Voting stickers, election day

As 2018 draws to a close, area residents can look ahead to a slew of local and state elections in the coming year.

Charlottesville and Albemarle County voters will pick representatives for several local offices, as well as the General Assembly. All 100 members of the House of Delegates and 40 state senators are up for election next year. Republicans hold a slim two-seat majority in both chambers.

Any necessary primaries will be held on June 11, the same day as the deadline to file as an independent for the 2019 general election. Parties also can hold conventions or caucuses to choose their nominees. The deadline to register to vote or update registration is May 20, and an absentee ballot must be requested by 5 p.m. June 4.

The general election is Nov. 5. Voters must register or update their information by Oct. 15, and requests for absentee ballots are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 29.

Charlottesville

The highest profile local race is on the Charlottesville City Council, as the terms of Democratic Councilors Mike Signer, Wes Bellamy and Kathy Galvin expire next year.

Signer, who was mayor during the 2017 Unite the Right rally, had no comment last week on any plans to seek a second four-year term.

Galvin, council’s senior member, said she had “no comment at this time” on her candidacy. She served one term on the School Board before being taking a seat on City Council in 2011.

Bellamy, approaching the end of his first term, hasn’t made a decision.

Two potential candidates have indicated to The Daily Progress that they are considering a run for council, but neither made a decision by Friday.

The five-member panel consists of four Democrats and one independent. No Republicans have held a council seat since former Councilor Rob Schilling lost his re-election bid in 2006.

Four seats on the nonpartisan Charlottesville School Board will be available, as well.

Board member James Bryant, who was appointed to fill a vacancy earlier this year, will run for a full, four-year term.

Board member Amy Laufer has said she will not seek a second term.

Board members Jennifer McKeever, in her second term, and Sherry Kraft, in her first term, said they haven’t made a decision on the election.

Charlottesville Clerk of Circuit Court Llezelle Dugger, a Democrat, is seeking a second, eight-year term. Prior to winning election in 2011, Dugger was a member of the city School Board.

The city also has two representatives on the nonpartisan board of directors for the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District. Members serve four-year terms.

Director Joseph Thompson said he will seek re-election, while director Kim Tingley will not. Both have been on the board since 2016.

Albemarle County

Three seats on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will be up for grabs next year. All six members of the board are Democrats.

The four-year terms of Supervisors Norman Dill, Rick Randolph and Ann H. Mallek are expiring. Randolph and Dill are in their first terms, while Mallek has been on the board since 2008.

Randolph, who represents the Scottsville District in southwest Albemarle, said he hasn’t decided whether to seek re-election.

Mallek holds western Albemarle’s White Hall District seat and Dill represents the Rivanna District in northwest Albemarle. Mallek will make an announcement after January, and Dill has not yet made a decision.

George Urban, chairman of the Albemarle County Republican Committee, said no GOP candidates had yet emerged for the board.

Three seats on the nonpartisan Albemarle County School Board are also available next year.

Board members Jason Buyaki (Rivanna), Steve Koleszar (Scottsville) and David Oberg (White Hall) have four-year terms expiring.

Koleszar, Albemarle’s second-longest-serving active elected official, has been on the board since 1996. He plans to make a formal announcement on his re-election plans in January.

Buyaki has been on the board since 2011, while Oberg is in his first term.

Oberg hasn’t made a decision and Buyaki didn’t return requests for comment.

Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci, a Republican, is planning to seek re-election to a second four-year term.

Jim Hingeley, a former public defender and University of Virginia professor, has filed to challenge Tracci as a Democrat.

Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding, a Republican, plans to step down after 12 years in the post.

The county also has two representatives on the nonpartisan board of directors for the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District.

Directors Steven Meeks and Lonnie Murray plan to seek re-election. Meeks is the longest-serving elected official in Albemarle County and has been on the board since 1991. Murray joined the board in 2012.

House of Delegates

Eight area representatives in the House of Delegates will be up for election to two-year terms.

Del. David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, will face a primary challenge from Sally Hudson, a professor at the University of Virginia.

Toscano represents the 57th District, which covers Charlottesville and surrounding parts of Albemarle County. He is the area’s only Democratic member of the House and served on Charlottesville City Council from 1990 to 2002.

