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Votes

New State, New Order

Would statehood eliminate county governments?

A survey of elected officials determined, not unanimously, that the governor of the new state would have an opportunity to seek reelection at the pleasure of the voters.

The office of governor should not have term limits, said Herndon Mayor Carol Bruce. “We wiped the slate clean. We’re having new elections. We’re seceding. We’re starting something new,” she said.

Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio called for the elimination of the office of governor in the new state. “Spread the power out. I prefer to see the legislature hammer things out in consensus. If the county level of government is eliminated, the state legislature would have to meet year round,” said Delgaudio.

“I would oppose a one-term only governor,” said town councilman John M. De Noyer. “Term limits remove any accountability — that’s what has put us in the current economic predicament,” he said.

The governor should not have term limits, said town councilman Dennis D. Husch. “Term limits are decided by the people at the ballot box,” he said.

Supervisor Stu Mendelsohn (R-Dranesville) said he supports a two-termed limit governor.

Del. Thomas D. Rust endorsed the one-term governor concept. “The new governor would not always be worried about reelection,” said Rust.

William “Bill” Tirrell, town councilman, said the number of terms a governor serves should be left up to the voters.

ELECTED OFFICIALS also discussed how many members the House of Delegates and state senate should contain in the new state of Northern Virginia.

Thoesen said 40 delegate and 20 senators would be appropriate.

Town councilman J. Harlon Reece also said 40 delegates would be appropriate.

“We probably wouldn’t need more than 25 to 30 delegates and 15 to 18 senators,” said Tirrell.

Rust called for 25 delegates and 10 senators in the new state houses, saying the population of Northern Virginia is about a quarter of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Husch said a one to 50,000 ratio would be appropriate for the house and a one to 150,000 ratio for the senate. That would translate into about 38 delegates and 13 senators.

Mendelsohn, while not giving a specific number, said, “There should be smaller districts than there are, but not half the size. He added the session should remain 60 days.

Delgaudio called for a year-round session, if the county level of government is eliminated in the new state of Northern Virginia.

DREAM TEAM? Elected officials from what could be the state of Northern Virginia suggested potential office holders to serve as governor, U.S. senator, U.S. representative and in the statehouse.

“You might see Jack Herrity for U.S. Senate. He has stature and experience,” said Delgaudio, who added he might run for the House of Delegates if the county level is eliminated.

De Noyer promoted U.S. Rep. James “Jim” Moran (D-8th) to the U.S. Senate. “Don’t overlook Tom Rust. [Sen. William] “Bill” Mims is great — he’s very fair,” said De Noyer of his recommendations for U.S. Representatives. De Noyer also suggested Mendelsohn for the General Assembly.

For the U.S Senate, Thoesen suggested sitting U.S. Reps. Tom Davis III (R-11th) and Frank Wolf (R-10th). “I’ll take Tom Rust for Congress,” said Thoesen, also recommending state Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) for governor and Mendelsohn for state senate.

Reece named Davis, Wolf and Moran as potential candidates for the U.S. Senate with Del. Vincent “Vince” Callahan, Jr. (R-34th) going to the U.S. House.

Bruce promoted Rust to the U.S. Senate with Mendelsohn going to the U.S. House.

“Davis would make an excellent governor,” said Tirrell, also naming Moran and Wolf to the U.S. Senate. “[Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors] Kate Hanley [(D-At Large)] and Tom Rust would make excellent members of Congress,” said Tirrell.

Rust opted to keep Sens. George Allen (R) and John Warner (R) where they are, as they both reside in Northern Virginia. Rust promoted Davis from the U.S. House to the governor’s mansion and kept Wolf and Moran in their current slots. For the third U.S. House seat, Rust suggested either Del. John “Jack” Rollison III (R-52nd), chairman of the House transportation Committee or chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors Sean Connaughton.

Husch opted to keep the current office holders in their current offices.

Mendelsohn would only commit to keep his current U.S. Representative, Wolf in place.