On Wednesday night I attended the first two debates sponsored by The Prince William Committee of 100 and the League of Women Voters. So far there is not much “news” out there about the debates. Potomac Local has posted stories on the debate. Unfortunately, we have to pay to read them.
So what is easily visible?
- Candidates Face off in PWCS School Board Chairman Debate (bristowbeat.com): This article covered the debate fairly thoroughly.
- Ashworth, May spar on county’s ICE agreement in first debate (princewilliamtimes.com): As the title indicates, this article has a narrow focus.
What was my takeaway?
The questions drove the subject matter of the debate, and they tended to be softballs. None of the questions, for example, addressed sex education and transgendered restrooms and locker rooms. So those controversial subjects did not come up. The main controversy was over how the School Board could get more money to spend on its priorities.
Babur Lateef (Democrat Endorsed)
Babur Lateef focused on getting more money for the schools. Since the School Board does not have taxing authority, he campaigned for electing more Democrats. At the same time Lateef pointed to numerous 8 – 0 school board votes to highlight his ability to work with others.
Alyson Satterwhite (Republican Endorsed)
Alyson Satterwhite focused on specific programmatic issues and working cooperatively with the Board of County Supervisors and the General Assembly. She made it clear she thought her opponent was too busy trying to politicize the School Board.
The questions were quite good. Even though both candidates are excellent public speakers, they were obviously a bit nervous. The questions required surprisingly thoughtful responses.
Amy Ashworth (Democrat)
Focused on her experience as a prosecutor. She believes experience as a prosecutor is necessary for the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney. Since the issue has raised lots of controversy, Ashworth made it clear she would enforce the law as written (as required by the oath of office). She would not abuse the power of Commonwealth’s Attorney and ignore those laws she does not like. Examples that came up include the death penalty and working with ICE with respect to illegal aliens.
Mike May (Republican)
Made the case that his experience as a trial lawyer and member of the Board of County Supervisors has in fact prepared him to serve as the Commonwealth’s Attorney. As a trial attorney, May says he has more than sufficient knowledge of the law. Since the Commonwealth’s Attorney is an elected office, May also made the case he is familiar with political issues this office would require him to deal with. Like Ashworth, May also argued that he would not abuse the powers of Commonwealth’s Attorney and refuse to enforce the law.