From the newsroom: Charlottesville Tomorrow’s government reporter Charlotte Rene Woods reflects on her election coverage

Charlotte Rene Woods joined Charlottesville Tomorrow as a reporter in March 2019. She has a B.A. in Journalism + Design from The New School in New York City, where she covered a variety of breaking and long-form stories and served as Managing Editor of the student newspaper. She earned her M.S. in Multimedia Journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University where she fell in love with politics as she covered state and city government for various publications. Her passion for government reporting convinced the Charlottesville Tomorrow team that she would become the go-to reporter on state and local elections.

What excites you about election coverage?
I am always excited for the Voter Guide because it’s a helpful resource for people. The most exciting part about election coverage for me is asking candidates more than what they want to change, but how they hope to do it. I’m very much a policy nerd!

What is your best election coverage memory from the past year?
I enjoyed receiving feedback from readers around the state that some of my reporting helped them make decisions! In particular, my deep dives into the redistricting commission and the gerrymandering of the 5th Congressional District were both fun to work on and satisfying to know they were helpful for people.

What do you look forward to in this year’s election?
After a year of this pandemic and all its impact — coupled with continued calls for racial justice — this year’s elections feel more important than ever before. Understanding the intersections of local and state government, I’m eager to hear how all the candidates are planning to face these issues.

Give us some insight into this year’s election coverage.
Upcoming 2021 elections include Virginia’s next governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. For governor alone, there are several Democratic and Republican candidates — both established politicians and newcomers — along with a third party candidate.

The General Assembly’s House of Delegates is up for election, with a handful of districts that touch the Charlottesville and Albemarle area.

Locally, we have two city council seats, three city school board seats, city commonwealth attorney, three board of supervisor seats, and three county school board seats.

Key dates will be June 8, 2021 for primary elections and Nov. 2, 2021 will be the general elections.