Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS®

Public Policy Report


 SPRING 2018





The Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS® (VPAR) has made the following endorsements in the upcoming Hampton and Newport News City Council and Mayoral election that will be held on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.


Receiving the endorsement of the Association are the following candidates:



James Gray

Teresa Vanasse Schmidt

Eleanor Brown

Steve Brown



Dr. McKinley Price



Sharon Scott, North District

David Jenkins, Central District

Dr. Saundra Cherry, South District

John Eley, South District


The endorsements were based on in-depth written surveys submitted by the candidates. The surveys covered a broad range of issues relevant to the housing and real estate industries, the business community in general and the quality of life in both Hampton and Newport News and here on the Peninsula. Specific topics included providing for increased housing opportunities and relevant pro-housing policies that will produce housing options at a variety of prices, protecting our communities from rising seas and subsiding lands, improving access to quality education — a major driver in housing choice, strengthening our economic base, protecting our military and federal installations, redevelopment and reuse of vacant properties, and rental inspection programs.


In addition to the written questionnaires, candidates participated in 30-minute individual, personal interviews conducted by VPAR’s Public Policy Committee, a highly respected Association Committee that is comprised of well-informed and well-connected REALTOR® professionals who are engaged at all levels of government. The vast majority of candidates in both cities participated in the interview process.


“It is the Association’s distinct pleasure to endorse these capable, hard-working and supportive candidates for local office,” said Carl Burt, President of the Association.  “VPAR has very strong relationships with all of our elected officials, and that relationship begins at the time when a candidate first appears before the Committee. Our outreach and advocacy efforts with them lead to more informed decisions being made at the City Council level. We provide a resource in the form of data and policy information that no other organization can generate, and that leads to good public policy outcomes for all of us as residents.”


“The Public Policy Committee takes the matter of interviewing and endorsing candidates very seriously,” stated Committee Chairwoman Lori Carlson. “Every Committee member, every VPAR member, has a vested interest in the outcome of these important election endorsements, both as REALTORS® who sell the region, and as members of the community who live here. They know the issues. They know the people. They know the Cities. They know that endorsing candidates is perhaps the single most important task that they undertake as a Committee.”


Burt added, “This is the strongest slate of candidates in both Hampton and Newport News that we have seen in many, many years. We applaud all of the candidates who are running for Mayor and for Council. Their willingness to step up to the plate and serve the public is to be commended.”


“We were very impressed with the talent, qualifications and ideas brought forward by newcomers to the election process, especially by a number of young, millennial candidates. They are very creative and are so dedicated to our communities. With these young candidates immersing themselves into the election process, it is reassuring to know that our future is in good hands.”


“It is a rare occasion, and this may be the first time ever, that VPAR has endorsed more than one candidate in a district, or has endorsed more candidates than there are available seats. But this is a strong field of both incumbents and challengers, and we are excited about the prospect of working with everyone, both those who serve now, those who want to serve and those who at some point may be elected. We hope to work with them to increase their understanding of housing and real estate issues, business issues and economic development issues both now and into the future.


“The Peninsula is going to be well-positioned moving into the next generation of leaders. We all should be proud of the many men and women who are willing to take on their roles as elected officials and decision makers.”


Endorsements include campaign contributions from the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) of Virginia. Funding and endorsement decisions are based on support of the housing and real estate industries only; political party affiliation is not considered.