City Council candidates gear up for elections

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, September 30, 2010

EDITOR’S NOTE: Just a month and a day from now, Suffolk will decide the fate of eight different races featuring 17 different candidates. During the next four weeks, the Suffolk News-Herald will examine the races and present the candidates who are vying for election. Today’s edition features an overview of the City Council race. A similar overview of the School Board race will appear in Saturday’s edition, and the first of four weekly borough-focused features will appear on Sunday.

Eight candidates are vying for four seats on City Council this year.

Voters in the Chuckatuck, Cypress, Holy Neck and Suffolk boroughs will find two choices on their ballots for their council seat. The election will be held Nov. 2.

In the Chuckatuck borough, Mike Duman and M. Caroline Martin are running for the seat vacated by Councilman Joe Barlow, who is retiring from the council.

Duman is a local car dealership owner and has served on the city’s Economic Development Authority since summer 2009. He is on the boards of the Suffolk Humane Society and American Red Cross, and is a member of the Suffolk Ruritan Club.

Martin is a former administrator at Obici Hospital, and retired as the chief operating officer of Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News. She serves on the boards of the Western Tidewater Free Clinic, Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community and Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Cypress voters will find incumbent Charles Brown and challenger Bill Newsome on their ballots.

Brown has been on council for 16 years and teaches at Northrop Grumman’s Apprentice School. He is a deacon in his church and life member of the NAACP and local PTA.

Newsome retired from Norfolk Public Schools after more than 30 years in education. He has made frequent appearances before City Council in recent months to talk about issues plaguing downtown.

Voters in Holy Neck have a choice between incumbent Jeffrey Gardy and challenger Jennings “J.B.” Varney.

Gardy has been on council for four years. He’s a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College and the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. He practices law with the firm of Johnson, Gardy and Teumer.

Varney is a graduate of Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech and retired from teaching in Suffolk Public Schools. He formerly served in the National Security Agency and was a member of the Board of Supervisors in Botetourt County from 1984-1987.

Candidates in the Suffolk borough include Alvin E. Copeland and incumbent Charles Parr Sr.

Copeland is a retired naval inspector and former planning commissioner.

Parr, the owner of Parr Funeral Home, has been on council for four years. He is the city’s liaison to the Economic Development Authority and the Western Tidewater Regional Jail Authority.

See Saturday’s paper for information on this year’s School Board candidates.