By Randy Arrington
LURAY, March 22 — Ryan Cubbage is a busy man. In addition to pursuing a master’s degree at George Mason University and participating in an internship with Homeland Security, he also works full-time as assistant superintendent of Luray’s Parks and Recreation Department and part-time with the non-profit Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA).
Now, he’s looking to add one more responsibility to his growing list. This week, Cubbage announced that he will be seeking the District 3 seat on the Page County Board of Supervisors in this fall’s general election.
“I have traveled around, and Page County truly is a special place,” Cubbage told Page Valley News on Wednesday. “We need to continue to honor traditions and values that make this county what it is…but we also need to embrace new tactics that allow us to progress our county forward.”
Cubbage, 28, is a life-long resident of Page County and graduated from PCHS in 2013 after serving as senior class president. He earned a year of college credits through dual-enrollment classes while still in high school and completed his associate’s degree at then-Lord Fairfax Community College in just one year. He then attended James Madison University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2016.
Currently, Cubbage is working toward a Master’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, a process he says could take a few years as he approaches a few credits at a time. He is also participating in an internship with the Department of Homeland Security in the Customs and Border Protection Office of Intelligence. The internship began in November and ends in May, but it can be extended. Cubbage hopes the 12- to 15-hour a week commitment could turn into a full-time job. While he is careful in how he describes the work, Cubbage said the internship involves “analyzing threats and compiling data to keep our country safe and protect our national security and strategic interests.”
After being hired by the Town of Luray in August, Cubbage ended a three-year stint with the Virginia Army National Guard in October, serving as an 11B Infantryman attached to a scout/sniper platoon. His most memorable deployment came in response to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol. His unit also provided security in D.C. at the presidential inauguration that followed.
The scenes he witnessed at the Capitol were among several reasons that drove him to run for public office in Page County as an independent. Due to the Hatch Act, he is also not allowed to attach himself a particular political party as a federal worker employed within the executive branch — even if it’s just an internship.
“We are so polarized; we spend so much time yelling at each other,” he told PVN. “I believe you should vote for people not parties. People solve problems, not parties.”
In August, Cubbage approached current District 3 supervisor Mark Stroupe about his plans for the future. Stroupe told him — as he has stated several times publicly — that he had no intentions of running for re-election. Cubbage currently has “between 60 and 70” of the 125 signatures needed to qualify as a candidate, but plans to complete the signature process and turn the paperwork officially declaring his candidacy into the county registrar by mid-April.
“I believe this county is already special, and I believe it has a lot of potential, and I think strong leadership can help us access that potential,” the District 3 hopeful said. “I have always been drawn to public service…the Army, the Town, PACA, etc.…I’ve seen the issues first-hand…I’ve seen the statistics, and I’ve seen the people behind those statistics. We need real policy that means real change.”
In addition to working part-time with PACA, Cubbage also serves as chairman of the non-profit’s board of directors. He states that one of his “top priorities is our youth,” and he wants to see more opportunities for youth and empower them to help make decisions.
However, his involvement with local youth and other activities in the community lead him to a an observation that served as another motivator for pursuing public office.
“I haven’t seen a lot of interaction from our leadership,” Cubbage said. “If you are going to lead and make a real difference, you need to be in the trenches. It gives you the opportunity to be hands on in making improvements.”
Cubbage is currently engaged and in the process of building a home near Stanley Elementary. He believes his Page County roots, leadership and military experience, involvement in community activities, and a deep concern for the future of the county make him a solid choice in District 3.
“I think the No. 1 quality of public service is a genuine desire to selflessly see the community grow,” he said. “I will work for the constituents. I want to be their voice.”
So far, no other candidates have stepped forward in the District 3 race, about 10 weeks or so before the June filing deadline. Seats in Districts 2, 3 and 4 will be open on the board of supervisors — as well as the Page County School Board — in this November’s election, as well as all five countywide constitutional officers.
Cubbage said he will make himself available to the public anytime, with an open door policy to hear their concerns and educate them on the issues.
“I have their best interests at heart. I want to hear what they have to say, and I want to represent their best interests. I have an understanding of the unique issues our county faces…and an understanding of the process we can use to combat those issues,” Cubbage said. “I was born here, I grew up here, I have been involved in this county non-stop the last few years…You have to live it, breathe it…to understand the best way to go about improving things.”
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