Home > Election 2009: HOD, General Assembly, Local Media, Local news, MSM, The Opposition > BREAKING: Delegate Gilbert to be Challenged

BREAKING: Delegate Gilbert to be Challenged

From Winchester Report and Rappahannock News, we have word that Delegate Todd Gilbert has drawn a challenger: Democrat John Lesinski. Mr. Lesinski decided to announce at the Rappahannock Board of Supervisors meeting. So far, only Rapp News has carried the announcement. The announcement was just stuffed into a report on the Board meeting. However, the editors had harsh words for the Delegate, who also happened to be at the meeting to give Board members an update on the legislative work he has done on behalf of the county. 

Then, county resident John Lesinski, a Democrat, announced that he would be running against Republican incumbent Todd Gilbert for the 15th District delegate seat. Why Mr. Gilbert would show up at this BOS meeting, instead of all the other ones he didn’t attend, seemed only slightly coincidental.

But, coincidence aside, that was not all. Toward the end of the meeting, several supervisors made a point of praising Mr. Gilbert’s championing the county in Richmond, and that they were very grateful for all his effort. Not a word was said in support of Lesinski’s candidacy even though he is a resident and Gilbert is not.

It’s not the sentiments we object to, but the timing and the venue and the appearance that the county Board of Supervisors publicly supports one candidate over the other, and on the day one chooses to announce.

Let’s put aside for a second that Delegate Gilbert has a good working relationship with county officials and has welcomed them multiple times in his Richmond office. In terms of his legislative work, he has been a staunch advocate for the tiny county that constitutes just about 10% of his district. He patroned HB936, which allows the sort of cost sharing agreement that the county just entered into with Madison County that will help guarantee up to a quarter of a million more in school funding, and introduced a budget amendment that would have granted $50,000 to the Scrabble School Foundation (although the amendment did not make it into the final budget). Outside of his official legislative duties, he has also been a leader on other issues confronting the county, including fighting Dominion Power on the planned line through the county and fighting against VDOT’s plan service cuts in rural areas. 

Of course, the paper was the only in the area not to carry the announcement of Gilbert’s re-election bid and did not endorse him in 2005, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. However, before they decide he is not worthy of their support over someone who just moved to the county in 2006 2007, perhaps they should look at the incumbent’s history of leadership on behalf of the county. 

All that aside, I look forward to a vigorous discussion of ideas between the two candidates. I think we will see a number of contrasts, particularly on the future of Interstate 81.  However, for now I can assure you I will be standing behind the principled and effective leadership of Delegate Todd Gilbert. 

Disclaimer: I am a former employee of Delegate Todd Gilbert. However, I have received no compensation for this post nor from his campaign or office since April 2006. 

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  1. Rich Clem
    April 11, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    It by reading the link you provided, it appears this Lesinski character moved to the county in 2007, not 2006….

    • April 11, 2009 at 10:32 pm

      You are correct sir that he appears to have moved to Rappahannock in 2007, as seen in this link. (Note the price of his home) However, his interest in Rappahannock County and the Valley seems to have peaked sometime after he was deposed at the large firm in the DC area he was working for. But more on all that later……

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