May 17, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hampton, Virginia — The Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS® (VPAR) announces today the following endorsements in the upcoming Hampton and Newport News City Council and Mayoral election that will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
Receiving the endorsement of the Association are the following candidates:
HAMPTON CITY COUNCIL
Lance “Woo” Jones
NEWPORT NEWS CITY COUNCIL
Marcellus Harris, North District
Pat Woodbury, Central District
Tina Vick, 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, attracting and retaining young professionals, improving access to quality education — a major driver in housing choice – strengthening our economic base, protecting our military and federal installations, transit and transportation, redevelopment and reuse of vacant properties, and rental inspection programs.
During these unprecedented and challenging times amidst a global pandemic, for the safety of the candidates and the Committee members, and in compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines ordered by Governor Northam, the customary in-person interviews did not take place this year. In one situation, the Committee did conduct separate candidate interviews with two candidates via Zoom.
Also, as a result of the current health crisis, inquiries were posed to the candidates on the questionnaire relevant to leadership, the novel COVID-19 virus, and building unity in our communities during these challenging days.
The vast majority of candidates submitted detailed, well-thought and well-written responses to the written questionnaire.
“It is the Association’s distinct pleasure to endorse these capable, hard-working and supportive candidates for local office,” said Lindsay Pennington Jackson, 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 connects to the Committee. This election cycle, that connection happened on paper or via Zoom rather than in person. The candidates and the Public Policy Committee rose to the occasion, and handled the process thoroughly and professionally. While we missed our usual two days of intense, in-person interviews that build great rapport with the candidates, VPAR certainly looks forward to having that opportunity at the time that it is safe to meet with these strong leaders. In the meantime, the Association will continue to be the trusted resource for 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 endorsing candidates very seriously,” stated Committee Chairman Bobby Jankovic. “Every Committee 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.”
Pennington Jackson added, “This again is a very impressive slate of candidates in both Hampton and Newport News. 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 during this unique election process, especially by a number of new candidates. They all are very creative and are so dedicated to our communities. With these candidates immersing themselves into the election process, it is reassuring to know that our future is in good hands.”
“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,” stated Jankovic.
“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.
The Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORSÒ, Inc. (VPAR) is a professional trade association representing the real estate profession and housing industry in the Cities of Hampton, Newport News and Poquoson as well as the Counties of Isle of Wight and York. The Association is one of many local REALTORÒ associations throughout the country affiliated with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÒ, one of the nation’s largest professional associations and the cornerstone of one of the strongest Political Action Committees in the United States.
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James M. Wetzel, CEO (757) 599-5222
Susan S. Gaston, Legislative Consultant (757) 871-1445