It’s been eight months since former Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler was arrested on a charge of forcible sodomy. Now that the rallies, mid-meeting outbursts, plea bargaining, court hearings, and Dumler’s resignation are in the past, Scottsville is ready to move forward. Ten people have applied for the interim position on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, which will choose its newest, temporary member—who will serve until a November special election determines who will carry out the final two years of Dumler’s term—after this week’s Wednesday meeting.
The county had 45 days after Dumler’s resignation to find a replacement, who could start as early as July 10. Supervisor Duane Snow originally stated that the Board would not consider anyone who planned to run in the special election for the longer-term position, but now Board Republicans’ commitment to that plan seems to be wavering.
“If we had two qualified candidates, I would pick the one who said he wouldn’t run,” Snow said. “But if everyone else was leaning toward the other, and it was a clear majority, I would probably go ahead and vote with the majority in that case.”
Supervisor Ken Boyd said he never shared the sentiment that the ideal candidate wouldn’t run in the fall, so there’s a chance that the interim candidate will occupy the seat for more than a few months.
“Some people believe that that would provide an unfair bully pulpit for an individual to run as an incumbent,” Boyd said. “But I don’t particularly share that thought, or think that it gives them any advantage.”
While Snow said he doesn’t want the decision to be based on political preference, Boyd said politics could play a role in the process.
“I’m not going to hide the fact that I’m a conservative,” Boyd said. “So my leaning would be towards that, but I hope to go into it with an open mind.”
Of the 10 candidates who put their name in the ring—originally 11, but one withdrew—four identify as Independents, three as Republicans, and three as Democrats. Both Snow and Boyd noted that retired Albemarle County* Sheriff Terry Hawkins and Planning Commissioner Rick Randolph have been elected or appointed into government positions before. William Craddock also served two terms on the Planning Commission, appointed by Lindsay Dorrier.
Of the 10 candidates, only Republicans Prandip Priukan and Cindi Burket said they plan to seek a nomination for the special election in November, despite the early call from the majority of the Board for applicants to swear off seeking the more permanent position.
“I cannot lie to them and give them the commitment [to not run],” Priukan said. “I believe in truth and honesty, and I have a desire to run for it.”
Neil Williamson, president of the Free Enterprise Forum, said his agency doesn’t have an official stance on the matter, but he thinks restricting the candidate pool to only those without future political aspirations could be too limiting.
“The Board may come to a realization as they go through all their candidates that their most favorite may not be willing to make that pledge,” he said.
Richard Armstrong – D
Anne Bedarf – I
Cindi Burket – R
Nancy Carpenter – I
William Craddock – I
Terry Hawkins – R
Prandip Priukan – R
Kevin Quick – I
Richard Randolph – D
Edward Strickler – D
*An earlier version of this story identified Terry Hawkins as a retired Scottsville Sheriff.