Local races: Your primary guide

Local races: Your primary guide

Primary day is June 11, and there’s more on the ballot than the 57th District race between Kathy Galvin and Sally Hudson.  If you live in the city, the three people who win the Democratic nomination will likely be the ones to fill the three empty seats on City Council in November because of the city’s overwhelming Dem majority—although Nikuyah Walker upended that tradition with a win as an independent in 2017.

Albemarle has two Dems facing off in the Rio District, where Norman Dill did not want a second term on the Board of Supervisors, as well as in the sheriff’s race. And there’s a lot going on in the 17th Senate District, most of which is in Spotsylvania with a sliver of eastern Albemarle. Two Dems are looking to challenge incumbent state Senator Bryce Reeves, as is a member of his own party.

City Council

Sena Magill

Age: 46

Hometown: Charlottesville

Education: Tandem; PVCC;
then UVA, B.A. in psychology

Day job: Mom and owner of Hatpindolly Vintage; previously at PACEM and Region Ten

Political experience: Volunteer for Leslie Cockburn; member Charlottesville Democratic
Party Committee of 100;
current Carver precinct co-chair

Biggest issue: Climate change and affordable housing. We
have a lot of work to do to reduce our carbon footprint.
We have to work on our public
transit, city walk- and bikeability, density, and the efficiency of units, tying affordable housing and climate change together.

Special power: Problem solving, empathy, and understanding. And I can make a beautiful and tasty cake.

Lloyd Snook

Age: 66

Hometown: Born in Cranford, New Jersey. I moved here when I was 8.

Education: Venable; Walker; Lane High School; Stanford University, A.B. in economics; University of Michigan Law School, J.D.

Day job: Attorney, Snook
& Haughey, P.C.

Political experience: Chair of the Charlottesville Democratic Party, 2001-2004; on the
State Central Committee and the 5th District Democratic Committee, 2005-2013

Biggest issue: Getting city government working effectively again so that we can begin to address substantive issues like affordable housing.

Special power: Speed reading, and I stay up later at night than most normal people.


Michael Payne

Age: 26

Hometown: Charlottesville

Education: Hollymead and Baker Butler; Albemarle High School; William & Mary, B.A.
in government

Day job: Affordable housing advocate

Political experience: Common Good fellow; Tom Perriello’s 2010 congressional campaign; researcher, Tim Kaine’s 2012 Senate campaign; co-founded Indivisible Charlottesville; volunteer for multiple House
of Delegates campaigns in 2017; organizer with the Charlottesville Low-Income Housing Coalition

Biggest issue: Creating truly affordable housing, and preventing Charlottesville from becoming a small-town version of San Francisco.

Special power: Bringing people together through community organizing.


Bob Fenwick       

Age: 73

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

Education: Georgetown University, B.S. in physics

Day job: Small business owner, general construction contractor

Political experience: One term on City Council 2013-2017; numerous city and community environmental, historical, planning, and budget committees

Biggest issue: Addressing the need for City Council to set representative, common-sense city policies that have achievable goals for all citizens.

Special power: Photographic memory…except for names.



Brian Pinkston

Age: 47

Hometown: Albany, Georgia

Education: Georgia Tech, B.S. in mechanical engineering; UVA, Ph.D. in philosophy

Day job: Project manager, facilities management, UVA

Political experience: Region Ten board member; active with Charlottesville Democratic Party; volunteered on Kellen Squire’s campaign in the 58th

Biggest focus: To build strong personal relationships among council members so that it can function well.

Special power: I guess this is a power I want to have? To be able to see in the dark.


Albemarle County

Board of Supervisors: Rivanna District

Bea LaPisto Kirtley

Age: 69

Hometown: Keswick

Education: B.A. in American studies; M.S. in school management and administration

Day job: Retired and a volunteer for local nonprofits—Piedmont CASA, Hospice of the Piedmont, and 100+ Women Who Care

Political experience: Mayor, council member, and planning commissioner in Bradbury, California; board of directors, South Coast Air Quality Management District; Metropolitan Transit Authority; California Contract Cities Association; San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments

Biggest issues: Transportation, education, affordable housing, and climate resilience.

Special power: Energy and focus.


