8 applicants vying for open seat on Charlottesville City Council

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 2:05 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Applications are already rolling in for the open position on Charlottesville City Council. Some of those vying for the spot have experience, while others are hoping to get their start.

Eight candidates have so far applied to replace former Councilor Sena Magill.

“I’ve seen the names, that’s about it,” Mayor Lloyd Snook said Wednesday, January 25.

The mayor says he is waiting until all applications are in before jumping to any conclusions.

“We have not taken a position that, yes, we want somebody who will run in November or no, we don’t want anybody who’s going to run in November. We’ll just see what the candidates, you know, what they look like,” Snook said.

Former Councilor Kristin Szakos is applying to get back on City Council, and says she will not run in November.

“I feel like this is a service I can offer, something that I can do. I am not interested in running for office again,” Szakos said.

She served on City Council from 2010 to 2017.

“I thought, ‘Boy, it’s going to be a really steep learning curve for someone who hasn’t done it before,’ and I just think it’s important. There are big decisions coming up.,” she said.

John Hall is also throwing his name into the ring. He ran for council in 2017, but did not get elected.

The other applicants are:

  • Alex Bryant, executive director of IX Art Park
  • Don Dunham III, CEO of Cavalier Professional Services
  • James Guidry, a clinical manager at UVA Imaging
  • Leah Puryear, who served on the Charlottesville School Board
  • John Santoski, who served on the School Board and Planning Commission
  • Christophe Valtin, who retired after working in the municipal bond industry

“We will probably have some sort of interviews set up with the candidates, but that hasn’t been nailed down yet, either. We really wanted to see what the pool was going to look like,” Snook said.

Applications are due Monday, January 30.

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