Guest Post by City Girl

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MANASSAS CITY ELECTIONS: The circus comes to town

Mark your calenders folks, the City of Manassas is having elections on May 1. The ballot will be crowded because there are a total of 12 names on it plus a space for a write-in candidate. There are seven candidates for School Board plus five for City Council with one write-in candidacy that is growing in strength by the day. First the School Board candidates:

Art Bushnell (incumbent)
Scott Albrecht (incumbent)
Kermit Dance (incumbent)
R.J. “Jack” McGee (incumbent)
Ellen Purdy
Ilka Chavez
Charles Sutherland

Manassas schools have been in decline for the past few years with low test scores and graduation rates. The current Board members could be blamed for this problem, however, the departure of Superintendent Dr. Gail Pope and perhaps some of her senior staff may be what is needed to turn the tide.

City Council Candidates

Ian Lovejoy (R) convention nominee
John Way (R) convention nominee
Mark Wolfe (R) convention nominee
Jerry Carmen (I)
Patricia Richie-Folks (D)
Sheryl Bass (write-in campaign)

A quick bio of the candidates:

Lovejoy: A two year resident of Manassas. 30 years old with no previous elected experience. Mr. Lovejoy won the nomination thanks to “bullet voting” by members of the Rep. Committee under the guidence of Jackson Miller and Marc Aveni. The plan was for Ian to be the only winner on the first ballot and then he was to endorse Way and Bass who would then be nominated and knock Wolfe off the ballot. Unfortunately, too many people showed up and voted for Wolfe and he made it through and knocked Bass off. Mr. Lovejoy, on his web-site, lists a number of endorsements including Miller, Corey Stewart and Mike May. However, he failed to mention that he has been endorsed by Greg Letiecq and the Manassas Tea Party. From BVBL (Jan 2012) “I know Ian and I’m thrilled he’s decided to take this on”… Also from BVBL (Jan 2012) ” with the backing of Jackson Miller, conservative stalwart Mark Aveni, and the unabashed support of the Tea Party, Lovejoy cruised to a huge victory”… Mr. Lovejoy’s seconding speech at the convention was delivered by Dan Arnold who identified himself as the VP of Help Save Manassas and President of the Manassas Tea Party. These endorsements were not mentioned on Lovejoy’s web-site. Perhaps an honest mistake?

Way: Tea Party supporter. Also a supporter of the Arts in Manassas and has a long history of community service. Mr. Way is a long time resident and served on the Planning Commission before joining the Council.

Wolfe: Chairs the Education Foreward committee as well as being part of the Manassas Next project. Ex. Dir. of the Manassas Ballet which has been used by conservatives to try to “take him out” at the convention. Perhaps the most moderate of all candidates, he believes in investing in economic development of the City and is a strong advocate for better schools.

Jerry Carmen: The mystery man. His flyers show up on windshields at events around town, he makes comments on Manassas Patch articles and on local blogs. However, he doesn’t seem to want to make himself available to his potential constituents for face to face interaction. On Apr. 11 the Old Town Business Association held a Candidates forum, Mr Carmen declined to attend. On April 17 the Metz PTA is holding another candidates forum. Mr. Carmen was sent an invitation to attend but he declined. On his web-site, Mr. Carmen states that one of his strong “interpersonal skills is listening”. Just who is he listening to? He is in favor of abolishing the “shared revenue” agreement with the City and reportedly is in favor of a vouchers system, not only for kids going to private scools but for “home schooled” kids. He identifies himself as a home schooling parent so he apparently doesn’t mind voting to put taxpayers money in his pocket. I wonder where he stands on Mark Wolfe’s ballet getting funding from the City?

Patricia Richie-Folks The first Democrat to run for council in a number of years. She stresses economic development and strong schools.

Sheryl Bass (write-in) Mrs. Bass was the victim of the “bullet voting” scam by the Manassas Rep. Committee at the convention. Many who were sold a bill of goods about Lovejoy winning on the first ballot were extremely upset by Mrs. Bass’s defeat and have launched a strong write-in campaign. These would include wives of many of the Committee members. Pink signs are popping up all over town and this election has no clear cut favorites are obvious winner. Many of the Committee members plan to bullet vote for Lovejoy and Carmen but those Bass supporters who feel betrayed are abandoning Lovejoy and his support appears to be eroding.

There it is folks, the circus has come to town. Do your research, ask questions and don’t be fooled by catchy slogans or party talking points. Get out and vote and let your voice be heard.


7 Thoughts to “Manassas City Elections: The Circus Comes to Town”

  1. IVAN

    Judging from the number of pink Bass signs I’ve seen the last few days, there are alot of “ticked off women in town. It would appear that the Rep. brand of democracy is not ploaying well in Manassas right now.

  2. Are most of the supporters of Mrs. Bass women, in your opinion?

    There do seem to be a disproportionate amount of men on both the city council and the bocs.

    I suppose some women will be on a collision course with their party. People have a right to support who they want but the R party has every right to challenge their credentials as far as being party members.

  3. RV

    Apparently, at the convention, one Wolfe supporter had her credentials challenged by some committee members because she didn’t sign the “pledge:. The Monday after the convention those same committee members were seen putting Carmen signs in their yards. Manassas Rep Comittee=hypocracy. They set the rules but when the results don’t suit them they throw the rules out the window. This seems to be the driving force behind the Bass write-in movement. That and the fact that many women were told to vote for Lovejoy only and Bass would win on the second ballot. There was no second ballot, Bass got knocked off, and now this movement has taken on a life of it’s own.

    Additionally, I’ve spoken to an African American lady who is a member of the “black: church on Center St. She tells me that over 1000 of the members there have pledged to vote for Kermit Dance for school board and Richie-Folks for Council. Of course a pledge is not a vote but if they do show up and vote there could be a big upset.

  4. AndyH

    Moon: I think many of her supporters are women but I don’t think all of ’em are. They were selling T-shirts in old town on Saturday and there were 2 men and 2 women.

    As for the party, you’re right. When you start a movement like this you’re pretty much guaranteed to be (rightfully) challenged….however, the party also needs to be careful as there is some tipping point…..

  5. I can’t remember a time people have been this interested in the election.

  6. Censored bybvbl


    I agree. This election cycle is full of intrigue and the results may be very different from those envisioned by the plotters.

  7. IVAN

    If yard signs equal votes, then Bass is looking pretty good.

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