Home 2017 Races Statement of Fairfax Democrats Chair on School Board Member Jeanette Hough’s Resignation

Statement of Fairfax Democrats Chair on School Board Member Jeanette Hough’s Resignation


May 29, 2017
CONTACT: Bruce Neilson


Jeanette Hough resigned her position on the Fairfax County School Board, effective May 31, 2017, due to her husband’s job transfer overseas, and to spend time serving her family abroad. Troubling signs indicate that Republicans may have pressured Ms. Hough to resign early. According to Virginia code, had the resignation occurred after June 10, the special election to fill the vacancy would coincide with the November 7 general election, when voters turn out to elect the next Governor and other state officials.  Her earlier resignation requires Fairfax County to finance a special election this summer instead, when many families are vacationing and unavailable to exercise their right to vote.

Fairfax County Democratic Committee Chair Sue Langley said, “Efforts by the Republican establishment to pressure Hough to resign early are a shameful effort to deny hundreds of thousands of Fairfax County voters a chance to elect a new School Board member.  No parent should be denied the opportunity to elect someone who will have an impact on their children’s daily lives and education.”

Langley went on to say, “It is bad enough that Republicans short-circuited the democratic process. Worse yet, their strategy will waste approximately $250,000 of taxpayer money by holding this unnecessary election.   Ms. Hough was unwilling to delay her resignation by a couple weeks.  Had she done so, she would have stood with the children of Fairfax County, their parents, and fiscal responsibility, rather than with the Republican establishment.”


  • Dubya

    So she opted to resign early and cost taxpayers $250,000, and it’s the Republican’s fault??

    • LaureenMT

      Who do you think persuaded her to resign early? The GOP has a better shot at winning when voter turnout is low, as a few zealots can cast the winning votes. They wanted a single-race summer election enough to violate their own “fiscally conservative” rhetoric.

      • Chris Ambrose

        The Republicans did not persuade her to resign early, they twisted her arm. While I agree that she should be ashamed of herself for going along with it, it is par for the course for Republicans to waste money to suppress the vote in an effort to deny people the opportunity to vote to gain advantage at the polls.

        There is no surprise here. Republicans know they can’t win elections when everyone votes.

  • Ron Henderson

    There’s a neat tool in Virginia’s election system called “Absentee Voting”, that people can utilize if they are unable to make it to the polls. Ms. Langley’s statements are unnecessarily combative for a school board election. Also, based on her comments, am I to understand that only Democrats will be going out of town this summer, and will be unable to vote? This is ridiculous, by anyone’s standards.

    • Binod Gupta

      What about the 250K for special election. Does it come from Republican funding, no and they don’t care. Shame on you for spending our tax dollars.

    • Chris Ambrose

      While in the end it will not make a difference – the Democrats will take this seat – there is no question that the reason the Republicans engaged in this process was an effort to suppress the vote. They know that they have little chance of winning high turnout elections so they forced a special election at a cost of $250,000 to the taxpayers. That is what is ridiculous,

      • As always, Republicans hope for the lowest possible voter turnout, while Democrats hope for the highest possible voter turnout. Gee, wonder which party is more democratic, small “d”…hmmmm.

  • And here’s the apparent GOP candidate for Fairfax County School Board (h/t: The Bull Elephant). Note that Grisafe ran for Fairfax County Board in 2011 (http://www.vpap.org/candidates/198415/elections/) and lost 63%-37% to incumbent Linda Smyth.