Slutzky ousted; Machine coasts to victory in City
Democratic machine candidates Dave Norris and Kristin Szakos held off a challenge by independent Bob Fenwick to retain an all-Democratic Charlottesville City Council, according to data from State Elections Board. But in the more politically diverse Albemarle County, the data show that a political newcomer has upset the establishment by ousting Democratic incumbent David Slutzky.
Slutzky, who raised the most money, who aligned himself with the controversial Nature Conservancy plan to create a single mega-reservoir, and who has been serving as the Chairman of the Board, joins fellow Democrat Madison Cummings, the protege of retiring reservoir-backing Supervisor Sally Thomas, in going down to defeat.
The man who beat Slutzky, Republican Rodney Thomas, was the only party candidate who refused to sign a reservoir-backing pledge foisted on the candidates by Conservancy plan backers Liz Palmer and Don Wagner. The man who defeated Cummings is Republican Duane Snow.
Fenwick, who ran on a platform of "saving" McIntire Park from the YMCA and the Meadowcreek Parkway as well as his support of dredging the existing reservoir, nearly tripled the tally of the other independent on the Council ballot. Yet his 3,280 votes fell short of the 5,074 garnered by Szakos and the 6,292 for Norris.
"I can't remember the last time an independent set the agenda in a Council race like I did," said Fenwick as the final precincts were reporting. "We raised some important issues, and it's been a privilege to speak to the community."