GOP's Spike Williams Says County Needs Chairman with Business Experience
Candidate says Fairfax County's tax money is being misspent
How do you get a name like “Spike” without doing something that makes you ineligible to vote, much less run for office? For Michael “Spike” Williams, Republican candidate for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, his nickname was just about finding work.
In 1992, Williams applied to work at a bar in Fairfax. The manager told him he better not be named “Mike,” because there were already eight other “Mike”’s working there.
“Well, what about Spike?” Williams said, and was hired. He later met his wife at the bar, and since she never knew him as by any other name, the name stuck.
With his bartending day long behind him, Williams now works as both a project manager at Orange Business Services, a French telecommunications company; and as a realtor at Williams Realty, which he runs with his wife. This business experience is central to his campaign for the chairman’s seat.
“Spike’s a businessman,” said John T. Frey, the Republican Clerk of the Fairfax County Circuit Court. “He’s had to make payroll.”
Williams says he’d bring the long-term strategic vision to county government that his opponent, incumbent Democrat Sharon Bulova, lacks. According to Williams, Bulova only focuses on getting through each year, while he would look further ahead for the county.
“We’ve been a great county and we’ve improved our quality of life here year after year but I think what we’re seeing is a diminishing return,” Williams said.
Williams criticizes what he sees as a county budget bloated by years of Democratic control.
“The Democratic-controlled Board of Supervisors just has this basic idea that they can solve everyone’s problem through government,” Williams said.
Raised by a single mother who received government assistance, Williams says he understands that some government aid is helpful.
But he criticizes a county affordable housing program meant to provide affordable housing for county employees like teachers and firefighters who could not normally pay enough to live in the county. Williams says the policy has stopped serving the people it was intended to.
“[Supervisors] warp it into something that becomes an entitlement program,” he said.
Williams faces an uphill battle financially against Bulova, who had more than $170,000 more than Williams at the end of June. But Williams says he doesn’t plan on competing with Bulova on campaign donations.
When he’s not campaigning, Williams spends time with his wife Julie, 13-year-old daughter Nora, and their pet dog, a bichon frise. Williams also helped his wife raise two stepsons.
“My boys are grown, so it’s me and two girls here for the most part, so I’m kind of outnumbered on dog selection,” Williams said. “No Dobermans or anything.”