On Election Night 2015, our colleague Scott Cameron became an elected official.
Scott became one of the three elected members of the Board of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD), garnering more votes than any other Republican candidate running for county-wide office. Conservation Districts are non-regulatory agencies that work with private landowners to improve water quality and soil conservation practices on private lands.
The NVSWCD serves the 1.25 million citizens of Fairfax County, Virginia. Its primary recent focus has been on helping Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia meet their obligations under the intergovernmental Chesapeake Bay Agreement by improving stormwater management in the Potomac River Basin. It does that by providing technical assistance to individual landowners and other County agencies, and through a public education program designed to foster better watershed protection habits by individual citizens.
A graduate of Dartmouth College with a degree in biology, Scott ran on a campaign platform to improve prioritization across the County’s $900 million backlog of water quality improvement projects, and to focus the Board’s attention on invasive species. Invasive species are clogging northern Virginia waterways, strangling the trees in its forests and parks, and killing the shade trees that line the suburban county’s neighborhood streets. Scott reasons that there is little sense in trying to improve the water quality of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay if those ecosystems become dominated by biological invaders from Europe and Asia.
Scott put together an unusual coalition to achieve his electoral victory, garnering the endorsement of both the Fairfax County Republican Committee and the Fairfax League of Conservation Voters. He ran a purposefully bipartisan campaign, with active involvement and support from a number of prominent Democrats in the metropolitan Washington DC area, as well as the Republican rank and file.
He also practiced retail politics, putting nearly 5,000 miles on his car to visit with voters across the county. One of those voting for him, Scott is reliably informed, was that of his son Carson, who as a freshman in college and new voter was able to cast his very first vote ever for his own father.