Suhas Subramanyam

Current Position: State Delegate
Affiliation: Democrat

Overview: N/A

Bill Drennan

Current Position: Security Expert, retired USAF
Affiliation: Republican
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate

Overview: N/A

John Bell

Current Position: State Senator since 2016
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 2016 – 2019

Delegate John Bell is a retired member of the United States Air Force. He served almost 26 years before retiring as a Major in 2007. During his Air Force career, John served as a Finance Officer all over the world, including tours in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

John has worked across party lines to pass Medicaid expansion, increase school funding and teacher pay, fight for common-sense gun safety reforms and champion policies to address the opioid addiction crisis

Suhas SubramanyamSuhas Subramanyam

Current Position: State Delegate
Affiliation: Democrat

Overview: N/A

Summary

Current Position: State Delegate
Affiliation: Democrat

Overview: N/A

About

Suhas Subramanyam 1

Source: Campaign page

Suhas has dedicated his life to serving his community and solving some of our country’s biggest challenges. His family’s story in America began in 1979, when Suhas’s mother, a native of Bengaluru, India, immigrated to the United States. She landed in Dulles Airport to start a new life where she could become a physician and raise a family. She united with Suhas’s father, who was born in India and raised by the widow of a deceased army veteran. Together, they pursued the American dream and passed along values that Suhas holds today: serve your community, succeed with hard work, and empower those without a voice.

These values stayed with Suhas when, while attending Tulane University in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina hit the city. Suhas’s community service work in the aftermath of the storm propelled him into a life of community service. He helped organize volunteers to rebuild and revitalize communities affected by the storm and, as President of the college’s environmental club, pushed local officials to prioritize environmental standards during the rebuild. He graduated summa cum laude and turned down lucrative corporate opportunities to help get Democratic leaders elected.

Suhas has since worked tirelessly to improve the health and prosperity of all Virginians and Americans. He served on Capitol Hill as a health care and veterans policy aide, where he worked to expand and improve health care access to millions of Americans and drafted legislation to increase job opportunities and funding for veterans. He later earned his law degree with honors at Northwestern University School of Law, volunteering at the Center for Wrongful Convictions. There, he was part of the legal team that freed a man who had spent 21 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Suhas also clerked for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he helped re-introduce the DREAM Act and worked on criminal justice reforms.

After spending time as a technology and regulatory attorney, Suhas was named a White House technology policy advisor to President Obama. He led a task force on technology policy that President Obama charged with addressing some of the country’s most challenging technology issues, including job creation and displacement in the technology sector, regulating emerging technology, and addressing cybersecurity and IT modernization in the public sector. He also helped save taxpayers money by working on projects to make government processes and services more efficient using technology. After leaving the White House, Suhas started his own consulting firm based in Loudoun County to advise companies and nonprofits on technology, government regulations, and economic empowerment.

Suhas is a proud resident of Loudoun County and has always maintained his commitment to serving the community. He serves as a volunteer firefighter in Loudoun County, and he is an active member of the Rotary Club of Ashburn. He was also appointed by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to the Loudoun Health Council, where he works to address some of the most pressing health care issues in Northern Virginia. For his professional accomplishments and work in the community, Suhas was named to the Loudoun Times-Mirror’s 40 Under 40.

He is married to Miranda Peña Subramanyam, who works for a government contractor and volunteers in her free time at the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter. They were married in Sterling, Virginia, where they currently reside.

Web

Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook, Technology for Global Security

Politics

Recent Elections

2019 State DelegateArray

Suhas Subramanyam (D)17,69362.00%
William M. “Bill” Drennan, Jr. (R)10,81837.91%
Write-In (Write-in)250.09%
TOTAL28,536

Issues

Source: Campaign page

Education and Job Training
A great community starts with great public schools. Like many, my wife and I grew up going to public schools, and we live in this community because it’s a great place to start a family because it has schools with great teachers.

Improving our schools in Loudoun and Prince William Counties starts with fully funding them, providing them top-notch resources, and making sure we recruit and retain great teachers by paying them what they are worth.There are too many underpaid and overworked teachers, and there are too many instances where parents have to foot the bill for activities that the schools should cover. We also need to lower class sizes, stop constantly re-zoning kids into new schools, and invest in early-childhood education and programs for children with disabilities and special needs. We must also continue to address racism, cultural insensitivity, and inequity throughout our school systems.

