VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach has narrowed down its list of candidates for a vacant seat on the Lynnhaven District City Council.
According to city officials, they received applications from 14 residents. After reviewing the applications, City Council members narrowed down the list to six people who will move forward in the process. They are:
- Former councilman and mayoral candidate Linwood Branch
- Former councilman Richard Maddox
- Former Virginia Beach Democrats Chair Carla Hesseltine
- Former Virginia House candidate Kathy Owens
- Holly Cuellar
- Chris Bonney
Next, the city will hold open interviews and narrow down the list of finalists.
On Tuesday, Sept. 28, the City Council will hold a Special Session for public interviews. Each candidate will be allotted ten minutes to make a presentation, then council members will ask them questions.
An appointment will be made in October. Officials confirmed citizens can provide feedback to the City Council during a special session on Tuesday, Oct. 5. The council will then deliberate during a closed session and return to make a formal vote to fill the vacancy.
The vice mayor’s seat was vacated Oct. 1 after former Vice Mayor Jim Wood announced he had a new job with a large international company. He said the position would require extensive travel.
Wood was on City Council for nearly 20 years.
“It has been my distinct honor to serve as a member of the Virginia Beach City Council,” Wood said. “While I will no longer be a member of the body. I will always be an unabashed champion of Virginia Beach.”
To be clear, the open seat is for Jim Wood’s spot on council, not the Vice Mayor position.
Another council member, Jessica Abbott, resigned in July 2021 due to health issues.
On August 12, the council voted unanimously to appoint former U.S. Marine and 85th District state delegate Rocky Holcomb to the seat. He will serve on council until a special election is held in 2022.