Huja not seeking third term; Signer enters council race

There will be at least one new member of Charlottesville City Council next year now that Mayor Satyendra Huja has announced he will not seek a third term.

“It has been a great honor to serve the Charlottesville community,” Huja said Thursday in a statement in which he listed achievements by the council since he was elected in 2007.

Huja has been a fixture in city government since 1973, when he was hired as director of city planning and community development.

The seats held by Kathy Galvin and Dede Smith also are up for re-election this November. Neither councilor has revealed her campaign plans.

Meanwhile, a third person has filed candidacy papers.

Attorney and author Michael Signer has filed a statement of organization, a certificate of qualification and an economic interest statement. However, the president of the Fifeville Neighborhood Association said he will not make a formal announcement until Feb. 10.

Democrats Wes Bellamy and Lena Seville previously filed paperwork to run for the council, though neither has formally announced.

This will not be Signer’s first race if he, in fact, decides to run. In 2009, he sought the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor but came in second in a primary with 21 percent of vote.

Signer is the founder of the Madison Law & Strategy Group, a Charlottesville firm that specializes in corporate and regulatory law. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.

In recent months, Signer has campaigned to have Alcoholic Beverage Control move its West Main Street store to a different location. The issue became controversial when others organized a counter-campaign to keep the store in place. The ABC decided Wednesday that it would renew its lease.

“I, for one, listened and learned a lot about our neighbors’ feelings about a changing neighborhood through this issue,” Signer said in a statement Thursday. He said he will continue to push for the ABC store to take steps to improve security at the store.

Candidates for the council also must submit a petition with 125 signatures. Those seeking a party nomination must hand all documents to their party chair by March 26.

Charlottesville Democrats will hold a primary June 9.

Charlottesville Republicans have yet to decide how they will nominate candidates. The GOP ran a full slate of council candidates in 2013.

Three seats are up on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, which will have at least one new member in January.

Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd has announced he will not seek a fourth term in the Rivanna District.

Former 5th District congressional candidate Lawrence Gaughan, a Democrat, said he will run for the Rivanna seat.

Supervisor Ann H. Mallek would be seeking a third term in the White Hall District if she runs.

Supervisor Jane Dittmar has not yet announced whether she will seek a full four-year term in the Scottsville District. She was elected in 2013 to fill the unexpired term of Christopher Dumler.

No one has filed candidacy papers for any of Albemarle’s supervisor races, according to the county’s election manager.

However, on the Albemarle School Board, Stephen Koleszar has filed to seek a sixth term representing the Scottsville District and Jason Buyaki has announced that he will be seeking a second full term representing the Rivanna District.