alyson_satterwhite.jpg

Alyson Satterwhite

Former Prince William School Board member Alyson Satterwhite is running for the Board of County Supervisors.

Satterwhite, who announced her campaign Thursday, is running as a Republican in the Gainesville District, the same seat she represented on the School Board from 2012 to 2019.

“Our beloved Gainesville District has a strong sense of community,” she said in a press release. “The quality of life and vicinity to government service and economic opportunities are why so many families choose to locate here permanently; it’s why my husband and I chose to stay here after my husband’s retirement from the military."

Republican Supervisor Pete Candland, who was first elected to the seat in 2011, is the most senior member of the Board of County Supervisors.

Satterwhite grew up in California and Florida while her father was an aviator in the U.S. Navy.

She graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor’s in education. She lived in the area with her family from 1995 to 1998 while her husband was stationed in the Washington, D.C., area. 

They returned in 2004 to the Sudley Road ahead of her husband’s retirement. Doug Satterwhite is now a defense contractor in the area.

In her two terms on the School Board, Satterwhite only faced a general election opponent for her seat in 2011, when she won with 63% of the vote.

Satterwhite received 41.5% of the vote in the countywide special election for School Board chair in 2018, losing to current Chair Babur Lateef by about 9,000 votes.

She again sought the position of chair in 2019, again receiving 41.5% of the vote and losing to Lateef by about 10,000 votes. Because she ran for the countywide seat, she could not also hold onto her district seat.

In announcing her campaign, Satterwhite highlighted her work on the School Board increasing special education and nursing positions, supporting anti-bullying campaigns and backing teacher raises.

In a press release, Satterwhite said her campaign will focus on reducing tax burdens and “promoting fiscal responsibility.”

Satterwhite said the county also should not have approved a meals tax in its current budget, calling it “tone deaf.” She said the board should have kept real estate tax bills flat because of the current state of the economy.

Satterwhite also wants to protect the county’s rural area, which is currently regulated through a 24-year-old policy to restrict development in about 117,000 acres, or about 52% of county land, to no more than one home for every 10 acres with strict restrictions on the expansion of public sewer lines.

The policies that enacted those protections have been weakened this year through several party-line votes, with Democrats voting together to examine land-use topics countywide rather than only in the designated development area. 

“The decisions facing the current Board of Supervisors could irrevocably change our neighborhoods,” Satterwhite said in the release. “Gainesville residents deserve to have a voice when faced with such impactful decisions on their investments, their homes. If elected as the Gainesville District Supervisor, I will work with the people of Gainesville to navigate the challenges that we face as a district.”

Candland won re-election in 2019 over Democrat Danny Funderburk with 57.6% of the vote.

Over the past year, Candland has been a target of constant attacks over this involvement with the controversial PW Digital Gateway proposal, which calls for up to 27.6 million square feet on 2,100 acres in western Prince William.

In November, Candland and his wife were among 19 homeowners in the Catharpin Farm Estates neighborhood who filed a Comprehensive Plan Amendment seeking to join the digital gateway. 

At the time, Candland said he had no choice but to join the application.

His decision to join the application means Candland must recuse himself from votes on any data center proposals along the Pageland Lane corridor.

“The Gainesville District is faced with one of the largest land-use challenges that Prince William County has ever seen, and yet Gainesville residents don’t have an advocate for their needs, a vote on the Board of Supervisors, at this crucial time,” Satterwhite said in the release.

Satterwhite said the Board of County Supervisors should not be considering the digital gateway before approving the update to its Comprehensive Plan or studying the potential impact on the Occoquan watershed.

Opponents of the proposal have launched a recall petition to remove Candland from office for joining the project since he has not answered their calls to resign. Satterwhite said she has not signed the petition or been involved with it.

If the petition is submitted and certified, the circuit court would hold a trial before making a decision. A special election would be required to fill out the remaining year of his term.

Under state law, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors cannot appoint a temporary replacement ahead of a special election.

Candland did not return a request for comment about his election plans. If the PW Digital Gateway is approved and Candland sells his home, it’s unclear if he would try to continue living in the district.

All eight seats on the Board of County Supervisors are up for grabs in 2023. 

The only other incumbent supervisors to announce plans for next year’s election are Victor Angry, D-Neabsco, and Andrea Bailey, D-Potomac.

Bailey is facing a primary challenger from Kim Short.

While no one else has yet announced election plans, other efforts underway could affect next year’s campaign. 

Board Chair Ann Wheeler, D-At-Large, is facing a recall effort over her ties to the data center industry. 

Meanwhile, Supervisor Yesli Vega, R-Coles, is running for Congress in the 7th District. She will face incumbent Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger in the November election.

If Vega wins the seat, a special election would be required to fill the last year of her term.

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.
0
0
0
0
0

(1) comment

Bill Wright

Alyson will be a great candidate and would make a fine Supervisor. Most importantly, she meets the critical “ABC” test (anybody but Candland). It will be refreshing to have someone to advocate for the interests of the Gainesville district after the self-serving tenure of the current incumbent.

Regarding his decision to sell out his constituents and profit from his betrayal by signing onto the Prince William Digital Gateway Comprehensive Plan Amendment, note that “Candland said he had no choice but to join the application”. Everybody has choices, but not always the integrity to make the right one.

The voters of the Gainesville district now have a choice, and it will not be the same mistake they made last time.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.