Burton Gets A Formidable Challenger

By Loudoun Insider

The post below got hijacked onto this topic – former Purcellville Council member Janet Clarke, and LCPS employee (big negative for me!), will try for the LCRC nomination to run against Jim Burton.  I doubt if she’ll meet the purity test of the current regime, so expect more challengers to pop up.


  • FedUp says:

    This lady has quite an impressive resume’! LI, I agree the being an LCPS employee is a big negative, but maybe she knows where all the waste is and is willing to do something about it. I would like to hear her thoughts on that.

  • Before I attack her, I’d also like to know that she views this as a rabid departure from the Kelly Burk files….

  • Mary Gail Swenson says:

    Why are any of you planning to attack this competent, smart, experienced woman? Did you read her bio on Leesburg Today? Why even TALK about not supporting her. She has so many qualifications, on so many levels, that it’s a wonder she even WANTS to run for office. I know Janet. I know the level of committment and energy and intelligence that she brought to her very big volunteer job in the Goose Creek District Scouting organization. So what if she works as a teacher. She does not bow to any school “party lines”. So for God’s sake, figure out what you’re talking about before you make fools of yourselves.

    Janet brings a fresh and intelligent point of view to local governing and hasn’t got one single axe to grind, except good government. Learn about it before you leap into a cliche.

  • anon says:

    She sounds promising and all should take a good look at her, priority number one in Blue Ridge is ejecting Burton from the BOS.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    LTM article:


    Mary Gail, I don’t see anyone attacking her out of line here – anyone working for LCPS must be suspect to a certain degree in my opinion, and obviously in that of others. hatrick seems to have a way of spellbounding his minions, just look ot Jen Bergel for an example. She went in to be a reformer and ended up being just another mouthpiece for the company line, including backing that horrendous indefensible Wheatland deal to the bitter end.

    Several people I respect have said great things about her, so I will withold final judgment on her, but there can be no getting around the fact that being a Hatrick employee will be a big negative to overcome, especially in the LCRC. She will need to speak up early and often on this topic (uncomfortable as that may make things at work).

  • Mary Gail Swenson says:

    Oh really, LI. You had a negative post about her from the get-go. And Dean talks about “Before I attack her”. Sorry, it just looks so ridiculous to jump right out in a negative way before you know anything about her. Here’s the real story on her career with the LCPS from the LTM:

    “Clarke, who works on a temporary contract teaching seventh grade science at Harmony Middle School, served on the Purcellville Town Council from 2006-2008 after she was appointed to fill Bob Lazaro’s seat when he was elected mayor.

    If elected, the potential candidate said she would give up teaching to focus her attention on the county.

    “Whoever is elected needs to be able to do this as a full-time job because that’s what it takes,” she said.”

    So educate yourselves before you totally lose your credibility.

  • G. Stone says:

    Sports fans, Mary Gail is right. Nobody knows much about this candidate. Would it not be wise to actually talk to her, find out where she is on issues ? Find out what her political philosophy is ? What does she think about the state of the budget and spending. I for one, do not assume she is Hatrick Tottee unless of course through her actions she proves otherwise.

    It is my hope she is fiscal conservative who can do basic math, understands the dire straights we are in with regard to our back to back to back deficits, and if elected willing to work hard to correct our disproportionate distribution of revenue.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Thanks for violating one of my rules that you should know, MGS – your comment has been modified to stay within those rules.

    Don’t chastise me with not knowing the whole story when you obviously don’t either, nor chose to read the entire article – from the LTM story:

    “The candidate, who has a bachelor’s degree in community interrelations and a master’s degree in education and human development, says she can use her 10 years experience working with the Loudoun County Public School system to better how the two entities communicate, especially on hot button issues such as the fiscal budget.”