Furthermore, we cannot continue to let our future leaders enter the workforce saddled with debt because of their post-secondary education. The cost of college has forced too many people to take on astronomical student loans that take decades to repay. In Richmond, I will fight for a tuition cap at state schools and maintain funding for post-secondary education. I also plan to increase access to workforce training programs to help people in our community who are looking to switch into professions in high demand by local employers.
Traffic and Infrastructure
We are spending too many hours on the roads and away from our families. Whether it’s the high tolls on the Dulles Greenway or the congestion on I-66, Rt. 50, Rt. 7, Rt. 28, Rt 15, Loudoun County Parkway, and so many other roads in Northern Virginia, the traffic has been a disaster for so many people in our community. Roads are not properly maintained, our toll costs are rising, and traffic has worsened over the years.

Solving our traffic problems requires a comprehensive approach that starts with creating jobs here so we don’t have to commute, getting our fair share of infrastructure funding from Richmond so that more of our state tax dollars are spent in Loudoun and Prince William, and developing responsibly so that we are not outgrowing our existing infrastructure. I will also advocate for additional funding to widen existing roads to keep up with growth around the district. As a volunteer firefighter/EMT I regularly see the accidents caused by poor traffic planning.

I also oppose any and all tolls in Northern Virginia, especially those like the Dulles Greenway and on I-66. Significantly reducing the tolls on the Dulles Greenway will require a long-term strategy that involves reducing our reliance on toll roads and raising revenue for if and when a partial or full buyback of the toll road becomes possible. Again, we also need funding from the state to widen, maintain, and improve existing roads.

Finally, let’s attract employers and create high-paying jobs in Loudoun and Prince William Counties so that we don’t have to commute to other places to make a living. This means encouraging the construction of more office space, malls and retail in areas like South Riding rather than putting more pressure on our traffic instructure with more crowded residential units.

Health
Everyone should have access to quality, affordable health care. As a member and former Chair of the Loudoun Health Council and volunteer firefighter/EMT, I have seen far too many of our neighbors ask not to be taken to the hospital because of high costs of care or because they couldn’t afford their prescription drugs. One medical emergency could put a family in debt for decades.

I will fight to protect access to health care for seniors and people with preexisting conditions, and I will work to increase and improve access, lower health care costs, and address the skyrocketing prescription drug costs. I support price transparency for healthcare and drug costs, increasing our focus on evidence-based medicine, and consider alternative delivery systems for health and primary care. I will also work to remove the onerous work requirements that accompanied Medicaid expansion.I was a health care aide on Capitoll Hill when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act and worked to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. I have the policy expertise to make these changes happen in Richmond.

We also need to ensure access to mental health services and human services for people of all ages and incomes. This includes making counseling and therapeutic services available to children and adults as well as continuing the work started this year to allow walk-in visits at state mental health centers. We must also address addiction and the opioid crisis by investing in preventative services and improving access to screening and intervention.

Justice and Safety
My wife, Miranda, went to church in Newtown, Connecticut and her congregation lost a young member that day in Sandy Hook. We need to make progress on gun violence prevention so that we and our loved ones feel safe in our schools, places of worship, and public places. I would support comprehensive solutions to reducing gun violence, including expanding mandatory universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, banning the sales of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and supporting studies on gun violence as a public health issue.

As an attorney who has successfully helped free wrongfully-accused people of color, I also know firsthand the issues we need to address in our criminal justice system. There are several issues we need to address in our criminal justice system, including:

    • ending the school to prison pipeline
    • putting an end to for-profit prisons
    • putting an end to suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid court fees and granting drivers licenses for all immigrants
    • decriminalizing marijuana
    • reexamining mandatory minimums

Equality
No Virginian should be treated differently because of their race, sexual orientation, gender, or beliefs. We cannot continue to thrive as a Commonwealth if we are not all provided with equal protection under the law. That is why as your Delegate, I will fight for a statewide fairness ordinance, work tirelessly to ensure that we ratify the equal rights amendment, and updating Virginia housing, employment, and hate crime laws to prevent LGBTQ+ discrimination.

We also need to ensure that inequality doesn’t exist for women in the workplace and put an end to sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace. I am proud of the work I have done to address the gender pay gap during my time at the White House and will work tirelessly in Richmond to close the pay gap in Virginia.

Environment and Climate Change
Our environment is our most precious resource, and I have spent my life working to protect it and combat climate change. I have lived through and been personally affected by several natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and several floods, to know that climate change is one of the greatest crises of our generation.

