Six key seats up for grabs in Page County’s fall election

Page News and Courier

LURAY — Carol Gaunt, Page County director of elections/registrar, says she has had candidate packets ready since the beginning of the year for the November election, but only a few packets have gone out and "no one has returned any candidate forms yet."

There are six seats up for grabs in this fall's election, three on the Board of Supervisors and three on the School Board.

Board of Supervisors incumbents facing re-election are Johnny Woodward, chairman at large; Keith Guzy, District 1; and Dorothy Pendley, District 5. School Board members whose terms also expire on Dec. 31 are Dr. Morgan Phenix, chairman at large; Randy Bailey, District 1; and Jackie Sullivan-Smoot, District 5.

With a little less than three months to go before the June 13 filing deadline — and more than seven months before the Nov. 7 election — most of the current officeholders have decided whether they will seek another term.

District 5 Supervisor Dorothy Pendley, however, isn't sure if she'll seek a second term. "I haven't made a definite decision about running yet," Pendley said, adding that "it's just a little early. I still have a lot of people I have to talk to."

Woodward will be seeking a third term as chairman. "I like what I do," he said. "I like my job. I like serving the people of Page County."

District 1's Keith Guzy replied with an enthusiastic "Absolutely!" when asked if he would be running for re-election. "I truly enjoy devoting my time to serving our citizens and Page County. While we have had some success in bringing new business to Page County in the last several years, we still must strive to provide more employment opportunities for our citizens," Guzy said.

"I feel like I have provided a voice of reason regarding budget cutbacks and cost-saving measures, and I feel it is imperative that we strive to find these areas of savings to maintain a reasonable tax rate for our county," Guzy added.

As far as a possible run for a third term as School Board chairman, Morgan Phenix, said, "I have mixed plans. I do not plan to run again, but it depends on who else runs and what their agenda is."

"One term is too long to be chair, and I've served two terms as chair," Phenix said, adding that he would rather see the chairman's position rotate among board members, giving "more room for interplay." Phenix sees the elected chairman's position as "fundamentally unhealthy" because it "doesn't encourage sharing the voice."

Though he thinks that two terms as chairman are more than enough, Phenix said because he loves the county and its "fantastic teachers and administrators," he would certainly consider running as a board member from his district.

Jackie Sullivan-Smoot, District 5's representative on the board and the vice-chair, said she picked up her papers this week and will run for a third term.

Randy Bailey, representing District 1, will not seek re-election. "I made that determination some time ago," he said. "So that seat will be vacant. So far as any future plans for running, I haven't made that decision yet."

Because no one officially has thrown his or her hat into the ring, it may be too soon to speculate how the competition will heat up. "I've seen it go both ways," Gaunt said. While some will pick up candidate packets and bring them back in 10 days, she said, some wait until they're right on deadline.

"Hopefully, we'll get a good turnout" for the election, she said, as it will also be a gubernatorial election. "I look for a peaceful day at this point," Gaunt said.

Those interested in running for the open seats can contact Gaunt's office for more information at 540-743-3986, or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). To get on the ballot, prospective candidates must collect 125 signatures.

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