2017 election

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This page is an overview of the 2017 local elections

A general election for statewide and local races was held on November 7, 2017. The primary elections were held on June 13. [1]

Statewide races


Voter turnout in the City: 51.9% (of the 33,742 registered voters, 16,548 voted in this election); 2016 Presidential election was 63.4%.

Two seats for Charlottesville City Council, three (unop) seats on the Charlottesville School Board, and other city offices were up for election. Four constitutional offices - Commonwealth's Attorney, Treasurer, Sheriff and Commissioner of the Revenue were all uncontested in the general election.

City Council

Two seats were up for City Council and at least two new members of City Council would be chosen in the general election from among the two Democrats and four independents on the ballot.

Candidates for City Council:

Sign for May 17, 2017 campaign forum

City Councilor Kristin Szakos did not seek a third term. [2] Democrat incumbent Bob Fenwick lost during the June 13 primary to challengers Heather Hill and Amy Laufer. [3] [1]

Additionally, eight independents sought to qualify for the November ballot. They are Nancy Carpenter, Cassie Clawson, Clifford Hall, John Edward Hall, Kenneth Wayne Jackson, Paul Long, Nikuyah Walker and Dale Woodson. Carpenter, Clifford Hall and Woodson failed to qualify. [4] Clawson filed paperwork on September 1 to withdraw from the race. [5]

On election day, Walker made history by becoming the first independent to win election to Council in almost 70 years. Hill placed second and was elected, but fellow Democrat Laufer came in third.[6]

Walker set the record number of votes received by any one candidate in city history. According to former Democratic Mayor Dave Norris, who supported Walker’s campaign and encouraged people to vote only for her, it is the first time an independent has been elected to the council since 1948.[7] (Bullet voting, also know as single-shot, is a voting tactic, usually in multiple-winner elections, where a voter is entitled to vote for more than one candidate, but instead votes for only one candidate.)

Candidates Votes %
Nikuyah Walker (I) 7,906 29.13
Heather Hill (D) 7,752 28.57
Amy Laufer (D) 7,697 28.36
Kenneth Jackson (I) 2,186 8.06
Paul Long (I) 804 2.96
John Edward Hall (I) 597 2.20
Write-In 95 na

Voters could cast two votes, one for each of the two seats available, hence the percentages do not total 100%. Election records[8] show that 27,219 votes were cast at this election for the office of city council. In the election, two City Council seats were open, allowing each voter to cast as many as two votes.

Did single-shot occur in the 2017 election at-large city council election? 13,397 people voted in the Commonwealth's Attorney race. Each of those voters had two votes to cast in the at-large City Council race. Two times 13,397 is 26,794. A total of 27,219 votes were cast in the at-large council race, a difference of 425 less.

Democratic Primary Race

Hill announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination on February 21. [9] Laufer announced on Feb. 28. [10]

Fenwick announced his candidacy for re-election on March 29, 2017. [11] He has been endorsed by the group Equality and Progress in Charlottesville. [12]

Candidates Votes %
Amy Laufer 6,253 46.07
Heather Hill 4,597 33.87
Bob Fenwick (incumbent) 2,722 20.06
Source: State Board of Elections[13]

Each voter could vote for up to two candidates.

Independent candidates

Woodson was the first candidate to file paperwork in 2017. [14] He did not make a formal announcement.

Independent Nikuyah Walker announced her candidacy on March 14, 2017. [15]

Transportation activist Long did not hold a formal announcement for his 2017 run. Instead he coordinated a protest of a tax incentive project for the Landmark Hotel on the Downtown Mall. [16]

Carpenter made her formal announcement at Washington Park on April 1. [17]

Jackson launched his campaign at Tonsler Park on May 12. [18]

Clifford Hall and Clawson filed their initial paperwork in May. [19] John Edward Hall was the final candidate to submit paperwork. [20]

Clawson ended her candidacy on September 1 by filing paperwork with the city registrar. [5]

Campaign forums

The Fry's Spring Neighborhood Association and the Johnson Village Neighborhood Association held a joint candidate forum on September 27 at 6 p.m. at Johnson Elementary School. [21]

<play audio>http://s3.amazonaws.com/cville/cm%2Fmutlimedia%2F20170927-Council-Forum.mp3 </play audio>

