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Newcomer Jefferson taking on incumbent Wheeler in Democratic primary for Prince William chair

"Incumbent Democratic chair of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors Ann Wheeler is facing a primary challenge from her left in the upcoming primary.

Communications professional and former journalist Deshundra Jefferson, who described herself as “the more progressive candidate,” will face Wheeler on June 20 for the Prince William County Democratic Committee’s nomination in the November General Election. The primary winner will face a Republican in the general election – either Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine Lawson or Gainesville District resident and Marine Corps veteran Kenn Knarr...

...Jefferson, a single mom of Montclair, said she entered the race with a feeling that the county is at a crossroads. She believes Prince William is experiencing rampant, unchecked development. Her other concerns include crime, rising rents, rising property taxes and the meals tax.

“The residents are the people who’ve invested in the county, who call it home,” Jefferson said. “And that’s where our priorities need to be. I feel like too much of our priorities is with the big developers.”

She said the county is experiencing an acceleration of overdevelopment – not smart growth – and that the county has gone overboard with data center development. The structures being built have become too tall and are located too close to residential neighborhoods, she said. The Digital Gateway project was rushed without adequate consideration from the community, Jefferson added.

“It’s easier to add than subtract,” she said of land-use policy. The county needs to think about what it wants to look like in 20 years, she said. Jefferson believes a balanced approach is needed to ensure the Comprehensive Plan is followed by, for example, developing industrially in industrial zones.

“I think we need somebody who’s going to be a better advocate for the average Virginian, for the average Prince William family,” she said..."


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