Supervisor Riley?

Jim Riley and his wife Julia reside in Prince William County with their children Jacqueline and Jimmy. He is an attorney and the Senior Director of Government Affairs for a major national trade association based in Northern Virginia while she is a kindergarten teacher for the county school system. Since 2003, Jim has been a member of the Southbridge Community Association’s Board of Directors for the community of over 1,500 homes and more than 5,000 residents, spending nine of those years as its president. He has served in a number of appointed positions including as the At-Large representative on the County Housing Board.
VV. Why did you meet with Loudoun BOS Geary Higgins today?

JR: I met with Supervisor Higgins to discuss with him how he balances his job and family life while also serving in political office. It is no secret (or if it is, it is a very badly kept one) that I am interested in running for the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to represent the Potomac District. If I commit to doing this, I want to be certain that I have done my due diligence before jumping in the race. Geary works in a position similar to mine and is a coworker of one of my neighbors, so it was natural for me to sit down with him. I have reached out to other such officials as well to discuss this and am compiling everything that I have learned so I can make an informed decision.

VV. Why are you running for a BOS position in PWC?

JR: As I have said, I am considering a run, but am not running yet. As for why I am considering a run, I just see so much potential being wasted in Prince William County. We are losing out in the competition for good paying jobs to neighboring jurisidictions such as Loudoun and Stafford counties. That means people have to travel greater distances for such jobs which in turn increases traffic and decreases the amount of time that moms and dads have with their kids and each other. Our overall tax burden is too great, our regulations are too onerous and our priorities are misplaced. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. At least not if we instituted some very common sense policies and reformed the way that our county government operates.

VV. Why do you think you are a more qualified candidate than your opponent?

JR: Assuming the incumbent supervisor stands for reelection, that person will have had 20 years in office to make a difference. Our schools are still overcrowded, our teachers’ pay still lags behind their peers in the region, our business tax base is still anemic (and that description is being kind), our home values are still suppressed and our taxes are set to spike by more than 20 percent over the next five years. Obviously what this supervisor is doing hasn’t worked and it is time that we try a different approach. The current supervisor’s campaign slogan is, “I listen. I care. I respond!” That’s all well and good, but it is completely reactionary if you are simply responding to something that has already happened. At that point, it is often too late. The difference between us is I want to be proactive and not reactive. I have a vision of what we need to accomplish in order to get the county on the right track so it is not just a great place to live, but also one where businesses want to locate and create good paying jobs.

VV. How would you describe yourself politically speaking?

JR: I come from the Jack Kemp – Steve Forbes – Paul Ryan pro-economic growth wing of the Republican Party. I have been very fortunate in my life where I have worked closely with each of them. Kemp was my first paying client as an attorney and Forbes had the confidence in me to name me as his Deputy General Counsel for his first presidential campaign. Ryan was a coworker of mine at Kemp’s think tank “Empower America.” I closely identify with their brand of politics which is based on ideas that help people to realize their full potential and strive for success.

VV. If you could cut the budget in PWC, what would be the first item to go?

JR: I would end the county’s subsidy of the Hylton Performing Arts Center which amounts to $400,000 per year just for operating expenses. The county is already on the hook for $1.7 million per year for 25 years for debt service. There is no reason whatsoever that the county should be paying a penny more than what they are obligated to do under that agreement. George Mason University was supposed to pay the operating expenses, but somehow the county got stuck with the tab.

VV. Do you have a campaign website that is currently private?
JR: I purchased the domain a few years ago and have a VoteJimRiley Facebook page. I have used them in the past for my HOA elections and could transition them to another race should I decide to undertake one. I currently use them to promote issues and other campaigns that are of interest to the area where I live.
VV. Have you assembled a campaign inner circle yet?
JR: I have some close friends who live in the district and have different areas of expertise that would be beneficial to a campaign. We have held some preliminary discussions about this, but have not put together anything formal yet.
VV. Do you have someone in mind for a campaign manager?
JR: My 11-year old daughter is angling for that job.
VV. Have you considered how you will raise money for the campaign?
JR: My initial thoughts are to have a three-level approach where I would reach out to individuals and businesses here in the district; approach others in the county and Northern Virginia who care about what happens in the county; and utilize my state and national political connections to raise campaign contributions. I have discussed in passing with Steve Forbes about him coming in to do an event for me at some point should I run and I would likely reach out to my former colleague Paul Ryan as well.
VV. Do you have connections with the grass roots in PWC?
JR: I have lived in Prince William since 2001, so I have gotten to know people from all walks of life whether they be party regulars, TEA party members, libertarian types – you name it. I have been an active blogger since 2005 and have also been a columnist for the local newspaper, so I have attracted support from many people based upon the ideas I have put forward to make our county a better place.
VV. How many people will knock doors for you outside of the grass roots?
JR: One of the most amazing things about a campaign is the surprise you get when you see who turns out to help. I have gotten to know so many people not only through my HOA and the local party committee, but also through religious organizations, swim teams, and the parents of my kids’ classmates. I frequently am asked by people I would never expect to help in a campaign if I plan to run and to let them know if I do so they can lend a hand. It is moments like that which encourage me to take the plunge and run. If you are just running in order to be someone and not to accomplish something, you are doing it for the wrong reason. I want to get something done and if I do this, it will be for them.
VV. Thank you for your time Mr. Riley.                                                                                                                  .

Given Mr. Riley’s answers, it certainly appears he has thought this through, and is close to a decision.


3 thoughts on “Supervisor Riley?

  1. I sure hope both Jim and DJ Jordan run for the board. Hopefully Jeanine Lawson will replace Supervisor Covington. That would be 4 solid conservative votes along with Candland.


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