The joy of participatory democracy maybe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In Tuesday’s local elections in Clifton, in southern Fairfax County, and Haymarket in northwestern Prince William County, there are more town council seats open than there are candidates on the ballot.
Now this sounded like it had the potential for some serious fun. Five people could get together and all cast write-in votes for the town drunk, or the lady with 200 cats, or the heavy-metal Goth guy, and you have at least two years of hilarious town council meetings. “I have a resolution here that the bars stay open 24 hours . . . Let’s declare Fridays ‘Black Fingernails Day.’”
But unfortunately it sounds like competent, reasonable candidates may still win those vacant seats. In Clifton, all five incumbents intended to run for reelection, but one, Deborah Dillard, inadvertently missed the filing deadline. She is running a write-in campaign, Mayor Bill Hollaway said, adding that the lack of any challengers was a sign that residents in the town of 282 seemed satisfied with the current lineup.
In Haymarket, another incumbent who originally chose not to run, Mary Lou Scarbrough, reconsidered after hearing from supporters, Keith Walker reported on InsideNova.com. A husband and wife, Chad and Brenda Dinan, are also now running separately, which should make for some interesting pillow talk (“NO, I’m not endorsing you, roll over.”) Three other folks also jumped in when they heard about the uncontested seat. It’s contested now.
“This’ll be interesting,” said Haymarket Town Clerk Jennifer Preli, who said about 800 of the town’s 1,700 residents are registered to vote. ”Anyone can win, so long as it’s not Mickey Mouse.” Residency problem, I’m guessing.
The Onion News Network reported recently on another unconventional candidate’s successful campaign: