It wasn’t even close.
Democrats didn’t just win every city election—there’s nothing unusual there—but have unseated two Republican incumbents in the process of winning every Albemarle Board of Supervisors seat. Diantha McKeel defeated Phillip Seay in Jack Jouett (
57% to 43% 70% to 30%), Brad Sheffield unseated Rodney Thomas in Rio (57% to 43%), Liz Palmer unseated Duane Snow in Samuel Miller (57% to 43%), and Jane Dittmar beat Cindi Burket in Scottsville (58% to 42%). That will make 4/6 of the BOS women, and 2/6 veterinarians. Although BOS races tend to be decided by issues specific to each district, Snow and Thomas’ role in the surprise midnight vote on the Western Bypass, combined with unhappiness about their opposition to Women’s Equality Day and the Equal Rights Amendment, may have galvanized opposition to them and support for female candidates across Albemarle. Tonight’s results leave Ken Boyd as the sole Republican on the Board of Supervisors, a really stunning change in fortunes for the once-powerful Albemarle Republican Party.
In the city, Kristin Szakos won reelection easily, and her running mate, independent-turned-Democrat Bob Fenwick, likewise won easily, with 36% and 32%, respectively, to Republicans Mike Farruggio’s 19% and Buddy Weber’s 12%. For the Commissioner of the Revenue, Democrat Todd Divers got 62% in a three-way race.
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors refused to pass a resolution recognizing Sept. 14 as Pride Festival Day, J. Reynolds Hutchins reports for the Progress, intended to coincide with the annual gay rights festival held in Charlottesville. It failed in a 3–3 vote, with Ken Boyd, Rodney Thomas, and Petie Craddock voting against it. Board members told the Progress that they didn’t vote against it because they’re against the event or even against gay rights, but rather they’re against issuing proclamations in support of every little thing, and they’re simply drawing a line. This comes on the heels of the BOS likewise refusing to recognize Women’s Equality Day last month, and last October refusing to vote in support of the General Assembly ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, which has been reliably passed by the board for years.
Here is a list of some the things that the Board of Supervisors has publicly recognized in the past five months, via proclamations, resolutions, and certificates of appreciation, all of which passed without debate:
- Alan Collier for service on the Equalization Board
- David Cooke for service on the Equalization Board
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and April 21, 2013, as
“Power Talk 21 Day”
- Monticello District Boy Scouts of America
- May 2013 as Fair Housing Month
- FTC Robotics Team #5903–”Defying Gravity”
- Paul Wright for service on the Architectural Review Board
- May 5-11, 2013 as Municipal Clerks Week
- May 6-10, 2013 as Public Service Recognition Week
- Business Appreciation Week 2013, specifically recognizing Susan Stimart, Barbara Kessler (Piedmont Workforce Network), Elizabeth Bouldin-Clopton (Workforce Center Manager), Clay Wimberlery (Wimberley
Photography), Kelly Louk (ibid), and Daniel Flippin (Heritage Inn)
- Albemarle County Police Department, for their support of the National Guard and the National Reserve
These are item number six on the template for the report issued by county staff after each meeting: “Recognitions.” That is, these recognitions occur so frequently that it’s noted when there aren’t any (“there were none”).
Boyd and Thomas apparently regard their newfound opposition to resolutions as an utter coincidence, having nothing at all to do with their positions on civil rights. Municipal Clerks Week and Paul Wright were weighty matters, but gay rights and women’s rights? Just too trivial. (Apologies to municipal clerks and Paul.)
Jane Dittmar is Democrats’ candidate for the Scottsville Board of Supervisors seat, Claudia Elzey reports for Charlottesville Tomorrow. The former Chamber of Commerce president runs a mediation firm, has lived in the district for 15 years, and in Albemarle for 35 years. In her announcement, she named tourism, agribusiness, and employment in Scottsville as issues that she’s interested in addressing. Lisa Provence points out in The Hook that both Dittmar and Republican opponent Cindi Burket live in Glenmore, meaning that the next Scottsville District supervisor will come from the far northern edge of the district. This marks a change for a district that has long been represented by people who live in the town of Scottsville. The election is November 5th.
Cindi Burket will be Republicans’ candidate for the last two years of Chris Dumler’s Scottsville seat on the Board of Supervisors, Brian Wheeler reports for Charlottesville Tomorrow. (Burket was the only person to seek the nomination.) The 60-year-old Glenmore resident and homemaker just stepped down as chair of the Albemarle County Republican Committee in order to run for the office. She says that economic growth should be Albemarle’s top priority. Burket unsuccessfully sought the at-large school board seat in 2011. (A little more information about her can be found on her application for the interim appointment to the seat.) Democrats have not yet nominated a candidate.
Last night, city Democrats nominated Dave Chapman and Todd Divers for commonwealth’s attorney and commissioner of the revenue, and Kristin Szakos received one of the two nominations for City Council…but the second council nominee still isn’t known, the Progress reports. Bob Fenwick and Wes Bellamy tied, each getting 1,088 votes in the low-attendance primary, although the election board’s count this morning gave Fenwick another three votes. Now the provisional ballots will be counted—four in all—to select a winner…unless that’s a tie, too. The winner will join Szakos in running against Republicans Michael Farruggio and Buddy Weber in November’s general election.