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Mayor of Virginia Beach

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mayor of Virginia Beach
Seal of Virginia Beach, Virginia.png
Seal of Virginia Beach
Incumbent
Bobby Dyer

since November 20, 2018
SeatVirginia Beach Municipal Center
Term length
  • Two years (1906-1988)
  • Four years (1988-present)
FormationMarch 19, 1906
First holderB.P. Holland
Websitewww.vbgov.com/government/departments/city-clerk/mayor/

The mayor of Virginia Beach is the head of the municipal government in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which has a council-manager system of government. The mayor presides over city council meetings and serves as the ceremonial head and spokesperson of the city. The mayor is elected to a four-year term through direct election and the office has no term limits. These elections are nonpartisan, as are all municipal elections in Virginia Beach. Prior to 1988, the mayor was appointed from among city council members elected to represent the city's various boroughs. The mayor's office is located within the City Clerk's office in the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

The current mayor is Bobby Dyer. The longest serving mayor of Virginia Beach was Meyera Oberndorf who served for over 20 years from 1988 to 2008. Dyer was elected in a special election in 2018 to fill the remainder of Will Sessoms's term following his resignation.[1][2] Dyer is currently running for re-election in 2020 against former Virginia Secretary of Finance Jody Wagner.[3][4]

Electoral history

1988 general election

Starting with the fall 1988 election, the city's mayor was chosen chosen directly by voters. Previously, the mayor was appointed from among city council members elected to represent the city's various boroughs. In that election, Meyera Oberndorf became the city's first female mayor and first to be directly elected.[5]

Sessoms' 2014-15 conflict of interest case

On November 8, 2014, The Virginian-Pilot published an investigative article wherein it examined how Mayor Will Sessoms had voted dozens of times with the City Council on matters directly benefiting developers who borrowed at least $140 million from TowneBank where Sessoms was still employed as a president. The votes violated Sessoms' pledge not to allow his responsibilities to the bank conflict with his public duties and were speculated to also possibly violate state law. The votes taken by Sessoms were reported to have occurred from the beginning of his first term in January 2009 up until as recently as October 2014.[6] The next day, city councilman John Moss publicly called on local, state, or federal law enforcement officers to investigate whether Sessoms broke the law by repeatedly voting on issues affecting clients of TowneBank while continuing to serve as that company's president.[7]

On November 12, 2014, Sessoms issues a public statement on the allegations saying, "I have been made aware of the recent stories and am taking this situation and these allegations seriously. What has been best for Virginia Beach has always been a priority for me. I would never intentionally put Virginia Beach's or TowneBank's integrity in jeopardy. I plan to do a thorough review of these allegations, but it's going to take time to sort through the various votes since I've been Mayor. Until I have the opportunity to do that, I'm sure you can understand that I cannot offer any additional comments at this time."[8] The following day, it was announced that Commonwealth's Attorney Colin Stolle was recusing himself from the potential investigation into the Pilot's report and that he was requesting the Circuit Court to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter. Stolle cited probable conflicts of interest including the fact that his brother, Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle, was on the board of TowneBank and that his wife worked at a bank branch for four years.[9] On November 14, 2014, Mayor Paul Fraim of Norfolk and Mayor Linda Johnson of Suffolk announced that they were resigning from their positions as directors of TowneBank so as to eliminate the perception of a conflict of interest.[10] By the following day, Sessoms had given notice his intention to forfeit his seats on TowneBank's corporate Board of Directors, its Virginia Beach community board, and its Financial Services board. Sessoms had earlier that week had his position as president of the bank's Financial Services division suspended with pay.[11] On November 18, 2014, Sessoms returned to his first city council meeting since the Pilot's report during which he twice abstained from votes connected TowneBank.[12] The next day, Commonwealth's Attorney Michael R. Doucette of Lynchburg, Virginia was appointed as special prosecutor and Sessoms hired a team of criminal defense attorneys.[13] On December 24, 2014, Sessoms announced his resignation from his position as president following TowneBank's policy change prohibiting senior bank management from holding any elective office.[14]

On November 4, 2015, Sessoms was charged with five misdemeanor counts of violating the state's Conflict of Interest Act for votes he cast that benefited borrowers of TowneBank. A trial date was tentatively set for December 7, 2015.[15] On December 3, 2015, it was reported that the trial had been delayed to December 28 as none of the General District Court judges in Virginia Beach would hear the case citing the potential for conflict of interest as Sessoms was still mayor.[16] On December 28, 2015, Sessoms pleaded no contest to a single misdemeanor charge of violating the state's Conflict of Interest Act. As part of a plea agreement offered by the special prosecutor, the four other charges he faced were dropped.[17]

