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Challengers vie for mayor, town council seats / March 11, 2020
Voters will have an abundance of choices in the May 5 election to choose mayors and town council members in Mecklenburg County.

A full slate of candidates has qualified for council openings and mayor’s races in all five towns in Mecklenburg — Boydton, Chase City, Clarksville, La Crosse and South Hill. The filing deadline for local candidates was March 3.

Competition for elective office is robust in the towns of South Hill and Chase City, where sleepy races are a thing of the past — at least so far as 2020 is concerned.

For the first time in 25 years, South Hill voters in Ward 3 will have a choice of candidates with five people running for three seats. The contenders are incumbent Council members Lisa Vaughan Jordan and Glenn C. Allen and three challengers — H. Shep Moss, Gavin L. Honeycutt and Joseph E. Taylor Jr.

Moss is owner of Memory Makers in South Hill. Honeycutt, who owns Gavin’s House of Flowers, is also the current chairman of the Mecklenburg County School Board. Joseph Taylor, a local attorney, serves as vice chairman of the Mecklenburg County Planning Commission.

Should he win a seat on Town Council, Honeycutt would not be required to step down from the School Board. A standing opinion by the Virginia Attorney General’s office allows school board members to serve concurrently in other elective positions.

Millie Bracey, the third incumbent member in Ward 3, has decided to step down at the end of her term after having served on Council for 28 years. Bracey had announced her retirement in 2016, but when no one came forward to fill her spot she agreed to seek an additional term.

South Hill Mayor Dean Marion has also drawn opposition in the May 5 election from Planning Commission Chairman Stuart Taylor. Marion was first elected in 2016 after garnering more than 92 percent of the vote against opponent Edward Brown.

Late last year, Marion drew the ire of Council member Ben Taylor, who asked to have him censured for meeting and discussing personnel issues with town employees. The motion to censure the mayor failed on a 5-3 vote, with only Taylor, Bracey and Allen supporting it.

A majority of Council consisting of Leroy Sasser, Lisa Jordan, Delores Luster, Mike Moody and Lillie Feggins-Boone quashed the censure attempt.

Delores B. Luster rounds out the slate of candidates in South Hill. She is running unopposed in Ward 1.

Five candidates are also seeking election to three Council seats in Chase City. Joining incumbents Marshall E. “Tommy” Whitaker and Charles H. Willis are challengers Henry B. Davis, E. Michelle Wilson, and Pauline Blackwell Keeton.

Vice Mayor and former Chamber president Lisa Gillispie will not be running for re-election.

Mayor Eddie Bratton also faces competition from local businessman and first-time candidate Alden D. Fahringer.

While candidates have filed for Council and mayoral openings in Boydton, Clarksville and La Crosse, they will be running unopposed on the ballot. Candidates are:

» In Boydton, Johnny M. Kirkland is seeking a second term as Mayor. Town Council members William R. “Bill” Thompson, David Miller Crowder, and T. G. “Tinker” Gill are also up for re-election.

» Clarksville has three incumbents on the May 5 ballot, Mayor Kevin S. Allgood and Council members Bruce F. Woerner, and Edward M. “Mike” Sizemore. A third Council candidate, Tammy Brankley Mulchi, is seeking office for the first time.

There are three seats open on Clarksville Council. Current member Loretta Harris chose not to run for a full term after she was tapped to replace Kristy Somerville-Midgette, who departed after accepting the position of superintendent of schools in Brunswick County.

» In La Crosse, Mayor William H. “Billy” Gill is running for his first full term in that position. Earlier this year he agreed to step in as mayor to replace Tom Tanner, who left after being elected to the Board of Supervisors in November.

Running for La Crosse Town Council are three incumbents: Michael T. Clark, Joseph L. “Joe” Young, and David O. Williams.

Joseph E. Curtis is running in a special election, also set for May 5, to replace Gill on Council.

The Town of Brodnax, which is in incorporated in Brunswick County but spills over into Mecklenburg, will hold its municipal elections in November.

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