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Endorsements: Pittsylvania County Elections

It’s been a long Endorsement Week but we’re finishing up all of our political endorsements in this article. Let’s work on Pittsylvania County’s Board of Supervisors’ elections.

We’ve got two unopposed races. Bob Warren in the Chatham-Blairs District and Jessie Barksdale in the Banister District. Both of these candidates will do a good job. Let’s move on to the five districts where the elections are contested.

Staunton River District: Elton Blackstock is looking for another term of office after initially saying he wouldn’t. He’s got two challengers in this race, Curtis Arthur and Chris Dalton. This district’s term of office will only be for two years as the board will go to a staggered election cycle.

Blackstock has been pleasantly surprising in his board work, having stepped right in after the death of Marshall Ecker. I’ve called Blackstock out a few times for some of his actions, but he’s never done anything close for me to have any doubts about his work on the board. Having two opponents has been a luxury for Blackstock in this race because it almost guarantees that any opposition vote to him would be split.  The Staunton River district has always had a strong leader on the board, and the two challengers are simply outshadowed by Blackstock’s experience and performance record. This is an easy decision to me.

SouthsideCentral strongly endorses Elton Blackstock for the Staunton River seat and we urge the voters to reelect him to another term.

Westover District: Longtime incumbent Coy Harville is retiring from the board. After a few aborted campaign announcements, we ended up with Ronald Scearce & Roy Ford as the two candidates. I’ve interviewed both of the candidates and found them both to be qualified and acceptable for office. I like things I’ve heard from both candidates and neither of them have said anything stupid. Westover voters, you can’t go wrong with either of these guys.

SouthsideCentral endorses BOTH Roy Ford & Ronald Scearce for the Westover District seat on the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. We encourage the district residents to vote for their choice of candidate.

Dan River District: James Snead is running for his third term representing the Dan River District. His challenger is Joe Davis. This race has been very low-key, with the only fireworks being Davis calling Snead out for flip-flopping on some issues. Incumbent Snead is loved by a lot of his district voters, but he’s also despised by a few too. This race could have been a lot nore exciting to watch if Davis had attacked Snead for his gruffness, but that never happened. We have another of those situations where both of the candidates are qualified and there’s no real difference between them… at least not enough for me to choose one over the other.

SouthsideCentral endorses BOTH James Snead & Joe Davis for the Westover District seat on the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. We encourage the Dan River district residents to vote for their choice of candidate.

Callands-Gretna District: Jerry Hagerman knocked out longtime incumbent Fred Ingram in the only upset in 2011. Hagerman immediately became the swing vote on a lot of 4-3 board decisions. First he got Brenda Bowman in as chairman, then he got her booted out and her husband fired. Then he got her back in as chairman again. In the meantime, he busted State Senator Bill Stanley for doing some political arm-twisting and made a lot of enemies. A lot of people are tired of Hagerman’s flip-flopping and they have a chance to send him packing this time. Vernon Moon is a Gretna businessman who has gotten a lot of support from people that Hagerman has alienated. That’s a lot of people, folks. Hagerman’s unpredictability doesn’t serve his constituents well and it’s kept the Board of Supervisors in their mostly dysfunctional state. He gots to go.

SouthsideCentral gives Vernon Moon our highest endorsement and we strongly urge all Callands-Gretna district voters to vote Moon to replace Jerry Hagerman on the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors.

Tunstall District: Twelve years ago, a political newcomer won an upset victory over a long-term incumbent in the Tunstall District. I strongly believe that should happen again on Tuesday. Incumbent Tim Barber is a good man and has done a decent job on the board over the last twelve years, but he’s also had some cringe-worthy moments. I finally snapped with Barber’s quote was directly referenced by Federal Judge Mike Urbanski as reason why the court would not remove the board prayer injunction. Originally, Barber wasn’t going to run for reelection but changed his mind right before the deadline. His challenger, Gracie Mays, decided to run for the seat that she thought would be vacated but wisely continued her campaign efforts once Barber got in the race. Mays is a political newcomer who’s not really a political newcomer. She is active in local politics and knows almost everybody. She’s opinionated and amusing. There’s nothing fake about her as “she is what she is”. If the Tunstall District voters want to truly shake up the entire board of Supervisors, they should vote for Mays. It’s time for a fresh voice on the board, and Gracie Mays is the perfect person for that job.

SouthsideCentral gives Gracie Mays our highest endorsement and we strongly urge all Tunstall district voters to cast their votes for her on Tuesday.

(SouthsideCentral Policy: SouthsideCentral accepts all political advertisements. Any candidate who chooses to place their ads on SouthsideCentral are told directly that their advertising will not influence the endorsement process in any manner. Gracie Mays has advertised on SouthsideCentral.)

And that’s it. Endorsement Week is now finished at SouthsideCentral. We’ll have our ElectionCentral coverage on Tuesday. Get out there and vote, folks!


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