I’m a resident of the Shawnee District in Frederick County, where we will have a special election on Nov. 3 to fill the Board of Supervisors position vacated by Shannon Trout. I was appalled by the Open Forum commentary in the May 30th Winchester Star from Dave Stegmaier, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for the supervisors’ seat.
To begin with, it is clear that Mr. Stegmaier is a full-throated supporter of Donald Trump. Even now. Even after The Trump administration has badly bungled the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic — listen to the scientists and the front-line doctors and nurses! — and nearly 110,000 Americans have died from the virus in four months.
And over the last 10 days, when our country has mourned the brutal lynching-style murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Trump has been incapable of providing any consoling words for the masses of peaceful protesters, choosing instead to act like a bully and a thug, initiating an attack on American citizens by our own police and armed forces so he could have a photo-opportunity using a Bible as a prop, an act widely denounced by many prominent people of faith.
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis — a man who has demonstrated his patriotism over an entire career — spoke the truth succinctly on June 3: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”
This is the man Mr. Stegmaier endorses.
Equally disturbing about his statement is Mr. Stemaier’s diatribe about potential voter fraud; he openly spouts conspiracy theories that have been proven false over and over again, even by the now-disbanded “voting integrity commission” launched by Trump himself, which uncovered no evidence to support voter fraud claims.
Dave Stegmaier is wrong for the Shawnee District of Frederick County. If he becomes the Republican candidate, he will be opposed in November by Richard Kennedy, an eminently qualified man whose vision for our county includes “every person having a voice in the planning for our future.”
Mr. Kennedy, currently the interim CEO of Blue Ridge Hospice, has a strong 40-year business and finance background which stretches across numerous industries, including banking, transportation, manufacturing, staffing, retail, and non-profit organizations (https://kennedy4shawnee.com). He’s the former CEO of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, and his work in that organization was instrumental in creating relationships with leaders in the business, education, and government arenas. That’s the kind of experience we need to assist Frederick County as we grow into the future.
Even though the November election is months away, I am pledging my support and endorsement to Richard Kennedy now, and I’ll do all I can to ensure that he is elected. I implore all Shawnee District residents to consider Mr. Kennedy’s credentials, and to join me in voting for him as our representative on the Board of Supervisors.
Mark Zimmerman is a resident of Frederick County.