Eighteen candidates are running for all nine seats on the Loudoun County Public Schools school board in Virginia on Nov. 7, 2023. The school district, located northwest of Washington D.C., had approximately 81,131 students as of the 2020-21 school year, making it the third largest school district in Virginia.
School board members are elected to four-year terms. Eight members are elected by district, and one is elected at large. Only two incumbents—in Ashburn and Leesburg—are running for reelection in 2023.
School safety has been a central issue in the election. According to The Washington Post’s Karina Elwood, “The district is attempting to rebuild its relationship with the community after it became the center of a statewide political controversy in recent years: The board fired its previous superintendent in December after a grand jury report showed that the school district had mishandled two high-profile sexual assaults committed by the same student two years ago.”
School literacy, parental rights, teacher retention, transgender issues, and school closures during the COVID pandemic are among the other issues candidates have discussed during the campaign. Click here to view some of the candidates’ responses to a Washington Post survey published on Oct. 14.
While school board elections are nonpartisan, candidates on the ballot are often endorsed by local political parties.
This year, the Loudoun County Democratic Party endorsed Anne Pogue Donohue (At-Large), April Moore Chandler (Algonkian), incumbent Harris Mahedavi (Ashburn), Linda Worrell Deans (Broad Run), Megan Elizabeth Lockwood (Catoctin), incumbent Erika Ogedegbe (Leesburg), Sumera Rashid (Little River), and Arben Istrefi (Sterling). The party also endorsed Melinda Marie Mansfield (Dulles), the only school board candidate running unopposed.
The Loudoun County Republican Party endorsed Michael Rivera (At-Large), Viktoria Hunyadi (Algonkian), Deana Griffiths (Ashburn), Christopher Hodges (Broad Run), Kari LaBell (Catoctin), Joseph James Smith (Little River), and Amy Riccardi (Sterling).
In addition to the candidates above, Lauren Shernoff is running in the Leesburg District, and Sarathchand Kolla is running in the Sterling District. The Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club endorsed Shernoff.
The filing deadline for this election was June 13, 2023.