Chris Graham: Quiet on the election front

The news Sunday that former School Board Chair and City Councilwoman Lorie Smith has thrown her hat into the ring for a seat on Waynesboro City Council was a jolt in two ways.

One is the fact that Smith, who had long been known to be considering a run, finally pulled the trigger. Two is the realization that it’s awfully late in the process for us to be hearing from the first candidate to make intentions known.

We’re roughly three weeks from the filing deadline for the May 1 election, and we still don’t know the plans of incumbents Frank Lucente, Bruce Allen and Tim Williams, or any potential opponents. Rewind to four years ago, and there was a flurry of activity for the three seats that are up for election in this cycle – three for the At-Large seat that Lucente holds, and Smith is now gunning for, three for the Ward B seat and Williams already announced as what would turn out to be the lone candidate in A.

(Editor’s Note: I was one of the three in the Ward B race. Allen won that race, receiving more than 60 percent of the vote to win in a landslide.)

It’s expected that Lucente will declare for re-election in the At-Large seat, but it’s not known what Allen and Williams will do in B and A. The conventional wisdom has been that Allen may not run for a second term, and that Williams may make a bid for a third term in A, but that this run won’t be as easy as his first two, in which he ran unopposed.

No names have yet to come to the surface, but it’s been known behind the scenes for the past couple of years that there has been some amount of dissatisfaction among hardcore conservatives with Williams, who has run in the past with the blessing of the local conservative base.

It’s getting kind of late in the game for names to emerge as contenders for the seats. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t candidates out there getting signatures on petitions for ballot access and raising money and the rest.

It remains to be seen if we see any serious challenges to the libertarian-conservative unanimity on the City Council.

(Another Editor’s Note: Not that anybody seems to care, but it won’t be coming from this commentator. The people of Waynesboro made clear their feelings on my qualifications four years ago.)


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