Spiggle to challenge Bailey in Shenandoah County’s District 4

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

WOODSTOCK — An emergency medical technician from Woodstock will challenge a first-time Shenandoah County supervisor for her seat on Nov. 7.

Thomas Spiggle III, 38, announced his candidacy for the Fourth District seat held by Cindy Bailey on March 2. He has worked for the Woodstock Rescue Squad for five years and volunteers with the town’s fire department.

The Fourth District includes Woodstock and the surrounding area. Bailey, an independent, beat Republican Steven Shaffer and Democrat Emily Scott to win the seat in 2013. Bailey’s predecessor, Sharon Baroncelli, did not run for re-election that year.

Bailey, 49, said she will decide whether to run for a second term after the county’s fiscal 2018 budget is approved in April.

Spiggle, who has not previously run for public office, will run as an independent. He said he is running because the current board has done an inadequate job of funding the needs of education, law enforcement and fire and rescue, which he called the county’s three most important aspects.

“We have aging infrastructure in the form of school buses and textbooks,” he said. “We have a big need for special education teachers. We have part-time counselors in schools who leave for full-time jobs because we can’t fund them [full-time].”

Spiggle voiced his frustration over the lack of funding for more paid firefighters and EMTs at the Orkney Springs and Conicville fire departments. He referenced a house fire northeast of Basye on Feb. 14 that killed the home’s owner as an example of the need for more personnel at those stations.

“This is a county issue, not just a rural issue,” he said.

Supervisors provided funding for two firefighters for Conicville in January, but will decide whether to make that funding permanent during the budget cycle.

Spiggle also said law enforcement should have more personnel, particularly in the sheriff’s office’s narcotics investigation unit.

“We have a huge drug problem in this area,” he said. “We need at least one more investigator.”

Spiggle said the county needs “someone who cares about the people, not a board that has its own agenda.”

He is the second challenger to announce a run for office this year. Karen Kwiatkowski announced in January that she will challenge District 1 Supervisor Dick Neese for the Republican Party nomination.

Kwiatkowski, 56, lost the Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District nomination against Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, in 2012.

The Fifth District’s seat, held by independent Marsha Shruntz, is also up for grabs this year. Shruntz, 69, said she will wait until after the fiscal 2018 tax rate is set to decide whether to run for a second term.

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