Herndon Candidates Forum: Question 3
Focus on Fairfax is proud to present this online candidate forum, with each candidate answering three questions from Washington Post Reporter Bill Turque.
Question 3: Do you have a hero or heroine in politics? Or if not, then a role model or source of inspiration?
Mayoral Candidate Steve J. DeBenedittis: My parents and family are role models and inspiration for me in my daily life. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s efforts to gain equality for all US citizens, his respect for the rule of law, and his peaceful and articulate persuasion put him among my political heroes.
Mayoral Candidate Michael L. O'Reilly: I often reflect on the wise words of President John F. Kennedy. His kindness and compassion for humanity were insurmountable. During the Commencement Address at American University in Washington, D.C., on June 10, 1963, he spoke these fine words, "For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."
Town Council Candidate Carol A. Bruce: Although I consider myself a political independent I believe our 39th president, Jimmy Carter, is a true American hero. I accord him that stature not for achievements such as the Camp David Accords or the Department of Education or the national energy policy he established-although I believe all of those accomplishment were admirable-but for the way he comported himself during his four years in the White House and in the years since his presidency. He has consistently shown us through his words and his actions that he is a man of honor, decency, and the highest moral character.
Town Council Candidate Dennis D. Husch: There was a time when I had many role models in the public sector. But that has all evaporated due to the political infighting, political maneuvering, self promotion and questionable agendas. I suppose the closest thing to an inspiration is the Jeffersonian model for the legislative branch. That model presents public service as the responsibility of every citizen, the responsibility to give of your time and energies to make your community a better place to live. I will continue to follow that ideal.
Town Council Candidate Connie Haines Hutchinson: Community involvement has always been very strong here in Herndon and as a Herndon native, the importance of giving back to the community was instilled upon me at a very early age. My father was a volunteer fireman and served as Treasurer of the Herndon Lions Club for many, many years and my mother still puts everyone else's needs before her own. Although I am not on the Town Council now, I served three previous terms under Mayor Rust and Mayor Thoesen and learned much about Town Government from the two of them.
Town Council Candidate David A. Kirby: My Dad. At a very early stage in life he taught me that the path to success in life is through hard work, spiritual belief, determination, and knowing the value of a dollar. He did this through setting the example. He instilled in me good investment and saving strategies and to find ways to give something back to the community. He was a small business owner who worked long and hard and was a model citizen in our small town community. Then or course there's "The Gipper".
Town Council Candidate Steven D. Mitchell: To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best, to work only for the best and expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
Town Council Candidate J. Harlon Reece: In looking for a hero in politics, I go to the early history of our country. If I must choose one, it would be George Mason who wrote the Virginia Bill of Rights that formed the basis of the rights we take for granted as citizens of our great land.
Town Council Candidate Jorge Rochac:There is one great man who is both a hero, an inspiration and a role model, due to his unsurpassed ability as the leader of his people in a time of the greatest of crisis, his outstanding ability as a politician, his great human spirit, and his outstanding mastery of the English language- Sir Winston Churchill
Town Council Candidate William B. Tirrell: Good chance to make points, but I choose my paternal grandfather. He was a 'community pillar' in Norwich, Connecticut, and Principal of the Norwich Free Academy for decades as well as being a bank president, and serving in other leadership roles. He was a true Connecticut 'Yankee' in terms of being responsible for his actions and accepting Principle and not Expediency as his watchword. In short, he did the right things for people. I admire him to this day. A guess a word is also needed for Teddy Roosevelt. Every American is equal, whether just naturalized or of long lineage.
Town Council Candidate Charlie D. Waddell: My heroes are my father, stepfather and two uncles. All were World War II veterans who served our country with honor, pride and a sense of duty.
I feel that my community service follows the example set by these men and carries on the tradition started by them.
One of my treasured possessions is my uncle's Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded for exceptional bravery in combat. I feel a special bond with this man because we share the same birthday. His leadership, his bravery and his service to his country are a frequent source of inspiration to me.