Politics, even locally, is often driven by anger, and people who are mad at the way things are are driving a surge of entries into races this year for Floyd County elections.
Kerry Underwood, co-owner of Oddfellas Cantina and distiller of legal moonshine whiskey, got mad over things like an appointment to the Floyd County planning commission and is now running for the Board of Supervisors for the Burks Fork seat.
Recently, the supervisors appointed local conservative political activist Linda Wagner to the planning group, replacing long-time member Mark Sowers.
Underwood isn’t the only one mad about the appointment. Jane Cundiff spoke to the board about the matter during the public comments portion of the supervisors’ meeting Tuesday.
Angy posts about the appointment popped up on Facebook too.
Wagner and her husband Dennis sued the Town of Floyd a few years back over an injury they said he suffered when an object from a town lawn mower. Occupants of the Village Green complex on Main Street complain about what they say is loud playing of conservative talk shows from the back yard of the Wagner home next door. The Wagners are active members of the local Tea Party.
Kamala Bauers asks: “What exactly are her qualifications? Loudly blasting talk radio from early morning to late night to harass all of the walkers through town?”
Appointments by the board of supervisors to various commissions and groups are often a struggle to find candidates. Sowers had sought re-appointment but the board, which makes such decisions in closed-door “executive sessions” decided to go with Wagner.
“We are lacking sensible leadership in many areas of our county on the Board and especially in the chair of the Board of Supervisors,” Bauers said. “Our County is at risk.”
Underwood cites the Wagner appointment was one of the reasons he is seeking a seat on the County Board but he faces incumbent Republican Joe Turman in the election in November. Underwood is running as a Democrat and Michael Schumann, the owner of D.J.’s drive-in and an independent, for the seat.
In Little River, Linda DeVito is running as an independent against Republican Eddie Worth for the open seat where Virgel Allen is retiring because of health issues. DeVito, a Realtor was once part of the FloydFest operation and is active as an announcer for high school athletic events. Worth is a retired businessman who helps run the Safe Surfing operation to protect children from predators and will have backing from the county’s GOP, and the law enforcement community.
Anger is a driving force behind retired Virginia State Trooper Jimmy Howery’s independent run for Sheriff against Republican Brian Craig, an 18-year veteran of the department. Howery lost his part-time job as a deputy and court bailiff after he wrote a letter critical of the sheriff’s department’s operations and endorsed GOP candidate Doug Weddle, a Christiansburg police officer who lost to Craig in the primary.
Another former deputy, Laura Amanda Sparks, dropped out of the race this week and is backing Howery.
“Done get mad,” says an old saying. “Get even.”
In Floyd County politics this year, however, the new staying may be: “Get made. Then try to get elected.”
Stay tuned. This could be an interesting year in Floyd County politics.