Candidates line up for council, board races

Published 8:06 pm Thursday, June 25, 2020

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While three of the four Suffolk City Council races, including the race for mayor, will be contested, just one of the three School Board incumbents up for re-election will have an opponent.

Incumbents in all seven city races are running for re-election, including Mayor Linda T. Johnson. Her opponents will include Councilman Mike Duman, who represents the Chuckatuck Borough, as well as Brian Bass and Vanessa Harris. The council and board seats up for election this year include the Nansemond, Sleepy Hole and Whaleyville boroughs.

Johnson was first elected to council in 2000, representing the Sleepy Hole Borough, and became the city’s first female mayor on July 5, 2006. She became the city’s first directly-elected mayor in 2008, winning a six-way race. Johnson has been re-elected twice, narrowly defeating current Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett in a three-way race in 2012, and was again re-elected in 2016 in a four-way race.

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Duman, who ran unopposed in 2018 for re-election to his council seat, was first elected to council in 2010 after defeating Caroline Martin. His current term ends Dec. 31, 2022, and his run for mayor will mark his first contested race since defeating Martin.

Bass was one of five candidates for mayor in 2016, finishing with 26.1 percent of the vote to Johnson’s 44.7 percent. Harris ran for council in the Whaleyville Borough four years ago, finishing third with 19.8 percent in a four-way race that saw Curtis Milteer win with 35 percent of the vote.

Current Nansemond Borough councilman Lue Ward will face Courtney Wolfe. Ward, first elected to council in 2012, was re-elected in 2016 in a close race against Ben Fitzgerald. Ward also ran for the Commissioner of the Revenue seat in 2017, but lost to Susan Draper.

In the Whaleyville Borough, Curtis Milteer faces a pair of opponents in his bid to retain his council seat — LeOtis Williams and Michael Britt. Williams, owner of LW’s Lawn Service, previously ran for the House of Delegates 77th District seat in 2016.

Milteer defeated three other opponents in 2016 with 35.1 percent of the vote, and ran unopposed in 2012. He was first elected to council in May 1980 and has served as mayor and vice-mayor.

Roger Fawcett, after winning a three-way race in 2012 and then a two-way race in 2016, does not face an opponent this year for the Sleepy Hole Borough spot on council.

In 2016, all three current School Board members up for re-election — Chairwoman Phyllis Byrum of the Whaleyville Borough, Vice Chairwoman Dr. Judith Brooks-Buck of the Nansemond Borough and Sleepy Hole representative David Mitnick — ran unopposed. This year, Byrum and Mitnick remain unopposed, but Brooks-Buck will face Andy Hilton, who owns and runs the Recruit757 website. Brooks-Buck also ran unopposed in 2012.

Winners will serve four-year terms.