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Andrea Bailey addresses the crowd. (Photo by Adina R. Young)

“It’s time for a change and I’m ready to be a catalyst for that change,” Andrea Bailey, Democratic candidate for the Prince William County Board of Supervisors  (Potomac division), said to supporters. They were gather at the kick-off event for her campaign at the Holiday Inn Quantico on Jan. 24.

The longtime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Bailey said she hopes to defeat six term incumbent Republican Maureen S. Caddigan, although first, she will need to succeed in the June 9 primary against Dumfries Councilman Derrick Wood.

In 1990, the African American population in Prince William County was just 11.6 percent, according to the Department of Economic Development. Now it is 21.4 percent, according to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau.

Since things have changed so much from when Caddigan was first elected in 1992, so should the Board of Supervisors, said Bailey. “The Board of Supervisors needs to reflect the population that lives here,” she told the {AFRO} Jan. 24. “I’m an inclusive leader and believe that in order to have a healthy community, the community needs to have an input.”

Bailey also wants to see changes in education and transportation. If elected, she plans to prevent overcrowding in schools by seeking funding to build additional schools. She added that teachers need better salaries so that they can provide better learning environments for the students. “We need to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to education,” she said. “I want to build a strong relationship with the county school board and come to a reasonable agreement.”

Delores Bazile, acquainted with Bailey through First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries, Va., is as a former teacher. She said she aligns herself with Bailey because she knows firsthand that teachers are overwhelmed and need more support. “We are too busy with the administrative things,” Bazile said. “We need the time and resources to sit with families and discuss the needs of the students. If the lack of support continues, our future is very limited.”

Bailey plans to work on widening roads and getting a metro station in the county so that residents can get in and out of D.C. in 30 minutes. “We have to ask ourselves, why aren’t we growing the economy in this area?” she said. “I believe I can be a part of that change.”

Homelessness and healthcare are among other issues she plans to tackle. She added that insuring the safety and inclusion of the elderly is a top priority. She is the caregiver to her 79-year-old mother, Essie Pullman, who attended the kick-off event to support her daughter.

“She’s always been a wonderful, hardworking young woman with goals of her own,” Pullman said. “She’s very dependable and she is interested in the welfare of others.”

John Harper Jr., Bailey’s mentor and retired Prince William County School Board member, echoes Pullman’s sentiments and says she is a strong candidate. “With her determination, she will run a very strong campaign,” he said. “And we hope for a victory.”