Byrd Concerned About Election Tactics

A candidate’s forum conducted by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Tea Party chapter last week continues to resonate beyond the walls of the local restaurant where the meeting was held. While only a small group of citizens gathered to hear the three candidates speak and to ask questions, some of the statements that were made have caught the attention of several Supervisors.

At a Board of Supervisor’s work session on Monday Barbara Byrd (Buckmarsh) said “This is a little motherly advice from someone who has survived five elections. I go to all of the Board of Supervisors meetings and to most of the School Board meetings and most of the Town Council meetings.”

Byrd offered three items of advice that she said this year’s candidates need to think about.

“First of all, you should come to the meetings” Byrd said. “And I don’t mean just one meeting, I mean all of the meetings. You should come to the meetings and not make your judgments only based on what you read in the media.”

“Second thing; Please check on the issues before you take a stand” Byrd continued. “Everything that’s done in these meetings is public knowledge. You can go in and check on it, study it and see what goes on behind the decisions that were made. The County’s staff do a lot of research work before we make a decision. If you completely ignore all of this research work then you’re not doing your duty as a candidate.”

“Do your homework before you take a stand” Byrd implored.

“The third thing is, most importantly, go out and visit your constituents. Go out and knock on their doors and listen to them. Don’t just spout at them. Make those door to door visits. Don’t just think that one letter, or a couple of posters or a bumper sticker is going to do the job.”

“It just upsets me that some of the candidates are going about this thing the wrong way” Byrd said.

Byrd then turned to the other three supervisors at the work session (David Weiss – Buckmarsh Supervisor – was absent) and asked what advice they would give the candidates regardless if the candidate was Republican, Democrat, Independent or some other political party affiliation.

“I’ve been around a long time and I want to be careful not to preach what’s right or wrong here and I think that I’ll just leave it at that” said Supervisor Pete Dunning (White Post). “Every candidate and every district is different. I think that the bulk of what you said is legitimate. It depends on the people and how much time they have.”

“Well, if you’re going to be in public office you better make the time” Byrd replied.

“How about you John?”

“I think that you learn a lot by how someone campaigns and if they want to campaign in a stupid way then the citizens will notice it and they won’t get elected” said Supervisor John Staelin (Millwood). “And if they campaign well, then they’ll do well.”

Staelin said that voters can learn a tremendous amount by just observing a candidate’s actions.

“I think that you can learn a tremendous amount [from observing] if they do do the things that you say Barbara” Staelin continued. “If they don’t go out and research things then that says a lot.”

Byrd asked Supervisor Chairman Michael Hobert (Berryville) for his comment on the topic however, Hobert did not respond.

“I appreciate your comments but my job is to move this meeting along” Hobert said.

“I’m just thinking about the future of Clarke County” Byrd concluded.

No specific candidates were mentioned by name during the discussion.

Asked after the meeting why she had decided to speak out on election tactics Byrd said “I’m concerned because there are statements being made that have no basis in fact.”

Written facts regarding candidate positions on the issues, at least in the White Post Supervisor race, are difficult to come by. While both Democrat Randy Sprouse and Republican Bev McKay have FaceBook pages dedicated to their respective campaigns, neither FaceBook page offers voters any meaningful position information on where either candidate stands on issues like easements, economic development, school funding and other issues important to Clarke County voters.

However, Sprouse’s position statements at the recent Tea Party forum may have begun to break the information vacuum in the White Post Supervisor race. Bev McKay is scheduled to appear before the Tea Party forum in October. (See

Asked about the lack of position information in the White Post Supervisor race between Byrd said “Voters deserve to know where the candidates stand on the issues.”


CDN Editor: In an earlier version of this story Supervisor Barbara Byrd’s first name was inadvertently omitted. We apologize for the oversight.









  1. Sounds like [Byrd] is getting nervous that someone else besides the landed gentry clique may have a chance of winning.

    CDN Editor – [Byrd] inserted

  2. For those of us who have to work for a living it is difficult to attend BOS meetings which begin at 1:00 PM on the third Tuesday each month.

  3. I commend the Tea Party group for having the closest thing to a debate I imagine Clarke County has ever seen. I look forward to the next event on 20 October.

    • I went to an actual candidates’ debate four years ago for the White Post candidates. I think the Rotararians sponsored it — Randy Sprouse, Pete Dunning, Robina Rich Bouffault, and Chip Schutte. I pretty well knew who I was voting for beforehand — the evening sealed the deal. My husband came in with his own expectations and changed his mind completely. But it was a real debate between each set of candidates — not just a forum — and it was extremely well attended.. I’d attend another one and hope such occurs this year too.

  4. Randy, Donna and Tony were given the opportunity to each make a speech and answer audience questions. There was no debate. TheTea Party had literature for people to take. The spotlight was on the excellent candidates and not the politcs of the Tea Party.

