JAMES CITY — This week, John McGlennon, the longest serving member of the Board of Supervisors, announced he would seek re-election. McGlennon's announcement comes as the race for the Board of Supervisors has taken shape in the days following the board's passage of a controversial 7 cent tax hike last month.
McGlennon, who represents the Roberts District, which encompasses sections of Kingsmill as well as Grove, will face School Board Vice Chairwoman Heather Cordasco in the fall race. Cordasco, a Republican, announced her candidacy in February.
"This is a critical election that will decide whether James City's residents will make their own decisions about county policy or whether outside ideological organizations will impose their own narrow views on our community," McGlennon, the board's sole Democrat, said.
"James City voters expect honest answers to the tough issues that we face, and I'm committed to continuing my fight to make sure that citizens have a stronger voice in our county than the special interests," McGlennon added. "We've seen too many campaigns funded by developers and too much influence by outsiders who don't care about protecting our quality of life."
Three seats are for up election this year. Beyond Roberts District, the Stonehouse District currently held by Supervisor Jim Kennedy is up, as is the Berkeley District seat held by Supervisor Mary Jones.
In Stonehouse, long-time Republican political activist Sue Sadler is running for the seat. Kennedy, an independent, has not signaled yet whether or not he'll seek re-election.
" A lot of folks have asked me to run but I haven't decided yet," Kennedy said Tuesday. "It's a family decision. Their thoughts weigh into this very heavily."
Heath Richardson previously announced for the seat, but withdrew a short time later after learning his job as a government contractor disqualified him from running. He would have been in violation of the federal Hatch Act.
In Berkley District, Jones, a Republican who has served on the board since 2008, is being challenged by former School Board chairwoman Ruth Larson, an independent.
Jones was the sole member of the Board of Supervisors to oppose the tax increase passed last month. It funds five strategic initiatives, including stormwater management, economic development, school bus replacement and roof fixes at Clara Byrd Baker Elementary, cleaning the county and replenishing debt service reserves.
Political operatives have said the vote on the county budget will likely loom over the fall race.
Cordasco, Sadler and Jones all opposed the hike in the real estate tax rate. Larson, McGlennon and Kennedy supported it, as did supervisors Chairman Michael Hipple and Vice Chairman Kevin Onizuk.
According to the latest fundraising data available from the Virginia Public Access Project, Sadler so far is the leading fundraiser of the group, having reported more than $9,000 in contributions. Second was Cordasco with $7,935, and Jones third with donations of more than $2,000. McGlennon reported raising just $784. No fundraising data was available for Larson or Kennedy.
Bogues can be reached by phone at 757-345-2346.