Meet Brian

Brian W. Schoeneman is a veteran political professional, public official, attorney and Republican party activist.

Over the years, Brian has held many titles— college administrator,  lobbyist, trade association executive, Bush Administration official, blogger, small business owner, attorney, public official —but there are three that he is most proud of: father, husband and Virginian.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in York, Pennsylvania, Brian came to the DC metropolitan area to attend The George Washington University, where he earned two degrees.  But it wasn’t until he moved to Fairfax County in 2007 that he knew he’d found his home—and that’s where he settled down, got married and started his family.

Brian got his start in politics sixteen years ago, interning for a state legislator in Pennsylvania, knocking on doors to register voters and supporting local Republican candidates.  He currently serves as legislative and political director for the Seafarers International Union of North America, the nation’s largest maritime labor union, representing merchant mariners in the deep sea, inland and Great Lakes trades.  A former Bush Administration official, he was special assistant and senior speechwriter to Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao from 2008 to 2009.  In that capacity, he served as the Secretary’s lead liaison to organized labor and as a member of her senior staff.

An attorney, he is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

His private sector experience includes owning a small business, Acacia Strategies LLC, a transportation-focused lobbying firm that he founded in 2009 and owned until 2011.  Prior to his government service, he was Executive Director of the American Maritime Congress from 2006 to 2008 and Government Affairs Director at the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association from 2003 to 2006.  Before beginning his career in politics, he worked as a property manager for Trammell Crow Company (now CBRE) and as a college administrator at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, while he worked to pay his way through college

He received the degree of Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.  He received a Master of Arts degree in Political Management from the Graduate School of Political Management of the George Washington University.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the George Washington University.  While in law school he served on the Law Review, and his Comment, The Scarlet “L” – Have Recent Developments in Lobbying Regulation Gone Too Far? was published in Volume 60:2 of the Catholic University Law Review.  He was selected to join the 2013 Political Leaders Program class at the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.

In the community, Brian serves as the Vice President of the Wescott Ridge Homeowners Association and on the Vestry of St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square.  A freemason, he has served as an officer in John Blair Lodge #187 in Alexandria, Virginia.  Professionally, he is a member of the Propeller Club of the United States, where he serves as Vice President of the Board of Governors of the DC Chapter.  He previously served on the Board of Directors of The George Washington University Alumni Association.  He was a founding member of the GW Graduate School of Political Management Alumni Association, and served as its first President.  He is a member of the American, Virginia and Fairfax Bar Associations, the Republican National Lawyers Association and the Federalist Society.

In 2011 he was appointed to the Fairfax County Economic Advisory Commission.  In 2012, he was named to Fairfax County’s Bipartisan Election Improvement Commission, as part of the county’s investigation of concerns about the 2012 election, long lines and inefficiencies in voting in the county.  In 2013, he was appointed to a three year term on the Fairfax County Electoral Board by the judges of the Fairfax Circuit Court.  He served as Vice Chairman of the Electoral Board from March to June 2013, and was elected Secretary by the board in July 2013.  In that capacity, he received national recognition for his handling of the November 2013 General Election in Virginia.  In 2013 he received the President’s Award from the Fairfax Bar Association for his work in the community.

He has been active in local Virginia politics since 2007, when he joined the Fairfax County Republican Committee.  He was a delegate to the 2008, 2009 and 2013 Republican Party of Virginia Conventions and served as precinct captain in Monument Precinct from 2009 to 2011.  He was Communications Director for the Fairfax County Republican Committee in 2010.  He served as the Fairfax County Republican Committee’s General Counsel from 2012-2013, which included representing the Party in proceedings in Fairfax Circuit Court and running the Party’s Election Day Operations legal team.  As a member of the Electoral Board, he is an ex officio member of the FCRC Executive Committee.  In 2011 he ran for Virginia House of Delegates as the Republican nominee in the 37th District, encompassing the City of Fairfax and portions of Fairfax County.

In 2009, he began blogging for Too Conservative, one of the most visited Republican blogs in Northern Virginia.  In 2010 he started his own blog, Common Sense, which he operated until December 2011.  He also is a senior editor of Bearing Drift, the leading conservative blog in Virginia.  From its founding in June 2010 through December 2011, Common Sense had over 60,000 visitors, making it one of the top conservative blogs in Virginia at that time.  Bearing Drift has had over 1 million visitors to its website, publishes a subscription-based newsletter and produces a regionally syndicated radio show, “The Score,” which can be heard across Virginia.  His posts on Bearing Drift have been picked up by blogs and sites across America, including The Drudge Report, Slate, and the Huffington Post among others and he’s been a featured guest on “The Score” and “The John Fredericks Show” radio programs heard around Virginia.  He serves on the Board of Directors of Virginia Line Media LLC, Bearing Drift’s parent corporation, and also serves as General Counsel.  He has appeared on television on every major DC news outlet and nationally on MSNBC, has been a featured speaker about blogging and online media in Richmond and around Northern Virginia and has testified before Congress on issues affecting the maritime industry

He lives in Fairfax with his wife KayAnn, son Nicholas and a very opinionated orange tabby cat named Howie.