Former school board member Ned Gallaway has formally announced his bid for the Democratic nomination for the Rio District seat on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors.
Gallaway is running for the seat currently held by Brad Sheffield, a Democrat who has opted not to seek a second term.
“Four years ago we got to know and meet Brad and it was clear that he was going to do the work to win the election,” Gallaway said at his campaign launch March 8. “And then he kept the sleeves rolled up and served on the Board of Supervisors in a way we can all be proud of.”
Gallaway, 42, is general sales manager at Mercedes Benz of Charlottesville. He earned a bachelor’s of fine arts from Ohio University and a Ph.D. from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.
Elections are also being held in two other magisterial districts in the county.
Supervisor Liz Palmer has not made a formal announcement she will seek re-election in the Samuel Miller District, but has filed paperwork with the Virginia State Board of Elections.
John Lowry, who ran for the seat as an independent in 2009, is seeking the Republican nomination this year.
The incumbent in the Jack Jouett District, Diantha McKeel, has announced she will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat. No Republicans or independent have yet emerged for that seat.
The Albemarle County Democratic Committee will hold a caucus if necessary to nominate candidates, according to party vice chair Stephen Davis.
The Albemarle County Republican Committee will hold a mass meeting to nominate candidates May 16 at 6 p.m. at the county office building.
Independent candidates for supervisor and school board must complete the filing requirements by June 13.
No Republican candidate has yet emerged in the Rio District, which has not had an open seat since 2005.
In that year, Democrat David Slutzky defeated Republican Gary Grant and independent Tom Jakubowski. Prior to that, the seat had been held by Republican David Bowerman since 1989.
Gallaway was elected as the at-large member of the Albemarle school board in 2011 when he defeated Cindi Burkett and Joseph Oddo. He ran for the state Senate in 2015 against Republican Bryce Reeves and was defeated by a 2 to 1 margin.
Gallaway thanked his wife Julie for agreeing to support another run for office.
“She has had to endure prior campaigns and I do mean endure, and this time when we were making the decision about my running for this race, she did not hesitate and for that I am grateful,” Gallaway said.
At his announcement, Gallaway was joined by Sheffield as well as supervisors Diantha McKeel and Liz Palmer. Kate Acuff, the current school board chairwoman, was also on hand.
“When people that you’ve served with or you’ve worked with in the past come out to show their support, that is something I am very proud of,” Gallaway said. “I am looking forward to winning this campaign so I can get back to work with them improving things in Albemarle County.”
Gallaway said his two years as the chairman of the school board has given him additional experience working both on budget issues and building relationships with the Board of Supervisors. But he said the best thing was having a close-up view of watching students graduate from the county’s public high schools.
“I look forward again earning entry to that stage as supervisor to witness students receive their high-school diplomas,” Gallaway said. “That’s perhaps the most important outcome a local government produces. It’s the marking of a 13 year investment in a child who will go out in the world to find their way.”
Gallaway said his campaign will focus on public education, public safety and “smart, sustainable” economic development.
“Our local economic engine is fueled by the creativity and hard work of those who call Albemarle home,” Gallaway said. “Whether it’s the University of Virginia, the growing agritourism, the growing tech industry or the small mom and pop businesses throughout our county, we can only sustain the quality of life we have all come to enjoy and move Albemarle forward if our businesses continue to find opportunities to invest and grow here.”