Liz Palmer says she announced her supervisor candidacy early so she'll have time to walk the entire Samuel Miller district.
And these are the shoes-- Vibram FiveFingers-- in which Palmer intends to walk the district.
photo by lisa provence
Her campaign manager is the former Albemarle supervisor who represented the Samuel Miller district for 16 years, and veterinarian Liz Palmer hopes to reclaim that seat in November from the man who now holds it, Republican Duane Snow.
Surrounded by more than 40 Democrats in front of the Albemarle County Office Building April 11, Palmer announced her candidacy for supervisor in the district that includes Ivy and North Garden. Among the supporters on hand were former Rivanna District candidate/former Albemarle Dems vice-chair Cynthia Neff, and former Sierra Club chair Tom Olivier.
Former supervisor Sally Thomas, who won the Samuel Miller District in 1993 as an independent write-in candidate, introduced Palmer, commended her knowledge of the water and sewer system, and noted that she'd appointed Palmer to the Albemarle County Service Authority.
It was on that board that Palmer took a prominent role as a proponent for the controversial Ragged Mountain mega-dam. In 2011, the Hook reported she wrote in an email leaked to WINA's Rob Schilling that stated the purpose of the project was to increase streamflows and that the dam "benefits rivers but not people." The Mechums River runs behind Palmer's house.
Palmer stressed protection of natural resources, education, and public trust as the cornerstones of her campaign.
"I intend to hike from one end of the Samuel Miller district to another– and it's a really big district– knocking on doors," promised Palmer, who admits she's a big hiker and that she always wears Vibram FiveFingers barefoot sports shoes– which she had on at the press conference.
When asked later if he'd walk the district as well, incumbent Duane Snow laughed, but said only, "We'll see." If he did do that, he expressed some skepticism about wearing Vibram FiveFingers and whether they'd work as well for him.
"I welcome Liz to the race," said Snow. "It's a great opportunity to talk about and show what we've accomplished the past three or four years. It's a good way to get my message out."
His advantage? Said Snow, "I listen to all arguments. I don't go in and go all party line."
It sounded like Palmer had heard that before and was ready for it at her announcement. "It takes more than listening to efficiently prepare for the effects of growth," said Palmer, hearkening back to her campaign manager and former supe Sally Thomas, who was known for sitting on the control-growth side of the board.
Unlike Thomas, retiring supe Dennis Rooker in the Jack Jouett district, and Rooker-anointed successor Diantha McKeel, all of whom ran or will run as independents, Palmer decided to take the party route against Republican Snow. "My values are best aligned with the Democratic Party," she said.