Loudoun County Board chair Scott York won’t retire after all. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

It’s official: Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York will run for reelection as an independent, months after saying he would step down from his post.

“The field of candidates is simply not qualified to lead the county,” York said in a statement. Letting any of them take his place, he said, “would be irresponsible to the citizens of Loudoun.”

The change of heart marks another surprising shift in an election filled with strange turns. York had endorsed Shawn M. Williams (R) as his successor, but the Broad Run supervisor dropped out the Republican primary after past legal and domestic troubles came to light. Williams is now considering a renewed independent campaign.

None of the three declared candidates — independent Tom Bellanca, Republican Charlie King and Democrat Phyllis Randall — have served on the board.

“Not one of them has even been or sought to be a district supervisor for their community, and the chairmanship is simply not one which should be a training position,” York said. 

Randall actually did run for the Broad Run supervisor position in 2007, losing the general election to Republican Lori Waters.

“The notion that only one man can chair the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is laughable,” she said in a statement. “I have chaired the Virginia Fair Housing Board at the state level and now serve as Vice Chair of the Virginia Board of Corrections.”

King, likewise, questioned York’s decision.

“I disagree that only a career politician can be chairman,” he said, adding that York was beholden to special interests and out of touch with his constituents.

York has served as board chairman for 15 years, both as a Republican and an independent. While the board is entirely Republican, there has been constant fighting among supervisors between moderates and conservatives. York is in the moderate camp, having broken with the Republican Party over what he viewed as overdevelopment and an excessive focus on property rights. King is a conservative lawyer from Leesburg who represented Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) in an unsuccessful recall campaign.

The deadline is June 9 to submit petitions to Loudoun’s electoral board to qualify for the Nov. 3 ballot. York told The Washington Post this week that petitions are being circulated on his behalf.

Yet another Loudoun Republican is also going independent. Former sheriff Stephen O. Simpson will challenge Sheriff Michael L. Chapman, who beat him in 2011. Republicans in the county have criticized Simpson for running as an independent after participating in a Republican committee convention.