Races To Watch

Local election decisions worthy of voter attention.



James City County yields weight this election due to the growth of their population

’Tis the season again. Election season, that is—as if you can’t already tell by the onslaught of political ads barking from just about every available pixel these days. Virginia is a hotspot this time around, thanks to a fierce U.S. Senate race, several competitive House of Representatives contests and our decidedly purple presidential tint. Romney and Obama may be making extra special efforts to win our affection, but national races aren’t the only ones at stake. Here are several important local decisions we’ll be making on Nov. 6.

James City County, once a sparsely-populated rural community, grew by an astounding 39.3 percent from 2000 to 2010, making it the fastest growing community Hampton Roads and among the fastest growing in Virginia. Although there’s only one Board of Supervisors seat up for grabs in November, it will likely affect the balance of power in the expanding county, setting the stage for local decisions that either encourage rapid growth or look toward the future with a more measured approach. Regardless, the result is sure to stoke flames, as James City’s politics are sometimes marred by partisanship and rancor not usually seen in local governance—including the ejection of a citizen-speaker by police from one recent Board of Supervisors meeting.