WINCHESTER — Theo Theologis, founder and president of Slones Real Estate, announced Monday that he is running for the Stonewall District seat on the Frederick County Board of Supervisors.
Theologis, 48, is running as an independent. He said he has received the necessary 125 signatures from voters for his name to appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.
He will challenge Republican incumbent Judith McCann-Slaughter, who is seeking her second four-year term. McCann-Slaughter was initially appointed to the board in January 2016 to fill a vacant seat, then won a special election in November 2016 to fill the remainder of the term. She was elected to her first four-term in November 2017.
Theologis, who moved to Frederick County in 2014 and to the Stonewall District in 2017, said he believes he is more fiscally conservative than McCann-Slaughter and that he will be better for business.
“I’m not a politician, I’m an entrepreneur, and I like to get things done,” Theologis said in an interview.
He said he is running for the board because he wants to ensure that Frederick County “maintains its culture and sense of community” and “does not become a victim of its own growth.” He said he wants to protect the quality of life in the county while keeping taxes and the cost of living “as low as possible.”
“Change is inevitable,” he said in a news release announcing his candidacy. “The county’s population is expected to exceed 120,000 people by 2040. Looking forward, we have two choices; we can choose to ignore it and allow our transportation infrastructure, public schools and public safety to fall further and further behind, or we can roll up our sleeves and work harder than ever so we’re prepared. With such explosive growth, you must always plan two steps ahead.”
He said he believes an increase in population necessitates the improvement and expansion of the county’s transportation infrastructure.
“Such infrastructure takes years to build, and the county is already behind,” he continued in the release. “Despite its tremendous growth, the county receives one of the lowest grant allocations in the state from VDOT. Collaboratively with our state delegation, we must demand more transportation funding from Richmond while also considering ways to fund much-needed transportation improvements ourselves.”
Theologis said he believes it is important to attract a wide range of businesses to the county, from small entrepreneurial startups to Fortune 500 companies, because tax revenue generated by businesses will provide more funding for the county’s backlog of needs, and it will lessen the tax burden on county residents. And, as the population grows, there will be a need for a broader range of services and service providers in the county, he said.
He said he doesn't think that increasing residential property taxes addresses the county’s funding needs, but revenue diversification does.
“If we fail to keep pace with our funding for these essential services, the quality of our schools will go down while the level of crime will go up,” Theologis said. “Planning, budgeting, and preparing for this looming growth should be a collaborative, not combative effort between our board and the schools and public safety administrations.”
Theologis said he is running as an independent largely because he is in real estate and is concerned that aligning with a political party might alienate some clients.
“I think constituents will find me more Republican than Judy, and at the same time, Democratic constituents will find that I’m more open to discussing and understanding their positions," he said.
He said he considers himself “very conservative,” but added, “I also understand there is a need for investing.”
“Not spending for the sake of not spending” is not a good way to plan for the county, he said. “Every dollar spent needs to deliver value.”
Theologis lives in the Snowden Bridge neighborhood in Stephenson. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Webster University, a master’s degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law.