Virginia is for…elections.
In a state where there’s generally some type of election happening every year, 2019 is hefty, as all 140 seats in both houses of the General Assembly are up for grabs. Regionally, there are three seats opening on the Charlottesville City Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Other contested elections include the city and county school boards, county commonwealth attorney and the county sheriff.
Charlottesville Tomorrow sat down with the candidates running for city, county and state offices in the area to assemble the 2019 Voter Guide, an online resource to understand the races, the issues and get to know the people who want to tackle them.
Several topics saturate both the council and Board of Supervisors conversations. Such topics include affordable housing, addressing climate change and sustainability efforts, the possibility of reevaluating zoning, transportation enhancements, budgets and equity. Specific to the county, there appears to be a unified stance on broadband enhancement.
For the city, five Democratic candidates will be whittled down on June 11, and then will face two independents in November for three council seats. In the county, the Rivanna District will have a primary for its two Democratic candidates, while both the White Hall and Scottsville districts will each have a Republican and Democrat face each other in November votes.
State level candidates discussed how they can best represent their constituents at a broader capacity when General Assembly convenes in Richmond in the winter. Some candidates are in favor of the Dillon Rule, while others say continuing the requirement that some municipal actions must pass through state legislators could impact business development. Candidates also expressed ideas for how to improve health care options and environmental policy in the state.
School boards are nonpartisan elections, so hopefuls have some time ahead of them to launch candidacy before November. Candidates for the county School Board have yet to announce their campaigns, but two people have declared their intentions to run in the city’s — and both are passionate about addressing racial equity issues within city schools. It’s something the current School Board already is addressing with its ongoing equity committee.
County sheriff candidates are assessing needs of their potential future staffs and how the city, county and the University of Virginia can cooperate. Meanwhile, the Republican incumbent commonwealth’s attorney in Albemarle will face a democratic challenger this fall.
Ahead of the June 11 primaries, the guide is launching with those candidate profiles and questionnaires. Follow along for updates over the summer as all the regional candidates roll out on the site and race coverage.