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King George officials develop an informative workshop for those interested in running for office
King George County Supervisor Ruby Brabo (left) chats with Rick Crookshank after last week's workshop.
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By CATHY DYSON
At a workshop for those interested in running for office in King George County, would-be candidates heard about everything from pitfalls of paperwork to practical advice from those who have been there, done that.
About 30 people attended two different sessions Tuesday in the county boardroom, where Board of Supervisors and School Board members meet regularly.
Those in the audience included people who will put their names on the ballot in November--or are considering it--as well as those who may seek office in years to come.
"This was great, it was a lot of good information and a great turnout," said Mike Rose, a School Board member and successful write-in candidate four years ago.
He plans a traditional campaign this time--and needed to know what paperwork he faced.
Keri Gusmann, who was appointed King George's commonwealth's attorney in August, will run for the office in November to fill the unexpired term of Matt Britton. She plans to seek a full, four-year term in 2015.
"I hope to be here for the long run," she said.
Shawn Lawrence, who ran for Fredericksburg City Council in 2010, is thinking about challenging Supervisor Cedell Brooks Jr. for the Shiloh District seat.
Lawrence moved to King George in November, but has been in the region 15 years.
"Change is always good," he said. "It keeps the county going with new ideas and new blood."
Amanda Nicoletti was interested in knowing what elected office entails, if she runs for a school board seat in the future.
"I was just excited to hear about this opportunity," said the young mother. "It's helpful to understand the process and get information on the roles and responsibilities involved."
The workshop was developed by Supervisor Ruby Brabo and Registrar Lorrie Gump. Before Brabo was elected in November 2011, she and Gump agreed that more information might encourage more people to seek office.
As plans progressed, they included former School Board member Renee Parker. The county's electoral board--Isaac Hughes, Rick Crookshank and Larry Kile--helped sponsor it.
During the question-and-answer period after the workshop for candidates, several people asked if something could be done about the sound system in the King George County boardroom.
"I've been to numerous board meetings," said resident Elaine Harvey, "and one thing always bothered me. If you go to the podium to speak, not one behind you can hear what you're saying."
Rich Lorey, who plans to challenge Supervisor John LoBuglio, said people watching the meeting on the MetroCast broadcast can't hear, either.
Supervisor Ruby Brabo encouraged people to keep voicing their complaints. "Eventually they'll get the message."