2016 general election

On February 22, 2016, Will Sessoms announced he was running for re-election for a third term as mayor. He claimed to have spent months deliberating over the decision following his recent conflict of interest conviction and that he made up his mind after receiving support from the majority of the city council.[18] On June 2, 2016, it was reported that Richard "RK" Kowalewitch would be challenging Sessoms a second time for the mayor's office. Kowalewitch cited Sessoms' recent conviction as an issue of concern in his announcement.[19] Following the filing deadline on June 14, 2015, it was reported that former city councilman Don Weeks and George Furman III were also challenging Sessoms.[20]

On October 29, 2016, The Virginian-Pilot reported the results of a poll conducted by Christopher Newport University that they had produced in connection with WVEC earlier that month. In the poll, 43 percent of 706 likely voters said they favored Sessoms with closest challenger Weeks receiving 11 percent support.[21] On November 8, 2016, Sessoms was elected to a third term.[22]

2018 special election

On April 18, 2018, Will Sessoms announced he was resigning as mayor of Virginia Beach after serving less than a year and a half of his third term.[23] A day later, city council member Bobby Dyer announced his intention to run for the office.[24] On May 1, 2018, it was announced that the Virginia Beach City Council had decided in 9-0 decision to appoint former mayor Louis R. Jones as interim mayor until a special election could be held on November 6, 2018.[25] A day later, city council member M. Ben Davenport announced his intention to run for the office.[26] On November 6, 2018, Dyer defeated Davenport and became the most recent mayor of Virginia Beach.[27]

2020 general election

On February 27, 2020, city council member Aaron Rouse announced his intention to seek the office. When reached by The Virginian-Pilot for comment on the announcement, Bobby Dyer confirmed that he would be seeking re-election.[28] On May 30, 2020, Rouse announced that he was dropping out of the race citing the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for ending his campaign.[29] On June 9, 2020, former Virginia Secretary of Finance Jody Wagner announced that she would challenge Dyer in the upcoming election.[3] On June 12, 2020, businessman Richard W. "RK" Kowalewitch announced that he would also challenge Dyer.[30]

List

  Denotes service as acting mayor before appointment or after resignation[31]
# Image Mayor Term start Term end Party
(Officially nonpartisan)
1 B.P. Holland March 19, 1906 August 1, 1908
2 Emerson Land September 1, 1908 August 30, 1910
3 W.J. Wright September 6, 1910 January 21, 1913
4 B.P. Holland January 21, 1913 July 31, 1916
5 Charles E. Barco August 1, 1916 June 21, 1920
6 Herman Drinkwater July 7, 1920 August 30, 1924
7 W.R. Ashburn September 1, 1924 August 27, 1928
8 Roy Smith September 4, 1934 September 1, 1940
9 W.W. Elliot September 1, 1940 October 14, 1946
10 H.W. Leeke October 14, 1946 June 28, 1948
11 W.F. Patton July 12, 1948 April 3, 1952
12 P.F. Murray April 3, 1952 August 24, 1954
13 Frank A. Dusch September 1, 1954 September 1, 1970
14 Donald H. Rhodes September 8, 1970 June 30, 1972
15 Robert B. Cromwell, Jr. July 1, 1972 June 30, 1974
16 J. Curtis Payne July 1, 1974 June 30, 1976
17 Clarence A. Holland July 1, 1976 June 30, 1978 Democratic
18 Patrick L. Standing July 1, 1978 June 30, 1980
19 J. Henry McCoy, Jr. July 1, 1980 June 30, 1982
20 Louis R. Jones July 1, 1982 June 30, 1984 Republican
21 Harold Heischober July 1, 1984 June 30, 1986 Republican
22 Robert G. Jones July 1, 1986 June 30, 1988 Democratic
23
Meyera Oberndorf (5853384487) (a).jpg
Meyera Oberndorf July 1, 1988 December 31, 2008 Democratic
24
Will Sessoms (cropped 2).jpg
Will Sessoms January 1, 2009 April 30, 2018 Republican
Louis R. Jones
Acting
May 1, 2018 November 19, 2018 Republican
25 Bobby Dyer November 20, 2018 Incumbent Republican

Election results

Virginia Beach's mayoral election, 2008[32]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Will Sessoms 74,394 38.97
Nonpartisan Meyera Oberndorf 67,551 35.38
Nonpartisan John D. Moss 29,542 15.47
Nonpartisan Scott Taylor 19,165 10.04
Write-in 262 0.14
Total votes 190,914
Virginia Beach's mayoral election, 2012[33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Will Sessoms 124,263 69.01
Nonpartisan Richard W. "RK" Kowalewitch 34,145 18.96
Nonpartisan Walter W. Erb 20,763 11.53
Write-in 906 0.50
Total votes 180,077
Virginia Beach's mayoral election, 2016[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Will Sessoms 101,251 54.1
Nonpartisan Richard W. "RK" Kowalewitch 36,329 19.41
Nonpartisan A. M. "Don" Weeks 34,449 18.41
Nonpartisan George Furman III 14,238 7.61
Write-in 898 0.48
Total votes 187,307
Virginia Beach's mayoral special election, 2018[35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Bobby Dyer 82,201 51.8
Nonpartisan M. Ben Davenport 75,693 47.7
Write-in 789 0.5
Total votes 158,683
Virginia Beach's mayoral election, 2020[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Bobby Dyer 111,736 51.77
Nonpartisan Jody Wagner 94,507 43.79
Nonpartisan Richard W. "RK" Kowalewitch 9,251 4.29
Write-in 335 0.15
Total votes 215,829 100