The city is a Democratic stronghold, so the winner of the primary will likely go on to win the general election.

Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, will seek re-election. Since 2002, he has represented the 58th District, which covers all of Greene County and parts of Albemarle, Rockingham and Fluvanna counties. No candidates have announced plans to challenge Bell, who is chairman of the House Courts of Justice committee.

Del. R. Lee Ware Jr., R-Powhatan, also plans to run for re-election. He has been in office since 1998, representing the 65th District, covering Powhatan County and parts of Fluvanna, Goochland and Chesterfield counties. He is chairman of the House Finance Committee.

No opponents have yet emerged.

Del. R. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, chairman of the House Education Committee, said he hasn’t made a decision on his re-election. He plans to decide in February after next year’s General Assembly session.

Landes has been in office for more than 22 years representing the 25th District, which covers parts of Albemarle, Augusta and Rockingham counties. He is one of the longest-serving delegates in the House.

If Landes runs, he could face Augusta County activist Jenni Kitchen, who plans to seek the Democratic nomination for the seat.

Del. Richard P. “Dickie” Bell, R-Staunton, also hasn’t decided if he’ll seek re-election. Since 2010, he has represented the 20th District, covering Highland County, Staunton, Waynesboro and parts of Nelson and Augusta counties.

Del. Matt Fariss, R-Campbell, who has held his seat since 2010, didn’t return a request for comment. He represents the 59th District, covering Appomattox and Buckingham counties and parts of Albemarle, Campbell and Nelson counties. Tim Hickey, a Greene County educator, will run for the seat as a Democrat.

Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, didn’t return requests for comment. No challenger has emerged for his seat.

Freitas, who lost the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate last year, represents the 30th District, which includes Madison and Orange counties and part of Culpeper County. He easily defeated Democrat Samuel Hixon in 2017 for his second term.

Del. John McGuire, R-Louisa, is in his first term representing the 56th District and will seek re-election. The district represents Louisa County and parts of Goochland, Henrico and Spotsylvania counties.

Dickie Bell, Rob Bell, Landes, Ware, McGuire, Freitas and Fariss beat Democratic challengers in 2017. Dickie Bell and Fariss also faced third party challengers.

Senate

Four area senators are up for election for four-year terms.

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, the area’s only Democratic senator, has served since 2001. He plans to seek re-election to the 25th District seat, which covers part of Albemarle County, all of Charlottesville, Buena Vista, Covington and Lexington, and all of Alleghany, Bath, Nelson, Highland and Rockbridge counties.

Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg, hasn’t decided if he’ll seek re-election. Peake won special election to the 22nd District seat in 2017 after Tom Garrett won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in the 5th District.

The district covers all of Fluvanna, Goochland, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties and parts of Louisa County and Lynchburg.

No one has announced a campaign in either Deeds’ or Peake’s districts.

In the 17th District, Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, who is in his second term, will seek re-election. He is chairman of the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services committee.

Rich Breeden of Spotsylvania, vice president of Kingfisher Systems Inc., has announced plans to seek the Republican nomination for Reeves’ seat.

Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Mount Solon, didn’t return calls for comment on his plans for next year. Hanger is co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee and one of the Senate’s longest-serving, most powerful and moderate Republicans where the GOP holds a narrow 21-19 majority. He is typically a swing vote.

Since 1982, he has been in the General Assembly all but four years and has represented the 24th Senate District since 1996. The seat covers all of Madison, Greene and Augusta counties, Staunton, Waynesboro and parts of Rockingham and Culpeper counties.

Annette Hyde, a Madison yoga teacher, has announced plans to challenge Hanger as a Democrat, the first candidate the party has run against Hanger since 2007.

He has more often been the target of factions of his own party, facing primaries in 2007 and 2015. The 2015 primary saw Hanger use a section of Virginia law to override his party’s decision for a nominating convention, opting instead for a primary.

That decision led to a lawsuit that initially overturned the law and is being heard on appeal. Barring a court order, the law cannot be used in 2019, opening the door for district Republicans to oust Hanger in a convention.

City hall reporter

Nolan Stout is a reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact him at (434) 978-7274, nstout@dailyprogress.com, or @nstoutDP on Twitter.

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