That’s why I, along with other concerned citizens in Loudoun and Prince William Counties, started Zero Carbon Virginia, an organization of concerned citizens devoted to bringing Virginia’s energy industry into the 21st century. We introduced the Renewables First Act (HB 1686), a bill that places a moratorium on all new fossil fuel capacity construction until renewable energy generation facilities with a capacity of at least 5,500 megawatts are in operation. Unfortunately, it, like other clean energy legislation, was rejected immediately by the House of Delegates.

We must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and move to more sustainable energy sources to mitigate the economic, environmental and social costs of fossil fuels. We can do so while creating high quality green jobs that protect and retrain workers. I will support legislation like the Renewables First Act or Renewable Portfolio Standards that help us take bold steps towards making Virginia a leader in clean energy.

Finally, we must also preserve the green spaces and rural heritage that make Loudoun County and Prince William County so beautiful. I will work to ensure that we protect our natural resources and open spaces.

Broken and Divided Politics
I have worked in every branch of the United States government and served as a voter protection attorney during the 2012 Obama campaign, and it’s clear to me that our political system is dysfunctional. We continue to engage in divisive politics that puts partisanship and scoring political points over solving problems. In the meantime, we have allowed outside interests to run our political processes instead of doing what is best for the Commonwealth and the country.

I intend to break the cycle and promise to be a strong voice in Richmond for healing political divisions, changing the rhetoric in our politics, and putting decisions in the hands of people, not outside interests.

It also means bold campaign finance reform that puts caps on contributions, curbs the influence of outside groups and corporate PACs, and prevents politicians from using campaign spending accounts for personal expenses.

We need to make it easier to vote, and that means no-excuse absentee voting, extended early voting, and rolling back restrictive voter ID laws. With redistricting approaching, we also need a system where people should choose their legislators, not the other way around. That means we need fair, nonpartisan redistricting and an end to gerrymandering.

Finally, I plan to continue the work I did as a technology advisor in President Obama’s White House to use technology to make government more efficient, more transparency, and more accountable. Click here to watch my TEDx talk on restoring trust in government.

I have spent my career fighting to restore trust in our government and standing up to special interests. If I am privileged to be your Delegate, I will ensure that your voice is what matters most Richmond.

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Bill DrennanBill Drennan

Current Position: Security Expert, retired USAF
Affiliation: Republican
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate

Overview: N/A

Summary

Current Position: Security Expert, retired USAF
Affiliation: Republican
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate

Overview: N/A

About

Source: Campaign page

Meet Colonel Bill Drennan

Bill Drennan, an Air Force combat veteran and former presidential military aide to President Ronald Reagan, is running for Virginia’s District 87 House of Delegates seat.

Bill and his wife Shiu Ying have lived in South Riding for 12 years. They have two sons, both of whom live in District 87, and one grandson who is a fourth-grader in a “simply outstanding public elementary school,” where Drennan has been a volunteer in the WatchDOGS program for the last five years.

Bill Drennan’s Story

Combat Veteran
Following graduation from the US Air Force Academy with a commission as a second lieutenant, Bill attended pilot training in Texas and spent five years in Southeast Asia flying combat missions in Vietnam. 

Bill flew in support of every major campaign from the South Vietnamese invasion of Laos, through the North Vietnamese Easter Offensive, to the evacuation of Saigon. 

In addition, Bill flew into Hanoi to assist in the release of American POWs following the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.

Air Force Senior Official
Bill returned to the United States and served as an instructor and flight commander at the USAF Officer Training School and later as the assistant executive officer in the Air Force Military Training Headquarters in Texas. 

In 1979 Bill was transferred to the Pentagon, working in Air Force senior officer personnel matters.

Military Aide to President Reagan
In 1981 Bill was selected as President Reagan’s first Air Force Aide. He worked daily with the President, the White House senior staff, and executive branch departments and agencies, especially the Department of Defense. 

As a military aide, Bill was responsible for the Presidential Emergency Satchel (the “Nuclear Football”). Other duties included planning and overseeing all aspects of the extensive military support for the President, serving as a liaison between the White House Military Office, DoD, and the uniformed services, and coordinating emergency “continuity of government” plans with the US Secret Service and other concerned agencies.

Korea Security Expert and War College Professor
After successful tours as a squadron commander and deputy commander for operations in the Air Force Pilot Training Program, Bill attended the National War College and was then posted to Seoul with US Forces Korea. He spent a year as a military fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City and then returned to the National War College as a faculty member and department chair. 

