The Honorable Eugene Delgaudio, a member of the Board of Supervisors of Loudon County, delivered an address at Christendom College this past Monday as part of the college’s politics practica speaker series. A Catholic who is married to Christendom alumna Sheila Hobbs, Delgaudio informed students of the challenges of running a political campaign, and the hard, but satisfying, work that is necessary to achieve success in the political realm.
In his position as a member of the Board of Supervisors, Delgaudio works tirelessly for the community, and attends many civic and board meetings. He helps the unemployed, especially teens and the poor, find jobs, and even hires young adults to help senior citizens and others who are unable to shovel snow in the winter. He patrols up to 600 streets personally to make sure all the roads are clear for drivers and pedestrians.
Four times every year, Delgaudio goes through his district of Loudoun County to spread his political message, trying to convince a voter base, which voted 65% in favor of President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, to vote republican. He goes door to door, leaving fliers which read, “hand delivered to your door by Eugene Delgaudio,” with his home phone number, cell phone number, office number, and email at the bottom of the page, and a thank you for displaying the U.S. flag where applicable.
He spends a lot of time being active on social media as well, utilizing YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter pages to get his message out to the public. He noted that his YouTube page has had a lot of help from Christendom students, and includes everything from political satire to more poignant videos featuring interviews with the public. Delgaudio takes the time to respond personally to those who post online, including his attackers.
Looking back on his time in politics, Delgaudio attributes much of his success to his mentorship by Morton Blackwell, the president of the Leadership Institute, a non-partisan educational foundation. It prepared him for success in politics, and Delgaudio has had debates with Blackwall about public policy, in particular the power of righteous indignation, since then.
“Moral outrage is the most powerful motivating force in politics, but you can’t be scared about it. You have to have a sense of humor,” Delgaudio said.
Delgaudio’s work draws a lot of attention. Dr. Bernard Way, director of the politics practica program and a close friend of Delgaudio’s, compared his work to the Boston Tea Party.
“Eugene doesn’t do anything illegal, but he does push the envelope politically. Like Samuel Adams, leader of the Boston Tea Party, Eugene stages events and ensures media presence. It’s a very different form of participation, but if you would like to learn these techniques, I encourage you to work with him,” said Way.
Christendom College’s politics practica program, directed by professor of political science and economics Dr. Bernard Way, has been a unique feature of the political science department for many years, giving students the opportunities to not only network with known political figures, but also earn credit for rigorous political internships.