Jerrod Smith

Age: 29

Hometown: Barboursville

Education: Albemarle High School; Bucknell University; UVA Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, MPA

Day job: Grants analyst, PRA Health Sciences

Political experience: Rivanna District Democratic co-chair; member of the Places 29 North Community Advisory Committee

Biggest issue: Those that stem from income inequality throughout the region.

Special power: Facilitating collaboration.



Chan Bryant

Age: 49

Hometown: Charlottesville, member of the Scottsville community for the past 11 years

Education: Piedmont Virginia Community College, associate’s in police science; James Madison University, bachelor’s in business administration

Day job: Chief deputy for the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office for the last four years

Political experience: None, but after knocking on hundreds of doors this spring, I’m learning a lot about it.

Biggest issue: Manpower shortage. We will be adding an extra circuit court judge and a Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court judge beginning July 1. Additional staffing was requested in the FY19/20 budget, but not all requested positions were approved. If elected, I will make needed staffing a top priority.

Special power: Time traveler— I would want to travel back in time to be able to tell my dad how much I love him since I did not get the chance to tell him before his sudden passing two years ago.


Patrick Estes

Age: 38

Hometown: Richmond

Education: University of Virginia

Day job: Regional director,
RMC Events

Political experience: First-time candidate

Biggest issue: To push the envelope of what it means to be elected in Albemarle beyond just core responsibilities, aiming to lead this office through community engagement, green-energy initiatives, growing partnerships with state and local officials, and more.

Special power: Incredible agility. From my time on the football field, to running security at the Super Bowl and events throughout Virginia, and raising three kids, I know what it means to be flexible and adaptable in every situation.

17th Senate District

Democratic primary

Amy Laufer

Age: 47

Hometown: Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin

Education: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, B.S. in geology; Columbia Teachers College, M.Ed. in secondary science education

Day job: Math and science teacher until my second child was born with medical issues

Political experience: Commission for Children and Families as an advocate for children with special needs; Charlottesville School Board for seven years, serving as both vice chair and chair; founder of Virginia’s List, a PAC with the goal of electing women to Virginia state office

Biggest issue: As a former teacher and school board member, I am extremely passionate about education, including universal preschool, increased vocational and technical training, and [including] broadband [as]  part of access to education.

Special power: Getting three kids out the door and to school on time!


Ben Hixon

Age: 36

Hometown: Monroe, Louisiana

Education: NYU; Hunter College; University of Washington

Day job: Computer scientist/engineer and community activist

Political experience: 2017 Democratic nominee for the 30th district of the House of Delegates; chair of the Culpeper County Democratic Party

Biggest issue: Strengthening education, including increasing teacher pay and affordability
of higher education and investing in trade schools and vocational training.

Special power: As an engineer, I seek to understand problems, develop solutions, and implement fixes that are practical and efficient. I don’t shy away from complexity, I focus on it.

Republican primary

Bryce Reeves

Age: 52

Hometown: Spotsylvania

Education: Texas A&M University; George Mason University

Day job: Owner and operator of Bryce Reeves State Farm Agency; former Army Ranger and police detective

Political experience: Senator, Virginia’s 17th Senate District; Spotsylvania County Republican Committee chair

Biggest issues: Protecting those with pre-existing conditions, and providing a variety of affordable health care options; protecting our most vulnerable: foster children and the unborn; supporting and ensuring the well-being of our veterans and law enforcement officers.

Special power: Would be to heal the sick.


Rich Breeden

Age: 50

Hometown: Waynesboro

Education: American Military University, BA and MA; Henley-Putnam University,
Ph.D. candidate, 

Day job: Small business owner

Political experience: Not a politician, and have never run for public office until now

Biggest issue: Changing the way Richmond does business and bringing people from all walks of life together to solve the challenges facing the district. Defend the Constitution; protect the unborn; fight for redistricting reform, term limits, and campaign finance reforms; work with others to improve our education system; and address the challenges associated with emerging technologies and automation that will affect our job market.

Special power: My unique background working with emerging technologies gives
me an understanding of how automation is impacting today’s manufacturing, services, and transportation jobs, and how
these same technologies will threaten individual liberties.


For a detailed look at the 57th District Democratic primary, see our feature story.

Posted In:     News

Tags:     , , , , , , ,

Previous Post

A12 plan: Judge rules state police must release it

Next Post

The fine print: Daily Progress subscription prices skyrocket

Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

Leave a Reply

Notify of