Election Day Nov. 5

By Patrick Healy and Heather Michon

This year, Election Day will fall on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and voters will have plenty of candidates from whom to choose. Here’s some background on the candidates. 

Fluvanna County Treasurer

Ben Hudson

Ben Hudson is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, business owner, and currently works as a math and engineering teacher at Fluvanna County High School. Hudson holds a BS from Tuskeegee University in Alabama and an MS from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in California, both in electrical engineering. After the military, he spent several years in business and later became a teacher. He is also president of the Fluvanna chapter of the NAACP. He and his wife Brenda have three sons and two grandchildren.  

Linda H. Lenherr

Linda Lenherr has served as Treasurer since January 1984 and has run unopposed since at least 1999. A Fluvanna native, Lenherr graduated Fluvanna County High School at Carysbrook and started with the county government in June 1971 as a legal secretary for the commonwealth’s attorney and the county attorney. At a recent candidates’ forum, Lenherr said she began to learn the basics of tax collection as part of her secretarial responsibilities and decided to run for office in 1983. She is a lifelong member of Wesley’s Chapel United Methodist Church, where she serves as a lay leader and on several committees. She and her husband, Richard, have three sons, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.    

Kim Oliver-Hyland

Kim Oliver-Hyland has a background in business, real estate, and insurance. A graduate of George Mason University with a degree in international relations, she spent several years working as a defense contractor and finance manager, managing multimillion-dollar accounts and contracts. She is a relative newcomer to Fluvanna County, purchasing a small horse farm in Cunningham District, near Scottsville, where she raises Chincoteague ponies. She lives there with her husband Brian and a young daughter. 

Other contested races in Fluvanna:

                                       Virginia House of Delegates 58th District 

Delegate Rob Bell (R) has served the district since 2002. Bell, a trial attorney, has crafted a number of bills addressing needs in the criminal justice system, including last session’s HB 1942 which creates standards for the treatment of mentally ill prisoners in the Commonwealth. Bell is proud to have worked with Senator Deeds in getting this legislation passed. Says Bell, “I’m in court every day and I can tell you, the system isn’t perfect, and we can’t do everything. What we can do is fix what’s broken, improve what isn’t working.” Besides issues of criminal law, Bell is passionate about mass incarceration/supportive housing, and their relation to the availability of jobs and housing. He has plans in the works, if elected, to improve school, and school bus safety. Bell relishes the complex minutiae that goes into the crafting of good law, and hopes that his constituents will send him back to Richmond to do just that.    

Elizabeth Alcorn (D) is, and has been, a small business owner in Virginia. She raised her daughters as a single mom, and currently lives with her husband in rural Dyke. This is her first run for public office. Like Elliot Harding, she believes that the incumbent has lost touch with his constituents and would like a chance to show that she can do a better job serving the district. In particular, Alcorn points to the high premiums carried by some medical insurance policies in the 58th (Bell’s) district. “They are the highest in the nation.” says Alcorn. Alcorn’s other departures from Bell’s record include tighter controls on both insurers and pharmaceuticals providers, increasing state funding of education including tuition for so called Dreamers, passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, legalization of marijuana, and promotion of wind and solar power in the Commonwealth. As Alcorn sums it up, “I’ll work for families in the district and not big corporations.”  

Virginia House of Delegates District 65                  

Mike Asip is the Democratic candidate for Virginia House District 65. Asip recently retired after 38 years as an educator with a focus on special education. In over a decade with Chesterfield County Public Schools, he served as assistant director of special education, and later as director for exceptional education. He is a past president of the Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education and is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Richmond. He was appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the Board of Visitors for the Virginia School of the Deaf and Blind. Asip lives in Powhatan with his wife, Leslie.

Lee Ware is the incumbent delegate for Virginia House District 65, which he has held since 1998. A Massachusetts native, Ware came to Virginia in 1981 as editor of the Powhatan Gazette. He later moved into education, teaching history and government at Powhatan High School for 14 years and later as an academic dean at Benedictine College Preparatory School. He served two terms on the Powhatan County Board of Supervisors before winning a special election for delegate in January 1998. His current committee assignments include Agriculture, Rules, Commerce and Labor, Chesapeake and Natural Resources, and Finance and has been appointed to several commissions and advisory councils. He lives in Powhatan with his wife, Kathleen.

Virginia House of Delegates District 22

Mark Peake (R) represents the 22nd district. He won a special election held on Jan. 10, 2017, to succeed Tom Garrett Jr., who had been elected to the United States House of Representatives.

He is 56, born in Greensboro North Carolina and now lives in Lynchburg. He is married to Lila Ann Gober.

He supports abolishing the individual state income tax, supports the right to bear arms, and reducing government regulations.

Dakota Claytor (D) went to Amherst County Public Schools where he participated in both theater and show choir. He is a freelance hair stylist and private music educator. He has also been actively involved in community theater where he can be often be found on stage.

He is in favor of expanding Medicaid and plans to shift focus to job training and trade school to develop a more skilled work force.

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