A lifelong Essex County resident and 12-year veteran of the board of supervisors, current board chairman E. Stanley Langford is seeking reelection against challenger Louis A. “Butch Roth” to continue representing voters in the Greater Tappahannock District.
Langford said he graduated from Essex High School in 1982 before attending Rappahannock Community College, where he received his Associate of Applied Science degree in 1984. He added that he owns a business, Peninsula Construction, LLC, within the county.
“I understand [and] have spurred economic growth,” said Langford, who also cited over 20 years of experience as a veteran of the Henrico County Division of Fire through which he deals with “150 people a day” as a Battalion Chief.
In addition to his employment, Langford said he has more than doubled his age in his years of community service to Essex County.
According to Langford, he has committed 30 years to the Tappahannock-Essex Volunteer Fire Department, 10 years as a life member to the Tappahannock Volunteer Rescue Squad, 18 years to the Tappahannock Lions Club and 14 years to the Tappahannock Planning Commission.
Langford added that he is a lifelong member of Ephesus Baptist Church.
“It’s not just about the board,” said Langford. “I think my experience of being a local guy and being involved in community proves that I’m not just doing things to win a seat on the board of supervisors.
Langford was inspired to run again for the position because of the momentum he believes the county has right now.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the community,” he said. “We’re updating policy manuals, purchasing procedures [and] we’re in the process of hiring a human relations person.”
Since joining the board of supervisors, Langford said his and the board’s accomplishments include having improved the transparency of the county’s government, its technology infrastructure and accessibility to the county website.
He added that the board has supported building improvements to all three of Essex County’s public schools, including the ongoing high school construction project.
Langford also said he has been supportive of public safety.
During his time on the board, Langford said, the county has built a new fire station in Champlain, purchased new fire trucks and established a combined career and volunteer EMS system in Essex County.
“I’ve supported sheriff’s initiatives. They’ve got a new radio system, they get cars and…all of the safety equipment that they need,” said Langford, adding he has established communication skills with agencies, departments and legislators.
Langford said he had met with former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va), Congressman Rob Wittman (R-1st) and Gov. Bob McDonnell.
“Those are relationships that you build, and those relationships don’t just happen overnight,” said Langford, who was also a supervisor when Lowe’s Home Improvement came to Tappahannock and Wal-Mart expanded its store.
“I don’t want to see the momentum stop, and I want to see economic growth, but that it’s controlled…and not just urban sprawl,” said Langford, adding that most of the businesses in Tappahannock are still “mom and pop shops.”
If reelected, Langford seeks to continue supporting quality education through Essex County Public Schools funding.
“We have supported the teachers through raises…even when the state didn’t come through and we’ve tried to support the school system through economic tough times,” said Langford.
He also aims to keep improving the openness of Essex County’s government, maintain “highly qualified and efficient” county departments, continue supporting Essex County’s public safety departments and advocate for continuous upgrades and improvements to county facilities and technology.
Additionally, Langford seeks to continue building relationships between the town, county and school board in addition to relevant state and federal agencies.
“It’s easy to say, ‘I’m going to come in and I’m going to change the world,’” said Langford. “But it takes some finesse, having compassion and determining whether you want to win the battle, or do you want to win the war.”
Local elections will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5.