Loudoun County School Board elects new member whom GOP leader views as a 'moderate'

Republican parent calls the decision 'half a celebration'

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ASHBURN, Va. – The Loudoun County School Board elected on Tuesday a new member to replace the late Leslee King, who died at age 74 in August.

The board selected Andrew Holyer, who lost the 2019 school board election to King. 

Patti Hidalgo Menders, a Loudoun County mother and president of the Loudoun County Republican Women's Club, told Fox News that she was pleasantly surprised the board selected Holyer.

"It's better than we thought they were going to pick, so it's half a celebration," she said.

Menders referred to Holyer as a "moderate," suggesting that he would take seriously parents' concerns about critical race theory, transgender activism and strict COVID-19 policies in schools.


Loudoun County has become ground zero in the ideological conflict over schools. In September, the county board of supervisors took up a proposal to study reparations to rectify historic racial segregation. Teacher Tanner Cross spoke publicly against a transgender policy and briefly got suspended by the school. He is fighting to keep his job in a months-long legal battle.

In a Facebook post at the time of King's passing, Holyer noted that "while we were opponents on paper, Leslee and I were never opponents in life. Hearing of her passing today is shocking, saddening, and the worst news I have heard in a very long time."

Holyer noted that he was unopposed in his campaign for nearly five months and was surprised to see King defeat him on Election Day. 

"I was critical of Leslee at times, and openly disagreed with many votes and decisions. Despite this, she still showed a willingness to listen to me and return messages," he said. 

He ended the message by telling King, "You will be missed."