By Renss Greene
Second-term Loudoun County Supervisor Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin) has announced he will run to replace retiring state Sen. Richard H. Black (R-13), making him the second county supervisor to compete for the seat.
Higgins’ campaign announcement came with a number of endorsements from well-known local Republicans, including former Del. Bob Marshal (R-13), Loudoun County Treasurer H. Roger Zurn, and Black himself. Former delegate and candidate J. Randall Minchew (R-10), while not endorsing, said “you will not find a better public servant than Geary Higgins.”
While he did not have a specific project in mind, Higgins said he wants to use his business and local government experience in Richmond. Before his two terms on the Board of Supervisors, Higgins served a term on the Loudoun County School Board. He is the vice president of Labor Relations for the National Electrical Contractors Association in Bethesda, MD.
He is also one of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors’ two representatives on the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and serves as the board’s representative on the Loudoun County Agricultural District Advisory Committee and the Annexation Area Development Policy Committee
“I think the biggest thing for Loudoun right now is certainly transportation issues,” Higgins said. “I mean they’ve got a fight going on the [Dulles] Greenway for an honest toll deal, and so we need to continue to work on that. … We need someone in Richmond that can work with others and negotiate with others, and have a steady hand and get things done.”
In his campaign announcement, Higgins said he has the experience and track record to tackle quality-of-life issues like high quality schools, less traffic, low crime, low taxes and protection of liberties. He also said during his time on the county board, “I have been able to work with my Republican colleagues to reduce the tax rate on residents by $0.20.”
He seeks to replace a famously controversial legislator in Richmond. Black is known, among other things, for his opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion—once handing out plastic fetus dolls to legislators—and his vocal support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is accused by American and international agencies of human rights abuses and war crimes during his time in power.
“Dick Black is an accomplished person, he’s been in politics for many years, and he’s Dick Black and I’m Geary Higgins,” Higgins said. “I think you’ve seen Geary Higgins and his actions on the Board of Supervisors and how he works with other people, and I think Dick Black has done the job that he thinks he needs to do in Richmond.”
The campaign announcement pits Higgins against a colleague on the Board of Supervisor, Ron A. Meyer Jr. (R-Broad Run). Meyer, a first-term county supervisor, announced in January that he would once again pursue a seat in the state senate. He has previously eyed seats in the state senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
Higgins said the difference between them is his experience, and said he hopes their campaign efforts will not interfere with the last few months of the two men’s work on the Board of Supervisors.
He joins a race that on the Republican side already includes Meyer and Mike Buscher, an aerospace entrepreneur and former Army officer and CIA employee from Leesburg.
There are also three candidates so far in the Democratic primary: state Del. John J. Bell (D-87), Army Reserve intelligence officer Jasmine Moawad-Barrientos and financial consultant Lucero Wiley.