible: Shame on you.

Loudoun County and the Republican Party deserve better from its public servants, especially those that espouse an upgrade in professionalism. As an actual long-time citizen of Loudoun, I warn you that Loudouners can spot a hypocrite when they see one…

I will not slam my fellow Republicans without provocation. After all, I value my integrity…

On March 8, 2011, the Mark Davis and Verne Dickerson campaigns announced their civility pledge in a joint press release which can be found on the Mark Davis campaign Web site:

Davis and Dickerson Call For Civility in the Republican Nomination Process for Sheriff

Middleburg, Virginia — March 8, 2011 – Republican Sheriff’s candidates Mark Davis and Verne Dickerson have made a public pledge to run clean, positive campaigns in the race to be the next Sheriff of Loudoun County. In a joint statement, the candidates committed to providing the citizens with the information needed to make an informed decision on Election Day without the filth.

“When the Republican candidates met in January, we made a pledge to keep our campaigns positive. Today the campaigns of Mark Davis and Verne Dickerson reaffirm that commitment.

“The people of Loudoun County know that the Sheriff’s Office needs a change. We believe that the decision to elect the next Sheriff of Loudoun County is too important to allow slander and attacks to muddle the race.

“We stand together to reject the type of negative campaigning that divides fellow Republicans and demoralizes the electorate.”

On the morning of March 19, 2011, as noted above, a local blogger suggested that the civility pledge had been sent to candidate Ron Speakman requesting he sign on to the pledge.

As of March 22, there is no mention of the civility pledge on either Mr. Speakman’s Web site or Mr. Chapman’s Web site.

While the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff likely will be determined by how well each of the candidates present themselves to potential voters and talk about a variety of issues, the controversy over the civility pledge boils down to the simple question of whether one believes the Mike Chapman campaign postcard deserves a reprimand.

This is Ron Speakman’s video – good message and production values! (In case you did not see it posted by Loudoun Lady last week).

Ron Speakman For Loudoun County Sheriff from JTC Media on Vimeo.

[UPDATE: New venue now listed.]

Via press release:

You are invited to the Loudoun County 2011 Sheriff’s Debate

Mike Chapman, Mark Davis, Verne Dickerson, Ron Speakman

April 26, 2011, Tuesday, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Executive Conference and Training Center
22685 Holiday Park Drive, Dulles, VA 20166

Sponsored by:
Loudoun County 912 Tea Party
Loudoun County Young Republicans
Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Virginia