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March 1, 2018

Renard Carlos enters Warrenton council race

Renard Carlos
Renard Carlos
• Age: 29

• Home: Old Town Warrenton.

• Work: Product and sales manager, Barber DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Supply Group, 2016 to present.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, government and international politics, George Mason University, 2016; associate’s degree in general studies, Lord Fairfax Community College, 2013; home schooled.

• Family: Mother, Nancy; twin brother, Matt; fiancée, Lea King.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Warrenton voters have a third at-large town council candidate to consider for the May 1 municipal election.

Renard Carlos, 29, announced Monday via a video on Facebook that he will seek an at-large position on the seven-member council.

“I consider myself kind of a good negotiator,” Mr. Carlos said in an interview on Tuesday. “I’m able to speak to a changing demographic and bring some diversity and new ideas and approaches to the council.”

Sean Polster (At-large) and Linda “Sunny” Reynolds (At-large) will seek re-election.

Warrenton voters on Tuesday, May 1, will elect two at-large council members. Those elected will earn four-year terms that start July 1. 

Citizens also will elect a mayor to succeed Powell Duggan, who will step down June 30 after one four-year term. Downtown merchant Carter Nevill and legal assistant Grace Rigby have announced their candidacies for mayor. 

A product and sales manager for a medical equipment company in Chantilly, Mr. Carlos has lived in Warrenton most of his life.

He believes his background in marketing and a bachelor’s degree in government and international politics would help him as a council member.

Mr. Carlos sees the at-large position as “the heartbeat of the town. They have a great opportunity to influence and connect with the changing demographic of our town.”

He decided to run for a council position after encouragement from friends.

“We have a changing demographic. You have to find a way to attract and listen to the needs of your changing demographic, which includes a big portion of millennials,” Mr. Carlos said. “Whether it’s technology, social media, entertainment, things they are involved in . . . they are looking for reasons to say, ‘I’ll come to your town and spend resources.’ If you can’t do any of those things, you’re losing that group.”

He wants to “encourage the town to dream big” and believes more entertainment, such as a movie theater, and more creative businesses could help attract people to Warrenton.

“When I look at (the old wire factory near the Warrenton Greenway), I see a Ninja Warrior gym,” Mr. Carlos said. “I think the kids in the town would eat that up and a lot of millennials.”

If elected, he hopes to engage community members more effectively with social media, other technology and events.

“It’s not the citizen’s job to always come to us,” Mr. Carlos said. “It’s our job to go out into the community, engage them and ask them about what’s on their mind.

“The town council should foster and generate a spirit of inclusion for everybody, not just for people who show up to town meetings.”

He believes engaging many of the town’s community members could solve some of the town’s economic development challenges.

“I have no doubt that there are individuals within this population who have fresh ideas and who could solve some of these economic challenges we face fairly quickly. You have to get them engaged,” Mr. Carlos said.

Although he can’t remember the last time attended a council meeting, Mr. Carlos said, “I’ve been engaged from afar reading the newspapers. I’m familiar with the issues facing the town.”

He hopes the town will focus on expanding to meet the needs of citizens.

There are “things we need to look at with cultural development, such as a new library,” he said. “We have to put some time and effort into mental health.”

In his campaign, Mr. Carlos plans to connect with citizens on social media and go door-to-door to talk with them.

Town resident Janie Todd, who helped found Warrenton Baptist Tiny Tots Daycare and Preschool, has known Mr. Carlos since his teenage years.

“He has a maturity beyond his years,” said Ms. Todd, who works as an instructional coach at Brumfield and Pierce elementary schools. “His communication skills, be it with young children up to the elderly, are outstanding. He listens.

“He is committed to this town. He grew up in this town, and I think he has an insight into respecting the traditions of this town as well as meeting the needs of a new generation coming in.”

Ms. Todd saw Mr. Carlos work as an assistant teacher at Tiny Tots for about 10 years.

He has “very strong leadership skills, is very committed, respected,” she said. “He respected those that were in charge of the program, but was not hesitant to make a suggestion and be able to support it.

“He has an ability to respect people’s opinions. He may not always agree, but he has a high level of respect.”

Mr. Carlos will soon launch a Facebook campaign page.

Town council members earn $400 a month and the mayor gets $800 a month. Warrenton’s elected officials also qualify for the same town health insurance coverage that municipal employees receive.

Candidates have until 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, to file documents to appear on the May 1 ballot.

Warrenton voters will elect council members in the town’s five wards in May 2020.
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TooTrue · March 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm
On occasion I've agreed with martinkus and this is another such time. Sunny Reynolds is horrible. She was elected with the help of a P.A.C. and received over $30,000 in contributions from a developer. She's been bought and paid for. She is ill tempered, unqualified and known to be unhappy during most of her numerous happy hour visits around town. Keith McDonald may not be at fault this time, though he's another jewel. Please vote for the other candidates and help get Warrenton back on track. Go Grace,Sean and Renard!
martinkus · March 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm
"Sunny" promised to fill the vacant store fronts in Warrenton during her last campaign. Result? Promise unfulfilled! Do we trust for another term? I think not! I support Renard! Time to "sunset Sunny"!
citizen observer · March 5, 2018 at 7:49 pm
Go Renard!

Ms. Reynolds will make her case for re-election as soon as the developers fill her pockets.
Jim Griffin · March 3, 2018 at 4:35 pm
Not a Warrenton resident but always encouraged when public service attracts interest. Run, Renard. Run.
Rover 530 · March 2, 2018 at 10:38 pm
It's good that a young citizen wants to run for office. However, Ms. Reynolds already brings diversity to the council. I don't think she is ready to retire -- she has the energy-- and will make her case for re-election to the voters in Warrenton.
TooTrue · March 2, 2018 at 10:00 am
Great news Renard Carlos. The town needs new youthful blood and diversity. Sunny Reynolds needs to retire once and for all.
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