With 39.6 percent of Staunton voters making it to the polls today, Adam Campbell was elected to City Council with nearly 64 percent of the vote.
Campbell and Wilson Fauber campaigned for the seat former Mayor Andrea Oakes left vacant rather suddenly in January 2023.
Staunton businessman and previous City Council member Terry Holmes was chosen by City Council in February to hold the seat temporarily. But, today, Staunton residents made the choice of who should fill the seat.
“It was an incredible day. I went around to all of the wards and just had incredible support,” Campbell said Tuesday night.
He was surprised by the low voter turnout in the Queen City, but said it was rewarding to see the support he has.
“It’s cool to have a vision and see a swelling of support,” Campbell said.
For Campbell, the support from the community and his campaign volunteers is “humbling to think you can have an impact like that.”
In conversations with city staff during his campaign, Campbell said he knows that the first task he wants to tackle in January 2024 is improving communication between the city and residents. Ironically, he said he saw during the campaign process the city share more on social media with residents, which he would like to continue to see happen more.
Campbell said he still wants to improve outreach and provide more opportunities for residents to participate in the process of government just as he mentioned in an April 2023 interview with Augusta Free Press. He would like for residents to share their concerns with council members.
Out of 20 applications, Fauber and Campbell were among five candidates interviewed by council in early February for the vacancy. Soon after Holmes was chosen, both Fauber and Campbell announced they would try again in November. During public comment after the interviews, several residents expressed support for Campbell.
Campbell grew up in Stafford County, earned a degree in landscape architecture from Virginia Tech and moved with his wife, Katie, to Northern Virginia. A job change in 2014 brought the couple and their two children to Staunton where he works for VDOT.
“It’s truly a remarkable city,” he told city council during his February interview.
Campbell said in his interview that the city should work on public infrastructure, and referenced studies on the West End and Uniontown.
“I think the city’s done a great job in this realm,” he said. “But I think there are still lots of opportunities that we don’t take advantage of.”
In an April interview with Augusta Free Press, Campbell, Staunton District Planner for the VDOT, said he served six years on Staunton’s planning commission and he had ideas about improving the city. He said that the city’s need to build a new Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court is a rare opportunity. Campbell said he was aware of concerns last year about respect and collaboration among members of council.
In campaigning for today’s election, Campbell stressed the importance of Staunton collaborating with other localities to achieve funding goals.
“Apologize to the community for seeing my yard signs again in six months,” Campell said Tuesday night of preparing to run again in 2024 for city council.
In his February interview with council, Fauber, who was born in Staunton, said he wanted to serve because he thought he could make a difference. Vice Chair of the city’s Economic Development Authority, he told council he wants to see the city grow but remain healthy.
When the Statler Brothers retired from organizing Staunton’s annual Fourth of July celebration, Fauber kept the committee going. He expressed he would have similar dedication to serving the city on council.
“I don’t want to just serve the rest of this year,” Fauber said at the February interview of his starting the process to run for November 2023.
However, Fauber’s 2023 campaign became plagued by scandal when anti-LGBTQ Facebook posts from 2018 were revealed by a local newspaper article. Fauber allegedly feared for his safety so much that he declined an invitation to a candidates forum hosted by local Democrats in downtown Staunton in October. He also declined interviews with local media, including AFP.
In 2024, Staunton City Council will include now-Mayor Steve Claffey, now-Vice Mayor Amy Darby, Mark Robertson, Brad Arrowood, Michele Edwards, Alice Woods and Campbell.
Arrowood, Edwards and Woods were elected in November 2022.