In Chesapeake, VA on May 1,2018 there is a historic local election due to the unusual number of seats open. Seven out of nine city council seats are on the ballot, including Mayor. Five out of the nine school board seats are also on the ballot.
Sixteen out of eighteen seats for School Board/ City Council and Mayor are currently held by Republicans and they have a candidate for every seat open. The Democrats are lacking in candidates have endorsed several Independent candidates.
The Mayor of Chesapeake has an annual salary of $25,000, yet the current incumbent Mayor Rick West has raised over $100,000 towards his campaign including late last minute donations from developers. His sole opponent, Jo Anne Gallant has entirely self funded her campaign out of principle with a budget of approximately $2,000.
Holding a second election in May costs the city a considerable amount of money. The candidates were told that this is so that they are not competing for coverage with our state and national elections.
We, the citizens of Chesapeake, expect our television stations to cover real news.
We have been told that our city elections are held in May so that they are not competing for coverage with our state and national elections. However, we have not seen any information broadcast to remind voters of this critical election on May 1, 2018.
This is a historic election because seven out of our nine city council seats are on the ballot, including Mayor. Five out of the nine school board seats are also on the ballot and many citizens are concerned about important issues involving our schools and local government.
There is a misconception that these elections are primary elections and that the actual voting will be in November. This results in extraordinary low voter turn out.
Amazing candidates have stepped up to serve this city and put their names on the ballot. We expect our news stations to cover this election in a fair and objective manner and start reminding our citizens to vote on May 1, 2018.
Chesapeake will be the city that becomes the role model for all other cities to bring integrity back to our local government.
Jo Anne Gallant