Chavern Says He

The election is not until next May, and this November’s state legislative elections are looming, but things are heating up already in anticipation of a contentious Falls Church City Council race.

With a letter in this edition of the News-Press, one-term Councilman David Chavern announces he’ll not seek reelection next May, opening up one of the three seats that will be on the ballot. While it is considered likely that Vice Mayor Lindy Hockenberry will seek a third term, it is not clear that Mayor Robin Gardner will.

So, with guaranteed open seats to be contested, it is not likely this campaign will be as mild and uncontroversial as in the spring of 2006 when, for the first time in 20 years, all Council seats were uncontested.

One Falls Church resident has already announced he will run. Lawrence Webb, a two-year resident of the City and member of the Falls Church City Democratic Committee, visited the office of the News-Press to announce he’ll be running. He currently works in the admissions office at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg and this will be his first attempt at seeking elected public office.

The News-Press has also learned that former Planning Commissioner Peter Holran, a Republican, has been in contact with leading members of the Citizens for a Better City (CBC), the organization that has traditionally vetted Council candidates in Falls Church, about a possible run.

The name of yet another prominent citizen is also on the local rumor circuit as a prospective candidate, but the News-Press was not able to question the person directly before press time this week.

A new wrinkle in next spring’s campaigns will be the role of the city’s Democratic Committee, which decided in a split vote in 2006 that it will endorse City Council candidates for the first time.

With the City’s voting patterns over years being about two-to-one pro-Democratic, the committee’s endorsements could carry considerable weight. The non-partisan CBC was strongly opposed to the Democratic Committee’s move last year and it remains to be seen if it will try to condition its endorsements by prohibiting the pursuit of endorsements by any other groups.

The CBC’s annual dinner is slated for mid-November and its so-called “nominating convention” is traditionally held in late February.