Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin said Thursday that an outside review into a South River District supervisor candidate’s residency claim is complete and the results will be released within a few days.
The review involves James Kindig, one of three candidates on the November ballot for the district. He is running as an independent for the seat now held by Supervisor Carolyn Bragg.
Martin said the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office forwarded a complaint questioning the legitimacy of Kindig’s residency for the district seat to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office in the spring. Martin asked Michael Doucette, a retired Lynchburg commonwealth’s attorney, to review the matter.
South River, Beverley Manor and Riverheads districts intersect in the Stuarts Draft area.
Kindig said he owns a 250-acre farm off U.S. 340 — known as Stuarts Draft Highway in the area — coming into Stuarts Draft that is in both the South River and Beverley Manor districts. According to the Department of Elections online candidacy information dated June 7, Kindig listed his address at 3546 Stuarts Draft Highway, which he said is the campaign committee address and the business address for the farm.
In August 2018, Kindig told the News Virginian for a story regarding a proposed solar farm that he would have been among the landowners who would receive lease payments for allowing solar panels to be installed on 80 to 100 acres of his farm.
Doucette’s review of the residency question is meant to determine if any statute has been violated, not necessarily a determination about whether Kindig’s candidacy is legitimate, Martin said. The Virginia Department of Elections’ local candidate qualification form asks applicants to affirm they have been a resident of Virginia for one year prior to the election and they live in the locality in which they are seeking office.
Steven Morelli, who is the Republican nominee, and independent Randall Wolf also are on the Nov. 5 ballot. Bragg is stepping down from the seat she’s held for five years in a bid to replace retiring Carol Brydge as Augusta County clerk of circuit court.