Republican Ken Boyd may be the new chair of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, Brandon Shulleeta wrote in the Progress on Saturday, in a rather unusual move. By tradition, members of the BoS take turns being chair, with a process of succession—the vice chair becomes the chair after the chair finishes his turn. The current vice chair is Democrat Ann Mallek, who represents White Hall. The prior chair was Democrat David Slutzky, who just lost reelection. That would normally leave Mallek as chair. That is how the BoS has operated for many decades. But Ken Boyd, who already took his two year turn as chair, wants the position back. (Boyd is running for the Republican nomination to run against Democratic Congressman Tom Perriello, and presumably knows that it looks better to be chair of the BoS than a mere member; Boyd argues it’s a handicap, because being chair would take time away from his campaign.) Boyd argues that Mallek is only halfway through her two-year term as vice chair, and that a year from now, he’ll be happy to let her be chair, although that does nothing to explain why he ought to be the chair right now.
Republican Rodney Thomas, who unseated Slutzky, supports Boyd’s bid; the board’s third Republican, Duane Snow, isn’t saying how he’ll vote. Ostensible Democrat Lindsay Dorrier, a reliable Republican vote, says he hasn’t made up his mind. The remaining member of the board, independent Dennis Rooker, strongly supports Mallek, arguing that if he’d known that it was going to be a partisan matter, Boyd wouldn’t have been allowed to be chair four years ago. The BoS will go into a closed session on January 6 to figure it out amongst themselves.