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Most local candidates return to office without opposition

While voters flocked to the polls across the region, 75% of local races in both Albemarle County and Charlottesville were decided before the polls ever opened.

Of 12 local races in the city and county, nine were uncontested. Four out of the six positions in Charlottesville saw no opposition and five of the six in Albemarle had no opposition.

In Albemarle, Democrats Diantha McKeel of the Jack Jouett District and Ned Gallaway of the Rio District coasted back to the Board of Supervisors and newcomer Jim Andrews, a retired physicist and attorney, a Democrat, made it to the Samuel Miller District seat.

McKeel, a now-retired clinical research coordinator, will serve her third term. She was first elected in 2013 as an independent and previously had served on the county School Board for four terms.

At her announcement earlier this year, she said she wants to focus on connectivity, resilience and infrastructure.

Gallaway, a manager at CarLotz, was first elected to the board in 2017. He had previously served as the county’s at-large School Board member for one term.

Earlier this year, he said he wants to continue to prioritize public education, public safety and economic development.

Andrews, who attended the University of Virginia School of Law and moved back in 2017, said in the spring that his priorities are economic, environmental and social resilience.

Two of the Albemarle School Board members in the county up for re-election were uncontested. Kate Acuff, of the Jack Jouett District, and Katrina Callsen, of the Rio District, will receive another four-year term each on the seven-member board.

Acuff, who has a background in law, public health, science and policy, was first elected to the board in 2013 and is the longest-serving current board member. In an interview earlier this year, she said she would focus on a commitment to equity, which includes implementing the anti-racism policy, improving student achievement and providing needed supports for educators.

Callsen, who taught with Teach for America for two years, is a lawyer with the city of Charlottesville. She was first elected in 2017, and said earlier this year that her immediate focus in a second term would be on learning recovery and achievement.

Four Charlottesville elected officials were also re-elected without opposition. Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania, Sheriff James E. Brown, Commissioner of Revenue Todd Divers and Treasurer Jason Vandever, all Democrats, will return for four more years.

Platania was first elected in 2017 and won the Democratic nomination in June. He was previously assistant prosecutor.

Brown won his fourth term as sheriff. A Charlottesville native, he served as an Albemarle County Police Officer before becoming sheriff in 2010.

Vandever will take on his third full term. Also a Charlottesville native, he spent five years as chief deputy treasurer and won a special election in 2013 after then-treasurer Jennifer J. Brown retired.

Divers will also take a third term in office. He taught civics and economics in Greene County Public Schools before working for Frontrunner Sign Studios.


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