Bill closed out his military career as a senior military fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, working on security issues on the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.

Worked on Security Issues in the Private Sector
After leaving active duty, Bill joined the United States Institute of Peace, where he continued working on Korea security issues for the next six years. 

He then worked for two different start-ups in Washington DC that specialized in open-source intelligence information, primarily for US government agencies.

Proud Husband, Father, and Grandfather
Bill met and married his wife, Shiu Ying, while he was stationed in Taiwan. She is a proud naturalized US citizen. They have been married for 45 years and have two sons and one grandson, whom they have helped raise since he was an infant. 

Bill is running for the House of Delegates because he wants to create a better world for his grandson and his grandson’s generation. 

Web

Campaign Site, Facebook

Issues

Source: Campaign page

Education
Maintaining Loudoun and Prince William counties’ strong education systems is Bill’s top priority. We must focus on education, not indoctrination. This past legislative session, the General Assembly provided Virginians a tax return and passed a budget with a 5% wage increase for teachers. The safety of our students and teachers is also essential. Bill will partner with law enforcement and school officials to hire retired police and military veterans as school resource officers. Every public school in Loudoun and Prince William should have dedicated and trained security personnel so that our children can thrive in a safe school environment.

Economic Prosperity
America’s economic success is founded on ingenuity and innovation – the qualities that have powered District 87’s thriving economy. Bill will oppose government regulations that hinder the entrepreneurial spirit. We need to foster and maintain a business climate attractive to enterprises large and small. We must not adopt government-mandated minimum wage and other wasteful “progressive’ experiments to chock our economic future. History has repeatedly shown the negative outcomes of these unrealistic and unsustainable programs.

Taxes and Spending
The state budget continuously grows due to ever-expanding government programs. Bill will work to cut taxes by eliminating wasteful spending. We must promote transparency within all state programs to ensure that taxpayers are getting their money’s worth. A tax environment that fosters innovation will allow District 87 to continue to be a place where residents are proud to live, work, and raise a family.

Veteran Affairs
As an Air Force pilot, combat veteran and former presidential military aide, Bill understands the importance of supporting the nearly 800,000 veterans who call Virginia home. It is our responsibility to ease their return home from battle. On average, 22 U.S. veterans commit suicide a day. This is a national emergency. Increasing veteran access to academic scholarships and vocational training will provide Virginia’s veterans with the skills to succeed in civilian life. It is time for Virginia to honor those who have fought for our freedom. Veterans have kept their end of the bargain — we must keep ours.

Transportation
Easing traffic congestion is fundamental to the success of District 87 and all of Northern Virginia. Taxpayers funded the construction of area toll roads — they should not be gouged with punishing tolls to use those same roads. $47 for a one-way trip on I-66 just to get to work is — literally — highway robbery. Bill will work with officials at the local and state levels to ease the area’s traffic trauma.

Sanctity of Life
Richmond recently became the focus of nationwide condemnation for proposed legislation that would have eliminated restrictions on third-trimester abortions and legalized infanticide – also known as “post-birth abortions.” Unlike some of our elected leaders, Bill understands that life begins at conception. He will be a strong voice for a society that cherishes and protects the most vulnerable among us.

2nd Amendment
Bill opposes red-flag laws that are designed to strip citizens of their unalienable rights. The right to keep and bear arms is foundational to the Constitution and to uphold liberty under law. Bill is committed to protecting the 2nd Amendment while also curtailing the unlawful use or purchase of weapons. As your next Delegate, Bill will uphold your constitutional rights and insist that judicial nominees are committed to doing the same.

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John Bell 1John Bell

Current Position: State Senator since 2016
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 2016 – 2019

Delegate John Bell is a retired member of the United States Air Force. He served almost 26 years before retiring as a Major in 2007. During his Air Force career, John served as a Finance Officer all over the world, including tours in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

John has worked across party lines to pass Medicaid expansion, increase school funding and teacher pay, fight for common-sense gun safety reforms and champion policies to address the opioid addiction crisis

Summary

Current Position: State Senator since 2016
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): State Delegate from 2016 – 2019

Delegate John Bell is a retired member of the United States Air Force. He served almost 26 years before retiring as a Major in 2007. During his Air Force career, John served as a Finance Officer all over the world, including tours in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

John has worked across party lines to pass Medicaid expansion, increase school funding and teacher pay, fight for common-sense gun safety reforms and champion policies to address the opioid addiction crisis

About

John Bell

Source: Campaign page

Delegate John Bell is a retired member of the United States Air Force. He served almost 26 years before retiring as a Major in 2007. During his Air Force career, John served as a Finance Officer all over the world, including tours in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. His ability to build consensus among diverse participants produced savings and cost reductions throughout the world, including $200 million saved annually from his work in Iceland.

