Pierce, Sampson seek re-election to Shenandoah Council

Page News and Courier

SHENANDOAH — The mayor and all but one of Shenandoah's three council members who are up for re-election this May will seek candidacy.
Councilman Russ Comer said last week that he will not serve a new term. The 75-year-old will round out his first four-year term in June.
“My wife has health problems, and I think my time will be better served with her,” said Comer. “At my age, it was time to give it up.”
Last month, Councilman Richard Pierce declared candidacy for the May 1 town election with the county's registrar's office. The 68-year-old began serving on the Shenandoah Council in 2003 when he was appointed to take over a vacant seat. This will be Pierce's third election.
Pierce currently serves as chairman on the Shenandoah Council's taxation and finance committee. He is also on the town's Industrial Development Authority.
“I think it's an obligation of people to be involved in their local government, and I'd like to continue to serve the community,” said Pierce. “Right now, no one on the town council has a personal agenda. We all have the good of the town in our interest.”
“Civic duty” is Pierce's chief focus. Since 2005, he and his wife, Annie, have helped raise more than $86,000 for community projects including furnishing the town's “mini park” on First Street and providing a playground at Shenandoah Elementary. Through the Christ United Methodist Church Auction Committee, he is currently working to build a Veterans Park on Virginia Avenue that will be donated to the town. Pierce also volunteers for the non-profit organization “Food for Friends,” delivering meals each week to shut-ins.
Councilman Keith Sampson will also seek re-election this spring, and has declared candidacy with the county's registrar's office. Sampson was first appointed to the Shenandoah Council in 2006 to take over a seat vacated by Rita Rudolph.
As a former town employee, Sampson says he “knows what employees need and the issues they see every day.” The Shenandoah native is certified in Water and Wastewater and serves on the council's water and sewer committee, as well as the streets and public property committee.
Sampson dedicates much of time toward parks and recreation projects. During his current term on the Shenandoah Council, he's helped build bike and walking trails and clean the pond at Big Gem Park.
“I am running again because I feel that I can and have done a good job in doing what is best for all of the citizens of the town,” said Sampson. “I want to see Shenandoah flourish.”
Mayor Clinton Lucas has already filed his declaration of candidacy for what, if elected, will be his 12th two-year term. Lucas is thought to be the town's longest-serving mayor. This June will complete his 22nd year in the position.
Last year, to honor his service, a trail was named for Lucas at Shenandoah's Big Gem Park.
“I have been here so long now that it almost feels like a responsibility to stay and continue to do what I can for the town,” said Mayor Lucas. “That experience has allowed me the opportunity to get better. I think that [Shenandoah] is a nice small town to live in, and I'm real proud of it.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, none of the candidates seeking re-election are facing opposition.
Those wishing to declare candidacy for the May 1 Shenandoah election must have their papers filed with the Page County Registrar's Office by 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6. Shenandoah candidates do not have to file petitions because of the town's smaller population.
The last day to register to vote in the Shenandoah election is Monday, April 9. Applications for absentee ballots by mail must be submitted by Tuesday, April 24. To vote by absentee ballot in person, applications must be submitted by Monday, April 28.
“Please come out and vote and show your support for or against,” said councilman Sampson. “It's not just a town we live in, it's a town we all help to build.”

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