References

  1. ^ Skelton, Alissa (November 16, 2018). "Councilman Bobby Dyer is becoming mayor of Virginia Beach. Here's how he intends to lead". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  2. ^ "Bobby Dyer wins Virginia Beach mayoral race". WAVY-TV. November 7, 2018. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Skelton, Alissa (June 9, 2020). "Former state finance secretary, treasurer will run for Virginia Beach mayor". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  4. ^ "Jody Wagner to run for Virginia Beach mayor in November election". WAVY-TV. June 9, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Matray, Margaret (March 14, 2015). "Former Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf dies". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  6. ^ Holland, John (November 8, 2014). "Sessoms' council votes benefited TowneBank borrowers". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  7. ^ Holland, John (October 4, 2020). "Beach councilman wants inquiry into mayor's actions". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  8. ^ Hieatt, John; Holland, Kathy (November 12, 2014). "Virginia Beach mayor responds to conflict allegations". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  9. ^ Holland, John; Hieatt, Kathy (November 13, 2014). "Special prosecutor sought to look into Sessoms' votes". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  10. ^ Holland, John; Hieatt, Kathy; Wilson, Patrick (November 14, 2014). "Norfolk, Suffolk mayors resign from TowneBank boards". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  11. ^ Hieatt, Kathy (November 15, 2014). "Virginia Beach mayor gives up TowneBank board seats". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  12. ^ Holland, John (November 19, 2014). "Sessoms abstains on two items tied to TowneBank". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  13. ^ Holland, John; Kleiner, Sarah (November 20, 2014). "Virginia Beach mayor hires defense attorneys amid inquiry". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  14. ^ Holland, John (December 24, 2014). "Virginia Beach mayor resigns bank job under new policy". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  15. ^ Skelton, Alissa (November 5, 2015). "Virginia Beach Mayor Sessoms charged with conflict of interest". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  16. ^ Gonzalez, Veronica (December 3, 2015). "Trial for Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms rescheduled as judges recuse themselves". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  17. ^ Harper, Jane; Hixenbaugh, Mike (December 28, 2015). "Sessoms conflict case: Mayor pleads no contest to 1 charge, 4 others dismissed as part of deal". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  18. ^ Skelton, Alissa (February 22, 2016). "Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms is running for re-election". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  19. ^ Skelton, Alissa (June 2, 2016). ""R.K" Kowalewitch wants to run against Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms – again". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  20. ^ Skelton, Alissa (June 14, 2016). "Find out who's running for Virginia Beach mayor and City Council". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  21. ^ Skelton, Alissa (October 29, 2016). "Challengers criticize Virginia Beach Mayor Sessoms, but mayor leads in polling and fundraising". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  22. ^ Skelton, Alissa (November 8, 2016). "Will Sessoms claims mayoral victory in Virginia Beach". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  23. ^ Skelton, Alissa (April 18, 2018). "Virginia Beach Mayor Sessoms announces he's resigning". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  24. ^ Skelton, Alissa (April 19, 2018). "With the Virginia Beach mayor leaving, city councilman says he wants the job". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  25. ^ Skelton, Alissa (May 1, 2018). "Virginia Beach City Council picks "budget maestro" to be mayor". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  26. ^ Skelton, Alissa (May 2, 2018). "Councilman Davenport plans to run for Virginia Beach mayor". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  27. ^ Skelton, Alissa (November 6, 2018). "In Virginia Beach mayor's race, longtime councilman will become the new mayor". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  28. ^ Skelton, Alissa (February 27, 2020). "Virginia Beach Councilman Aaron Rouse to run for mayor". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  29. ^ Kennedy, Sean (May 30, 2020). "Virginia Beach Councilman Aaron Rouse drops out of mayoral race". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  30. ^ Brailer, Nicole (June 12, 2020). "Kowalewitch to run for Virginia Beach Mayor in November election". WAVY-TV. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  31. ^ "Office of the Mayor of Virginia Beach". VBGov.com. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  32. ^ "November 4, 2008 General and Special Elections City of Virginia Beach - Official Resul" (PDF). Virginia Beach. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  33. ^ "November 6, 2012 General and Special Elections City of Virginia Beach - Official Results" (PDF). Virginia Beach. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  34. ^ "2016 November General Official Results". Virginia Department of Elections. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  35. ^ "2018 November General Official Results". Virginia Department of Elections. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  36. ^ "2020 November General Official Results". Virginia Department of Elections. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
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