One independent and one Republican will face three Democrats in the general election race for three Charlottesville City Council seats.

Independent Alvin Scott Bandy has filed the necessary paperwork to appear on the Nov. 3 ballot alongside Republican Anson Parker.

Wes Bellamy, Kathy Galvin and Mike Signer were the three top vote-getters in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Bellamy, who received the most votes in the primary, with 2,482 people selecting him as one of the party’s three nominees.

Signer came in second, with 1,855 votes. He said he is taking the general election race seriously.

“I chaired the Democratic-coordinated City Council campaign two years ago, and we won one of the largest recorded margins over the Republican ticket with a strong and focused campaign,” Signer said. “I will hope to do the same this time, working closely and collaboratively with my friends and co-nominees, Wes and Kathy.”

Neither Bandy nor Galvin responded to a request for a comment Wednesday.

Galvin received 1,835 votes in Tuesday’s primary, defeating fellow incumbent Dede Smith, who received 1,613 votes.

Bandy was also an independent candidate in the 2011 general election for council and received 399 votes. That compares with 4,608 for Satyendra Huja, 4,601 for Galvin and 4,547 cast for Smith that year.

With Tuesday’s vote, Smith has become the first sitting city councilor to not win a second nomination since Julian Taliaferro placed third in the 2009 Democratic nomination process in which two seats were up.

“It’s time to think about what kind of projects I might like to wrap up that are part of being a councilor,” Smith said Wednesday.

Bandy will be the only independent on the ballot this year. In 2011, Brandon Collins, Paul LongAndrew Williams all ran for the council as independents.

No independent candidate has won election to the City Council in at least 40 years.

There has only been one Republican elected to the council in the past 25 years. Rob Schilling received the second-highest number of votes in the 2002 election, edging out Democrat Alexandra Searls by 127 votes.

However, Schilling was unable to hold onto his seat in the 2006 election, when he received about 1,300 fewer votes than Taliaferro.

Schilling said Wednesday that if Parker wants to get elected, he needs to focus his campaign on “coherent, accessible and relevant” issues.

“He needs to be able to clearly and compellingly articulate why he is running and the difference between him and his Democrat opponents,” Schilling said, adding that Parker should be prepared to knock on doors between now and Election Day.

Bandy is a frequent contributor to Schilling’s radio program and website.

Smith said she will support the Democratic ticket, though she is concerned that there will be less of a voice for historic preservation and the environment when the new council takes it seats in January.

“It will be a different kind of council but absolutely it will be good,” Smith said.

Smith said she will continue to remain in public service despite no longer being on the council after December.

“You have access as a non-councilor, too, and there are different ways you can get things done,” Smith said.
 

image_printPrint

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.