#4 -- Candidates have a busy summer and fall in pursuit of November

In mid-July after joining the local Republican committee, Chris McCarney challenged incumbent Bermuda District Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle for a seat on the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. The announcement by McCarney was the first shot across the bow of Jaeckle’s four year term as supervisor. The second shot came when Kenny Britt announced his candidacy leading up to the primary and then Mark Fausz (editor of the Village News) joined the fray announcing his candidacy only 10 days before the Aug. 23 primary vote.

 “After a long process of talking with friends, family and citizens of the Bermuda District, I have decided to run for the Board of Supervisors because I believe Bermuda needs real leadership on the Board,” said Chris McCarney, band director of Manchester High School. “Our current Board member has consistently been anti-business and has consistently allowed her personal opinions to affect her decisions on the Board.”  

McCarney did not win the primary election having limited funds, but garnered about 600 votes, a third of the overall votes.

In the Matoaca District, a canvas vote put Steve Elswick on the ticket for the Republicans over Dr. Kevin Al-Mateen by a record margin, 789-53 votes. Elswick then went to battle with incumbent Marleen Durfee.

In the Dale District, incumbent Jim Holland, a Democrat, was challenged by Cliff Bickford the Republican choice. Supervisors in the Clover Hill District (Art Warren) and Midlothian District (Dan Gecker) were unchallenged.

But not only supervisors, but school board members in Bermuda, Dale and Matoaca districts were vying for a seat at the head of Chesterfield County schools. Carrie Coyner and Stella Edwards in Bermuda; David Wyman and Michael Jackson in Dale and Tom Doland, Omar Rajah and S. M. Siddiqi ran for board positions in Matoaca.

As candidates began to organize their races, Britt, in the Bermuda District decided to drop out leaving Fausz to challenge Jaeckle. Due to redistricting after the completion of the census, the primary date was pushed later and the election cycle was shorter. After the primary and the filing date, only 11 weeks remained for the general election to play itself out.

Durfee and Elswick scheduled a number of forums to debate the issues. Durfee accused Elswick of not showing up and Elswick attacked Durfee on her record. The Chesterfield County Professional Firefighters backed Durfee against Elswick, who was a former fire chief.

In the Bermuda race Jaeckle focused her campaign on one issue: Fausz was owner and editor of the Village News, which covers the entire Bermuda District creating an unfair advantage over her. Fausz countered that he had taken a leave of absence and was not involved in the newspaper during the campaign. Fausz ran his campaign on his service to the community and his intention to support schools and public safety to enable a more positive business climate.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch labeled the Bermuda and Matoaca races the most contentious in the metro area.               

Meanwhile, the Dale District race remained relatively quiet.

Candidates in each District faced off in forums sponsored by the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and the Chesterfield Business Council.

On Nov. 8, voters went to the polls in large numbers for an off-year race that was without a Congressional contest.

Jaeckle won in the Bermuda District with 53 percent of the vote. Holland won the supervisors’ seat in Dale District with 55 percent and Elwick won the Matoaca District with 54 percent.

In School Board races, Coyner won with 57 percent of the vote in Bermuda. Wyman carried Dale with a 56 percent margin and Doland cornered 48 percent with his two opponents splitting the remainder.

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