When Charlottesville voters go to the polls in November, there could be as many as nine candidates for City Council on the ballot.
Cassandra “Cassie” Clawson and Clifford Hall have filed paperwork with the registrar to join five other independents who already have registered to run.
So far, independents Kenneth Wayne Jackson, Paul Long and Nikuyah Walker have qualified for the ballot by completing all forms and submitting petitions with at least 125 signatures.
Candidates Nancy Carpenter and Dale Woodson have not yet completed the qualification process and have until June 13 to do so.
That is the same day voters will select two nominees in a Democratic primary. Challengers Heather Hill and Amy Laufer and incumbent Bob Fenwick are on the primary ballot.
In addition to Fenwick’s seat, Kristin Szakos’ seat is up this year. Szakos is not seeking re-election.
In his paperwork, Hall, 38, said he is homeless. He put down the address of the Haven, a help center for homeless people, as his place of residence. He said in an email that he moved to the area from West Virginia in 1987 and graduated from Charlottesville High School. He also graduated from the University of Virginia at Wise in 2000.
Clawson, 42, said she plans to make a formal announcement after the primary.
“Today, where trust in the two-party system is so ridiculously low, I firmly believe that there needs to be more than two voices in the discussion,” Clawson said in a statement. “I look forward to bringing some badly needed common sense to the table.”
Hall told Charlottesville Tomorrow that he decided to run after praying and because of what he said is “the division that has been created with the Lee statue issue.”
Hall said he would like to expand the PACEM homeless sheltering program, change Charlottesville Area Transit and increase recycling.
There were no independent candidates on the ballot in 2015. Scott Bandy ran as a Libertarian and Anson Parker ran as a Republican. That year, Democrats Wes Bellamy and Mike Signer were elected to their first terms and Democrat Kathy Galvin won re-election to a second.
There were also no independent candidates in 2013. That year, the Republicans ran Michael Farruggio and Buddy Weber but they were defeated by Fenwick and Kristin Szakos. Fenwick ran as a Democrat that year after two unsuccessful campaigns in 2009 and 2011 as an independent.
The 2011 ballot was more crowded with five independents facing three Democrats. In addition to Fenwick, the independent candidates were Bandy, Brandon Collins, Long and Andrew Williams. While Long withdrew from the race due to health issues, he was still on the ballot.
Long also ran in 2009 as an independent. That year, Williams failed to qualify for the ballot but continued his campaign as a write-in candidate. Democrats Dave Norris and Szakos won.
In 2007, two independents competed with three Democrats. Former city planning director Satyendra Huja, the late Holly Edwards and David Brown won that year. Independents Peter Kleeman and Barbara Haskins placed fourth and fifth.