Primary forums
  • The Democratic party held an informal forum on April 15, 2017. [22]
  • The League of Women Voters held a campaign forum in City Council chambers on May 3 at 6:30 pm.[23]
  • EPIC held a campaign forum for the Democratic candidates at the Haven on May 9, 6:00-7:30. [24]
  • EPiC held a candidate forum for the independents from 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 17 at The Haven. [24]


<play audio>http://s3.amazonaws.com/cville/cm%2Fmutlimedia%2F20170530-DBAC-Democratic-Forum.mp3 </play audio>


Heather Hill's Feb. 21 campaign announcement

<play audio>http://s3.amazonaws.com/cville/cm%2Fmutlimedia%2F20170221-Hill-Announcement.mp3 </play audio>

Amy Laufer's Feb. 28 campaign announcement

<play audio>http://s3.amazonaws.com/cville/cm%2Fmutlimedia%2F20170228-Laufer.MP3 </play audio>

Kenneth Jackson's May 12 campaign announcement

<play audio>http://s3.amazonaws.com/cville/cm%2Fmutlimedia%2F20170512-Jackson-Announcement.mp3 </play audio>

School Board

The Charlottesville School Board seats held by Ned Michie, Leah Puryear and Juandiego Wade are up for election in 2017. Wade and Puryear will seek reelection, but Michie did not. [15] Newcomer Lisa Larson-Torres received the most votes.

Candidates Votes %
Lisa Larson-Torres 10,048 33.73
Juandiego R. Wade 9,846 33.05
Leah W. Puryear 9,556 32.08
Write-In 339 1.14
Source: Virginia Department of Elections[25]

Each voter could vote for up to three candidates.

Other races

Jeff Fogel and Joe Platania competed for the Democratic nomination for Commonwealth's Attorney to replace the retiring Dave Chapman. Chapman won the Democratic primary.

There is no opposition for Commissioner of Revenue Todd Divers, Treasurer Jason Vandever or Sheriff James Brown.

Albemarle County

Three seats on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and three seats on the Albemarle County School Board for the magisterial districts of Jack Jouett, Rio and Samuel Miller were up for election in 2017.

There were two contested school board seats and one contested supervisor race.[26]

Jack Jouett District


Incumbent supervisor Diantha McKeel announced she will seek a second term on the board on March 1, 2017. [27] In 2013 she ran as an independent but is running as a Democrat this time around. McKeel was officially nominated by the Albemarle County Democratic Committee on May 15, 2017.[26]

The Albemarle County Republican Committee did not nominate a candidate to challenge McKeel.[26]

No independent candidates have declared their candidacy.[26]

Candidates Votes %
Diantha McKeel (D) 4,252 97.23
Write-In 121 2.77
Source: State Board of Elections[28]

School Board

Incumbent school board member Kate Acuff will seek a second term on the board. She has no opposition.

Rio District


Incumbent supervisor Brad Sheffield, a Democrat, is not seeking a second term. Ned Gallaway announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination on March 8, 2017. [27] He officially received the nomination on May 15.[26]

There is not a Republican candidate for this seat.[26] No independent candidates came forward.[26]

Candidates Votes %
Ned Gallaway (D) Winner 5,304 95.79
Write-In 233 4.21
Source: State Board of Educations[29]

School Board

School board member Pam Moynihan announced she will not run for another term. Mary McIntyre and Katrina Callsen are running against each other for office for the first time as candidates for the Rio District seat. [30][31]

Samuel Miller District


John Lowry announced his campaign for the Republican nomination on February 23, 2017. [32] The Albemarle County Republican Committee officially nominated Lowry as their party's candidate on May 16.[26]

<play audio>http://s3.amazonaws.com/cville/cm%2Fmutlimedia%2F20170223-Lowry-Announcement.MP3 </play audio>

Incumbent Liz Palmer a formal announcement for-reelection in March. She received the Democratic Party's nomination on May 15.[26]

This race is the only supervisor race that is contested.

