Early voting is already well under way in Waynesboro, so if you’re one of the 981 people that has already cast your lot in the 2022 city elections as of this writing, here’s to hoping you got it right.
If you haven’t yet voted, we’re here to tell you that the obvious choices in the Ward C and Ward D races are Kenny Lee, Sam Hostetter and Kathe Maneval.
Lee, a 28-year U.S. Air Force veteran, is running for the Ward C seat on Waynesboro City Council against Republican nominee Jeremy Sloat, who seems like a nice enough guy, but for some reason feels the need to run with the flag of the Trump Party waving behind him, which is disqualifying in the current environment.
There will be a time when the R beside the name is not automatically that, but we may be years away from that being the case.
Lee, a Waynesboro native, has prioritized paying city employees a living wage and city investments in the public education infrastructure in his campaign.
We also like that Lee, an African American, would give the 12.5 percent of our city that is African American a voice on Waynesboro City Council.
Lee and his family live on Port Republic Road, one block from his childhood home, in a historic neighborhood and a majority-minority part of our city that is almost entirely overlooked by City Hall.
In Ward D, Hostetter, who is finishing up his first four-year term, is the clear choice in his race against Republican nominee Jim Wood, a loudmouth Trumpist who, like his political idol, would make everything with City Council about him and whatever nonsense might get his attention at the moment.
We don’t need that in Waynesboro – we didn’t and don’t need it in Washington, D.C., either, for that matter, but that’s another story for another day.
Hostetter, a primary care physician with UVA Health, has been a calm, stabilizing presence on Waynesboro City Council, and we need more people like that in local government, where things actually have to get done, despite what the Jim Woods of the world seem to think.
Kathe Maneval, the incumbent in the Ward D Waynesboro School Board race, faces the challenge of another Republican nominee, Amber Lipscomb, who seems to be saying all the right things as she lays out her reasons for running, but there’s an uncomfortable reality behind having a person with the Republican Party label serving on our school board.
The Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, has K-12 public schools in his crosshairs, pushing school-choice and tax-credit initiatives that would take money from our already-underfunded schools, and sanitizing the curriculum by banning the teaching of supposedly “inherently divisive concepts” such as, for example, that racism actually exists, and actually makes it so that groups of people on the wrong side of it are disadvantaged.
Maneval has served on the Waynesboro School Board since 2006. A person with that much experience who wants to continue serving in what is essentially a thankless job is invaluable.