Voters meet candidates for the Hanover Board of Supervisors
The candidates in four contested races spoke at a forum a week before Election Day.
The candidates in four contested races for the Hanover County Board of supervisors spoke to voters at Randolph-Macon College at an event hosted by the Hanover Chamber of Commerce on Monday.
During the event candidates were able to differentiate themselves from their opponents as Election Day quickly approaches. As of Nov. 1, around 10,000 residents have voted early with roughly 7,000 in-person ballots cast, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
The last day to vote early in-person is on Saturday, ahead of Tuesday’s general election.
The candidates outlined their platforms, as well their political stance on issues like an elected school board, economic development, housing and the county’s rural culture. There were some people who were not part of this panel: uncontested candidates including incumbent Sean Davis, Henry District; Michael Herzberg, Cold Harbor and Jeff Stoneman, Beaverdam.
VPM News sent a questionnaire to candidates in contested races prior to Monday’s event. Here’s who’s running.
20-year incumbent Democrat Faye Prichard is being challenged by Yael Levin — who has a history of advocating for "parental rights" in education.
Before becoming a supervisor in 2015, Prichard was the former mayor for the town and served 20 years in elected office in Hanover. A 25-year professional who teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, she currently works within the writing program at VCU's Honors College.
During Prichard’s tenure she served on multiple regional committees like the board on the Capital Region Collaborative and PlanRVA. She told constituents on Monday that her record speaks volumes for the county’s agricultural culture and economic development, as shown from her support of the recently adopted comprehensive plan and solar energy ordinance.
“I’m not a career politician; I'm somebody who’s proudly served the community that she’s loved,” Prichard said. “I care deeply and profoundly about this community and I hope you’d take my record into account.”
Her Republican opponent, Levin is a parent in the community who has served an active role as an advocate for education and across the commonwealth. In 2020 and 2021, she served as an executive for the nonprofit No Left Turn in Education and now serves as chief data and legislation officer for Army of Parents.
“One of my biggest priorities as supervisor is going to be putting parents back in control of their children’s education,” Levin told VPM News in response to a questionnaire. “One way we can do that is through appointing or electing school board members who will prioritize the success of students and respect the values of parents.”
As VPM News has previously reported, Virginia parents have had a “fundamental right” to make decisions concerning their children enshrined in state code since 2013. “Parental rights” is a reframing of public education that focuses on objecting to teaching cultural issues and sensitive topics — such as systemic racism, sexual orientation, climate change and gender diversity.
Levin voiced her support again for an appointed school board as well as the county’s need for smart, balanced growth and transparency in governing.
Newcomers Danielle Floyd and Hope Prince are facing off in Chickahominy. They are seeking the seat left vacant by the resignation of Angela Kelly-Wiecek, who served for 12 years on the board before recently accepting a role at a state agency.
Floyd, running as a Republican, is a lifelong resident who grew up in the Chickahominy area. Through her background in real estate and property management, Floyd said she would used her experience as an executive to maintain the community’s strong rural culture.
“My goals are to preserve our strong sense of community. I plan to overcome challenges through communication and collaboration with citizens, business and staff,” Floyd said.
Prince, who is running as an independent, has been engaged with the community as a parent and neighbor. Prince told VPM News she recognized the importance of public service and community involvement through advocacy work in communities like the Totopotomoy Community Association.
Working to maintain walking and bike paths from neighbor to neighbor instilled in her commitment to safeguarding the county's environment and community.
“The preservation of Hanover's cherished rural atmosphere and landscape is a top priority for its residents, and as a supervisor,” Prince told VPM News in response to a questionnaire. “I am fully committed to safeguarding our natural surroundings from potential developments and the adverse effects of environmental threats like climate change.”
If elected, Clara Scott would be the only person of color on the board from South Anna. She is running against incumbent Republican Sue Dibble.
Dibble was elected in 2019 and has prior experience serving on the county’s school board, where she served as chair and vice chair. She was also a member of the Hanover County Social Services Board from 2000-08, where she also served as chair and vice-chair. Dibble was also a member of the Hanover Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
As a business owner, she has experience in design, construction and business management, is a member of the Virginia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She is also a Registered Landscape Architect in the commonwealth.
Hanover’s rural atmosphere and landscape are extremely important to its residents and as supervisor, Dibble told VPM News, “preserving our rural South Anna character is a top priority,” pointing toward denying a large-scale development on Winns Church Road as an example.
“With regard to climate change, preserving our rural lifestyle affords an opportunity to preserve our existing trees and ecosystems and minimizes paved areas,” Dibble told VPM News.
Democrat Scott is a lifelong resident of Hanover's Montpelier area with experience as an educator in public schools and at the college level. As an active volunteer in the community with Habitat for Humanity and the Montpelier Center for the Arts and Education, Scott told voters she hopes to relate the needs of the community’s diverse population and unite the county.
“I want to make a positive change in our community, because there are people in Hanover who have not had a voice,” Scott said. “I want to be that voice.”
In Mechanicsville, Ryan Hudson unseated long-time incumbent Canova Peterson in the Republican primary and now faces independent candidate Joshua Parramore.
Hudson is a realtor and entrepreneur who hopes his knowledge of the private sector will benefit the country’s relationship with potential developers. During his remarks, Hudson told voters he hopes to bring transparency to local government, be approachable and responsive to needs of his constituents, even if they disagree on issues.
“I humbly ask for your vote and I look forward to serving all the citizens in the Mechanicsville district, even those who do not agree with me.” Hudson said.
As a husband to a public school teacher, Parramore told VPM News he’s seen firsthand the results of decisions made by local government.
“These are all problems that have attainable solutions. Problem solving is something that I do very well,” Parramore told VPM News.
With a professional background as a data analyst at a major bank, Parramore revolves around organizing and interpreting data and finding the best solution possible. He hopes to bring the same attitude to public service.