When Braddock District Board of Supervisors candidate Carey Campbell joined the Air Force, he was pulled aside by a tech sergeant who noticed the tenor of his radio ready voice and encouraged Campbell to join the American Forces Network.
“It was a great job for a young person,” Campbell, 55, said. “I interviewed many of the leading politicians of the day.”
Campbell had passed a voice audition many months earlier, and in civilian life had already been a teenage Disc Jockey and news anchor for about 3 to 4 years.
He joined the Armed Forces Network and was a broadcast journalist for over 10 years in the 1970s in the network that serves those in the military. He was stationed in Germany, where he picked up on some French, Spanish, and German while studying at the University of Freiburg.
“I found the political personalities fascinating,” Campbell said, noting that he interviewed German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.
When Campbell came back from his tour of duty in the 1980s, he studied at the University of Kentucky in preperation for a degree in business and accounting. He relocated to the Washington D.C. area to work as an accountant in the federal government, a job which he holds today.
Friend Tex Wood, who has known Campbell for about 10 years, is an active green party supporter and said that Campbell is one dedicated candidate.
“He understands that in order to get an alternative on the ballot in Virginia, one has to gather a lot of signatures and he is a signature-gathering maniac,” Wood said. “He has put numerous people on the ballot in the last 10 years.”
One of those was Gail Parker, who lives in Alexandria and is running for a seat on the board of supervisors for the Mount Vernon District.
“I’ve been on the ballot twice for U.S. Senate and I credit Mr. Campbell a great deal with helping me run for office,” Parker said.
Campbell's main focus has been his slogan “more trains, less traffic.” Campbell repeated the mantra dozens of times in the latest.
“Having been in broadcast, I know the importance of repetition,” Campbell said.
Campbell emphasizes that he not only talks about public transportation, he lives it. He does not own his own car and takes public transportation to work (though his wife owns a car, which he uses for errands). He also installed a geothermal energy system in his home and wants to put in solar panels.
“Rail moves people, not boxes of steel,” Campbell said.
Campbell has said that he would want to see signs on the area’s highways which would display wait times for the Virginia Railway Express.
“I know people who live next to a VRE station and don’t realize it’s there,” Campbell said. “The signs would help advertise the service and improve ridership.”
Campbell also emphasis additional bike rental stations and potentially a new light rail system.
“You get the biggest bang for you buck with rail,” Campbell said. “Everywhere you build rail, the value of homes increases.”
Correction: A previous version of this article indicated that Campbell had a degree in accounting and business from the University of Kentucky. His degree was earned at the University of Maryland.