Category: Harrisonburg Politics
Hburg council candidates reveal differences over priorities, ‘unpopular’ decisions and even scooters
As the five city council candidates wrapped up a wide-ranging forum Tuesday that veered from scooters and golf courses to schools and I-81, they had to answer one last doozy: What’s an unpopular decision that must be made for Harrisonburg?
The divergent answers to the final question revealed the competing philosophies and approaches of the five, who are vying in the Nov. 6 election for two spots on the council.
The five city council candidates tried Wednesday evening to appeal to bloc of potential voters that often eludes them—especially in midterm election years. But even the students who showed up to the Traveling Town Hall stop at JMU’s Grace Street Apartments weren’t exactly sure, at least at first, how the city council affects them.
Phillip Wong, a junior psychology major, was one of the few students to ask any questions of the council candidates: Democrats Chris Jones and Sal Romero Jr. and independents Carolyn Frank, Frank McMillan and Paloma Saucedo. The five are vying for two spots on the council.
Facing more than 40 JMU students in Eagle Hall’s common room Wednesday evening, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart offered a brief pitch, then opened it up for students to throw it right back at him.
“No softballs,” he said.
Kelly Ryan, a freshman political science major, obliged. She asked Stewart about his call for blocking federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
Saturday’s city council immigrant forum revealed a philosophical gap between the five candidates – not necessarily over political ideology – but more broadly in how they view the relationship between government and citizens. The candidates, who are vying for two seats in the Nov. 6 election, also differed over the council’s ability to actually affect certain issues, including access to health care and federal immigration policy.
In traveling town hall, candidates seek to appeal to JMU students – an untapped well of mid-term voters
Instead of only hoping JMU students show up to vote in the Nov. 6 Election, many of the candidates in the biggest races affecting Harrisonburg will bring their campaigns to JMU students on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Candidates or representatives from Virginia’s U.S. Senate race, the open 6th Congressional District contest and those running for the two spots on Harrisonburg city council will embark on an old fashion barnstorming tour by bus – bus-storming? – to three JMU residence hall areas. It’s being billed as a Traveling Town Hall complete with free pizza and the candidates’ best talking points. Each candidate will have between five and seven minutes to address the audience of first-time or relatively new voters.
By Jeremiah Knupp, contributor With the upcoming midterm elections dominating the national news cycle, voter registration numbers around the country are soaring. Over 800,000 people signed up on National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25, according to Nonprofit VOTE, who sponsored the event. State election officials have said that registrations are up this year over …
This November, Harrisonburg voters will choose two candidates for city council out of a field of five: two Democrats, three independents but, for the second straight election, no Republican. A Republican last ran for city council seat in 2014.
Still, two of the independent candidates – Frank McMillan and Carolyn Frank – have embraced certain conservative philosophies, such as wanting to reduce the tax burden. A third independent, Paloma Saucedo, is running on a progressive platform.
That has the Democratic candidates – Chris Jones and Sal Romero – facing independent opposition from both ends of the political spectrum.