  5. welcome wagon says:

    Theres a reason Byrd asked how they campaigne. One being in my opinion is they don’t, I believe they do nothing by the actions I’ve seen. I’ve lived here for 4 1/2 yrs, one neighbor 9 yrs and another for 7 yrs none of us have ever met our supervisor or have a clue whats on his agenda. Nor have we ever recieved a letter stating that we had a supervisor for our area. The funny thing is he lives within a mile of us…Nice, don’t ya think? I find it rude and beyond not being or feeling welcome here!

    • I had the exact opposite experience — both White Post Supervisor candidates stopped at our door and introduced themselves during the last election.

  6. What’s Byrd’s first name? It’s never mentioned in either the headline or the article.

    CDN Editor: In an earlier version of this story Supervisor Barbara Byrd’s first name was inadvertently omitted. We apologize for the oversight.

  7. Ms. Byrd,

    You have over stayed your welcome on the BOS. Please, Please Tea Party Candidate, step up and challenge this “Good Ole Gal”

  8. I enjoyed the information provided by the three candidates. The event was about informing & expanding the electorate. But, dinner was good as well.!!!! Looking forward to Thursday October 20th.!!!!

  9. Candidate’s Forum

    I believe there will be a Candidate’s Forum being held at 7:00pm on Tuesday October 18 2011 at Boyce Fire Hall. It is being sponsored by Clarke County Farm Bureau. It is open to public and all candidates on the Nov 8 ballot are invited to attend.

  10. Randy Sprouse says:

    I have read and re-read the article above with the comments of Mrs.Byrd and Mr Staelin. These are my thoughts.
    1. No candidate for public office attends all the meetings, not on the national level, not on the state level, and not on the local level.
    2.I have been speaking to the voters of White Post about my positions and listening to what they have to
    3.”Voters deserve to know where the candidates stand on the issues.” Read the articles. Attend the forums and meetings. Ask me, Many voters are comfotrable with the positions that I have taken. A notable few, for whatever reason, are not

    • White Post Voter says:

      Mr. Sprouse,

      These are my thoughts.

      1. I have attended a few School Board and Supervisor meetings and I have never seen you at any of them.
      2. You have never spoken to me about your positions, and have never asked me what I believe.
      3. Maybe you could write a piece for this media outlet detailing your positions and where you stand on the issues.

      Many thanks from a voter who lives in your District.

      • Tony Parrott says:

        I have talked to Randy and Chip; not Bev.
        Maybe Bev can put something out about his position too.

  11. To White Post Voter,

    You guys have your mind made up! Bev is your man…. Take care of your own right? Dunning, Bouffalt, and McKay: you should all be ashamed.

  12. No tactic Mr. Kelly. Just stating for a fact what the Majority of this County thinks………

    • I don’t believe you are correct in your assessment of the majority. I believe a lot of the people in the White Post area know that Bev McKay will do a fine job.

      It seems we agree to disagree, but there is a difference between us. I see no reason to scold and demean those who support Mr. Sprouse.

  13. welcome wagon says:

    Correction MY Supervisor does nothing. The proof is in how many of us out here have never met him. I asked another neighbor if he knew him, he said WHO. It gets better, only one of these residents has voted!

  14. The county of Clark has had the need to replace Government Officals for years. ( term limits ) Not enough voters have been willing to take the leap. The county has been stagnet for a number of years. The residents just keep taking it on the chin. I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel until voters pony up and make changes at the top. Personally I am tired of watching my tax dollars go down a never ending drain. I wonder what problems will arise as the new school nears completion?

  15. Being a resident of the Russell district I can say that Byrd’s campaigning advice is not actually what she preaches. Six years or more and no knocks on my door. How many of those elections did you run unopposed???

    And why are the Board of Supervisor’s meeting held during the work day instread of the evenings?

    Trying to keep the peasantry from attending?

  16. Right or wrong, my hat’s off to Barbara Byrd for bringing this up in a public forum. The other supervisors who were present may have beaten around the bush answering, at least she planted the bush. In recently talking to a supervisor at an event, one of the things I commended him on was not waffling. Whenever I have asked him about his stand on an issue, he has given it with the reasons he had for it. He has also always asked for more information if it did not match mine. Let’s not paint all of the supervisors with the same brush. As for the people pointing out no one has knocked on their door, if you really cared why are you only complaining now? Most of the roads in this county are two way, not one; and all of their phone numbers are posted for public use. Obviously the good ole boys and good ole girl are doing something right or they wouldn’t keep getting elected into office. The majority of the people in their districts put them there. Slurring this majority by constantly referring to them by this tag is not going to get you “noveau newbies” (how do you like having a demeaning nickname?) far. People should disagree with their politics by showing the reasons that they may be wrong and presenting other options not by slurring their choice of having lived in
    Clarke County for years and being active in politics.