news waynesboro elects facebook talk show conspiracy theorist jim wood vice mayor
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Waynesboro elects Facebook talk show conspiracy theorist Jim Wood vice mayor

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Waynesboro has a new vice mayor – Jim Wood, the Staunton gun-store manager who has used his Fox News-styled Facebook talk show to cast doubt on the outcome of the 2020 election, indicate his support for the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, and joke about attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Wood was elected vice mayor in a 4-1 vote at Tuesday’s Waynesboro City Council reorganization meeting.

Lana Williams was elected mayor, also in a 4-1 vote.

Former mayor Terry Short cast the no votes in both instances.

Wood was elected to represent Ward D on City Council in November, defeating the incumbent, local doctor Sam Hostetter, by a narrow 17-vote margin.

Today was the first meeting for the new City Council. Williams, Short and another former mayor, Bruce Allen, are in the middle of four-year terms on the City Council.

Wood and Kenny Lee, who was elected to represent Ward C in the November election, are the new faces.

Lee, a Waynesboro native and 28-year Air Force veteran, replaces the most recent mayor, Bobby Henderson, who decided last year not to seek a second term, citing increased responsibilities at his day job.

Lee, an African American, has set as his priorities increasing diversity in the city workforce, paying city employees a fair wage, having the city take the lead to address local homelessness, and increasing the focus on attracting good-paying jobs to Waynesboro.

The one newcomer to City Council couldn’t be any different from the other.

Wood first came to be known in local political circles in 2020 as one of the louder voices among the cranks pushing the city to become a Second Amendment sanctuary, who then decided to run for local office after Waynesboro City Council shot down a pro-sanctuary resolution.

He fell short in the May 2020 campaign for the at-large seat on City Council, but mounted another run in 2022 for the Ward D seat.

No stranger to manufacturing controversy, Wood, late in the fall campaign, used his Facebook talk show to cast the attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a gay lovers’ spat turned violent.

The attacker, David DePape, 42, admitted in an interview with the FBI to breaking into the home with the intent of attacking the House Speaker, who he said he views as “the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party,” to send a message to other Democrats that “there were consequences to actions.”

DePape later attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer, fracturing his skull.

Wood, on his Facebook talk show, also shared a tasteless “dad joke” about the attack.

“The best dad joke I’ve heard in a while has been floating around today, said right before that incident, you know, Nancy Pelosi, she texted Paul to say, I hope you’re not drinking and driving. And the reply was, No, I’m just staying at home getting hammered,” Wood said.

This is the guy that was just elected by his peers on City Council to serve as vice mayor.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].

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