    10 years is a bit more than a temporary job this year. More to come after I find another quote from Leesburg Today.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    More from Leesburg Today as promised:

    “Currently, she teaches 7th grade science at Harmony Middle School. She also runs the Homework Club at Harmony. Her knowledge of the county’s school system is not confined to teaching. She worked in the school system’s central office on substance abuse and violence prevention, and on grant applications to establish on drug-free communities. Working with the county’s Community Services Board and with four coalitions across Loudoun, through activities and events, “we worked in support of violence prevention.”

    She worked in Hatrick’s central office. That’s what I am worried about. She may indeed be an independent thinker and free of Hatrick’s apparent spell making ability but so far I’ve seen no one from that office be truly independent (see my comments earlier on how they turned Jen Bergel). As I stated, in my opinion working for Hatrick is a huge negative for me for someone seeking to be on the Board of Supervisors. That’s my personal opinion and I’ll stick with it until I am absolutely convinced otherwise.

  • Mary Gail Swenson says:

    I’m sorry, LI. WHAT rules did I break and could you please email me the part you modified out? I would have preferred you to delete my whole post rather than censor me. I didn’t use any bad or offensive language, and what I wrote was the truth.

    So what the heck did I say that was wrong…???

  • Mary Gail Swenson says:

    And I did read the whole story. If you want to infer from her bio that she is not a fiscal conservative and will jack up the school budget, that’s also your right. But don’t advertise yourself as being a fairly even observer of the political landscape.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Mary Gail, are you a fairly even observer of the political landscape?

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    My name, dear lady. Sure most in the know know who I am, but I prefer to stick with LI here. My site (well Vincent’s, but I am blogger #1 here), my rules. That’s all that was modified.

    I never said a thing about whether or not she is a fiscal conservative. I said she worries me because she has worked for LCPS, including significant time apparently at the central office, for 10 years. I think I’m a pretty even observer of the political landscape, even more so that I am no longer affiliated officially with any party here. You are obviously a team player, and that is your right, as is mine to state my opinions here.

    So let me repeat – I don’t know Janet Clarke at all, but some people I know do and they think highly of her. She has worked for Hatrick and LCPS for ten years, and that worries me. She will have a hard time getting a nomination in the current LCRC in my opinion. That’s the extent of my knowledge of and opinion of Janet Clarke. In no way was this any kind of political hit piece. For Pete’s sake, I called her a “formidable challenger” in the post title!

  • The Bulletproof Monk says:

    Mary Gail, with all due respect, I’ve worked on several initiatives with Janet. She may look awesome from where you sit, but the Town of Purcellville has had a couple of issues that she presided…..and can be viewed in either extremely popular, or wildly dissapointing. Just depends on who you talk to.
    And who else throws their hat in before the cutoff.

  • Mary Gail Swenson says:

    ED: not in the least, nor do I present myself that way. However, I know Janet Clarke, she is a totally intelligent and competent lady. There are Republicans I would NEVER work to elect, just sit quietly by and watch the fun. But Janet would make a truly fabulous supervisor. Regardless of what Mr. I Know Everything Before Anyone Else Does, or anyone else for that matter.

    I would never stand up for someone I thought would make a horrible candidate or incumbent. See above.

  • Local says:

    Just an observation, on this web site Janet Clarke is “suspect” because she has worked for LCPS. On another, she is unqualified because she was on the Purcellville Town Council that stood up to Jim Burton and LCPS for building poorly planned schools. Sounds to me like she is going to get grief from both sides of the aisle. Good for her.

  • The Bulletproof Monk says:

    Local…. When Janet stood up to Burton and the local School placement incompetent boob, Mr. Adamo….Man, those are her better attributes!

  • vacliff says:

    I also share LI’s concern about her time spen in LCPS. One might think Hatrick is trying to get more of his folks on the BoS to peddle more influence there.
    And don’t tell me this is not a reasonable concern. Hatrick is, without a doubt, the most powerful figure in the county and he’s not going to give up any of it without a fight.

  • Jack Ryan says:

    Ben Weber just announced, this race should be interesting….

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Mary Gail, I would point out that no where does LI claim to be a fairly even observer of local politics. He just usually happens to be one.

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