John enlisted in the Air Force in 1981 after graduating from high school. He was consistently recognized during this enlisted career as an outstanding performer and was named the #1 Non Commissioned Officer out of over 5,000 assigned to the Far East in 1992. After completing his bachelors degree in Business Administration and graduating Summa Cum Laude (while serving full time in the Air Force) from Regis University, he was selected for Officer Training School. At Officer Training School, John finished in the Top 10% of graduates and was named a Distinguished Graduate. John was also a Distinguished Graduate of Squadron Officer’s School and was named the U.S. Air Force’s 2006 Outstanding Contributor to Financial Management and Comptrollership.

John now leads a team of financial professionals in the private sector and assists government clients to identify inefficiencies and implement cost-saving solutions.

John volunteered as the head tennis coach for the Freedom High School Varsity Boys program from 2008 to 2013. After taking over a team with only 3 victories in school history, Freedom now boasts a powerhouse program and is 66-12 in John’s tenure with a 3A Final Four appearance, 2 Regional titles and 4 District titles. John has also proudly served on Congressman Frank Wolf’s Service Academy Selection Board from 2011 to 2014.

In addition to his Bachelor’s degree, John also has an MBA (finance emphasis) and a Masters in Organizational Development from George Washington University.

John is married and lives in South Riding in Loudoun County with his wife Margaret (also retired Air Force). Margaret is a realtor and is an avid supporter of animal rescue. They have five children and have a proud tradition of military service with 3 children serving: John (6 years active duty Air Force), Josh (6 years Air National guard), and Danielle (10 years in both USAF and ANG).

John was elected to the House of Delegates in 2015 to replace Delegate David Ramadan.

Experience

Work Experience

  • Management consultant
    2019 to present
  • Military Service
    USAF
    1991 to 2007

Education

  • BS
    Regis University, CO
    2019 to 1991
  • MBA
    Western New England College
    2019 to 2000
  • MA
    George Washington University
    2019 to 2005

Personal

Birth Year: 1963
Place of Birth: Louisville, KY
Gender: Male
Race(s): Caucasian
Religion: Roman Catholic
Spouse: Margaret Rose Spataro
Children: Danielle Tipps, John Manning, Joshua, Saoirse, Kyle Thornburgh

Membership & Affiliation: American Society of Military Comptrollers
Loudoun County Democratic Committee

Contact

Legislative Assistant: David Choi
Administrative Assistant During Session: Lisa Shiffert

Email:

Offices

Capitol Office
Pocahontas Building
900 E. Main St,
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 698-1087

District Office
P.O. Box 223822
Chantilly, Virginia 20153

Phone: (571) 367-9080

Web

Government Page, Campaign Site, Twitter, Facebook

Politics

Recent Elections

2019 State SenatorArray

John J. Bell (D)44,76254.26%
Geary M. Higgins (R)37,64545.63%
Write-In (Write-in)950.12%
TOTAL82,502

2017 State DelegateArray

John Bell (D)18,23461.7%
Subba Rao Kolla (R)11,23638.0%
Write In (Write-in)670.2%
TOTAL29,537

2015 State DelegateArray

John Bell (D)8,20349.9%
Chuong Dong Nguyen (R)7,88347.9%
Brian Thomas Suojanen (L)3432.1%
Write In (Write-in)1818%
TOTAL16,447

Source: Virginia Legislative Information System

Finances

Source: VPAP

Committees

Committees

Counties Cities and Towns
Militia, Police and Public Safety
Appropriations

Subcommittees

Appropriations – Commerce, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Technology Subcommittee
Appropriations – Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee
Counties Cities and Towns – Subcommittee #1
Militia, Police and Public Safety – Subcommittee #1

Appointments

Appropriations – Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee
Commerce, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Technology Subcommittee
House Appropriations
House Counties Cities and Towns
House Militia Police and Public Safety
School Readiness Committee
War Memorial Board, Virginia

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: Ballotpedia

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