Candidates Votes %
Liz Palmer (D) (winner) 4,916 67.88
John Lowry (R) 2,312 31.92
Write-In 14 0.19
Source: State Board of Elections[33]

School Board

Graham Paige will seek a full four-year term on the school board. He is being challenged by Julian Waters, a high school senior at Western Albemarle High School. [31]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Laufer, Hill nominated by Democrats for Charlottesville City Council, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 13, 2017, retrieved June 24, 2017.
  2. Web. Szakos won’t seek third term on City Council, Lisa Provence, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, January 17, 2017, retrieved June 2, 2017. Print. January 17, 2017 .
  3. Web. Laufer, Hill win Democratic council nominations; Fenwick out, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises
  4. Web. Three independents fail to qualify for City Council ballot, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 19, 2017, retrieved June 24, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Web. Clawson drops out of race for Charlottesville City Council seat, News Staff, News Article, CBS19 News, September 1, 2017, retrieved September 3, 2017.
  6. Web. First Independent since 1948 win election to Charlottesville City Council, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, November 7, 2017, retrieved November 8, 2017.
  7. Web. Independent Walker takes most votes in Council election, breaks up Democratic ticket, The Daily Progress staff, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, Nov 7, 2017 Updated Nov 7, 2017, retrieved May 7, 2021.
  8. https://historical.elections.virginia.gov/elections/search/year_from:2017/year_to:2017/office_id:551/district_id:31120
  9. Web. Heather Hill Charlottesville City Council campaign kickoff, Aaron Richardson, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 21, 2017, retrieved February 24, 2017.
  10. Web. Laufer launches campaign for Charlottesville City Council, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 28, 2017, retrieved February 28, 2017.
  11. Web. Fenwick, Long announce bids for City Council, sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 24, 2017, retrieved March 29, 2017.
  12. Web. EPiC endorses Bob Fenwick for council, News Staff, News Article, Charlottesville Newsplex, May 30, 2017, retrieved June 2, 2017.
  13. Web. 2017 June Democratic Primary, Virginia State Board of Elections, retrieved June 24, 2017.
  14. Web. Independent files for Charlottesville City Council run, Aaron Richardson and Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, retrieved March 2, 2017.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Web. Walker seeks independent bid for Charlottesville City Council, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 14, 2017, retrieved March 17, 2017.
  16. Web. Council hopeful leads protest over Landmark tax breaks, Chris Suarez, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, April 24, 2017, retrieved April 25, 2017.
  17. Web. Carpenter becomes latest independent to launch council bid, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 3, 2017, retrieved April 7, 2017.
  18. Web. Jackson launches second bid for City Council, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 15, 2017, retrieved June 2, 2017.
  19. Web. Two more independents join City Council race, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 1, 2017, retrieved June 9, 2017.
  20. Web. Hall qualifies for City Council ballot just before deadline, Chris Suarez, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, June 23, 2017, retrieved June 25, 2017.
  21. Web. Council candidates take questions at neighborhood forum, Brian Wheeler and Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, September 28, 2017, retrieved October 5, 2017.
  22. Web. [http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/virginia_politics/democrats-pitch-ideas-at-city-candidate-forum/article_57be91f5-1f68-58c3-b185-07bfccc29dd9.html Democrats pitch ideas at city candidate forum], Chris Suarez, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, April 15, 2017, retrieved April 17, 2017.
  23. Web. http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/27110-league-of-women-voters-forum/
  24. 24.0 24.1 Web. Several forums planned for city candidates, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises
  25. Web. Virginia Department of Elections, retrieved November 8, 2017.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 26.7 26.8 Web. Albemarle GOP musters single candidate in Albemarle Supervisor races, Tim Dodson, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 17, 2017, retrieved May 17, 2017.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Web. Gallaway to seek Rio seat on Board of Supervisors, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 3, 2017, retrieved March 6, 2017.
  28. Web. Albemarle County, Virginia State Board of Elections, retrieved November 8, 2013.
  29. Web. Albemarle County, Virginia State Board of Elections, retrieved November 8, 2017.
  30. Web. Mary McIntyre begins campaign for country School Board, Josh Mandell, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 13, 2017, retrieved March 6, 2017.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Web. Former teacher, UVA Law grad enters county School Board race for Rio District, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 19, 2017, retrieved April 23, 2017.
  32. Web. seat/ Lowry begins second run for Samuel Miller seat, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, Charlottesville, February 23, 2017, retrieved February 23, 2017.
  33. Web. Albemarle County, Virginia State Board of Elections, retrieved November 8, 2017.

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