Community Activist Launches Campaign for City Council Seat
Two community activists are launching their campaigns for Charlottesville City Council.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One campaign for a spot on Charlottesville City Council is now underway, but another is getting put on hold.
Community activists Michael Payne and Don Gathers both want to be among the next set of city leaders under their campaign slogan of "community driven, community focused."
But on Tuesday, January 8, Gathers announced that a medical problem has re-emerged and he will be delaying his campaign plans.
Organizers of Tuesday's launch party had to delay things a bit. Gathers learned within the past few hours that he has residual issues from an October heart attack and his doctor is recommending a delay to his council run.
Gathers says that doesn't mean he won't run in 2019, but he says his health is his top priority.
"It is with much regret and many disappointments that due to some prolonged health issues that have resurfaced I have to delay the start of my campaign," Gathers said.
He adds that he's throwing his full support behind Payne, who has worked on affordable housing issues statewide and is the co-founder of Indivisible Charlottesville.
“I think the level of challenges we face as a city are really huge, and I do think we need to be able to start thinking bigger and start thinking about how we can unify and come together as a community," Payne said.
Tuesday's launch party was sponsored by Progressives for Cville, which is a new political action committee.
The Democratic primary is set for June 11.
As for the three current councilors who are eligible for re-election this year, Wes Bellamy says he's still undecided about a council run, Kathy Galvin says she's been wrapped up in council work and has no comment, and Mike Signer has not replied to a request for comment.