Attorney and retired U.S. Navy Capt. Donna Price is running as a Democrat for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.
Price was the only registered Democrat in the Scottsville District to meet Thursday’s filing deadline. Mike Hallahan, a defense attorney, is running as a Republican for the same seat.
“While I am running as a Democrat, I have always been a consensus builder and put people and principle over party because if people do not believe that their concerns have been taken into account, they will see that as someone else’s plan, not theirs,” Price said in an interview with the Daily Progress. “We need people involved and engaged in our work.”
Price cites a long list of qualifications for her run, including 25 years of active-duty service in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where she worked as a prosecutor, defense attorney and criminal judge. Additionally, Price said she was responsible for all personnel and medical issues affecting the U.S. Navy before Congress and was commanding officer of the largest legal office in the Department of the Navy.
She also has served as a local election official for a decade — both in Albemarle County and Virginia Beach — and has been on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the Armed Forces YMCA and Virginia Beach Forum.
Price, who is a transgender woman, also has been involved in activism work as a lobbyist for transgender communities.
“Basically, public service is my life,” she said.
Price has lived all over Virginia and the country, but said she decided several years ago to settle down in the northern part of the Scottsville District. Describing the area as “magical,” Price said for the last year she has been rebuilding a home first constructed in 1754.
Initially, she planned to retire from full-time law practice in 2020 and seek public office in 2021. However, when Democratic Supervisor Rick Randolph announced in February that he wouldn’t seek re-election, Price said people started reaching out to her. She decided to run despite a bit of apprehension.
In around a week, she managed to meet all the requirements to run by the March 28 filing deadline.
“As they say: life is what happens when you’re making plans,” she said. “This is something I have wanted to do for a while, and this seemed as good a time as any.”
If elected, Price said she plans to avoid partisanship. Though she served in the U.S. Navy, Price said she is not a warrior and has always sought not to lead through orders but through dialogue.
Albemarle County is already well-managed, Price said, and she hopes to continue that legacy while progressing where necessary, all while avoiding changing “the essential nature” of the Scottsville District.
“The Scottsville District has the most diverse desires and needs of any magisterial district in the county, with suburban development in the north, wineries and similar destinations throughout the district, large historic estates and farms, and the town of Scottsville and James River in the south,” she said. “Each area of the district has its own ‘most-pressing’ issues. Funding and resources will always be the most difficult component of each issue we face.”
Her only current Republican opponent, Hallahan, announced his candidacy in January.
During his announcement, he cited issues with the revenue sharing agreement between the county and Charlottesville and a desire to see more Republicans on the board. All current supervisors are Democrats.
Any interested Republicans have until June 11 to enter the race.
Democrats Bea LaPisto Kirtley and Jerrod Smith are running for their party’s nomination for the Rivanna District seat, currently held by Norman Dill, who is not seeking re-election. Supervisor Ann H. Mallek, of the White Hall District, is seeking another term.
Supervisor terms are four years long. The election is Nov. 5.