April 24, 2013
The race for Charlottesville City Council is about to get a little more crowded, as the election will feature a Republican on the ballot for the first time in nearly a decade.
"I think we just needed to regroup and figure out what it was really going to take to win," said Charles "Buddy" Weber, chair of the Charlottesville Republican Committee.
The committee is planning to announce Thursday two candidates to run for city council. It's the first time a Republican will run in that race in eight years.
"We went back and licked our wounds for a while and actually decided, made a conscious decision, not to run anybody for a little while," Weber said.
WINA radio host Rob Schilling is the last Republican to run, serving one term on city council before his failed re-election bid in 2005.
"I think that it's been seen as almost insurmountable to put up Republican candidates that would be viable, so I think there's been a lack of people willing to run over the years," Schilling said.
The GOP announcement comes during an apparent resurgence of city Republicans, fresh off their first fundraising dinner in years. Now, they're prepared for a fight ahead.
"The Democrats have a deep machine here," Weber said. "They know how to get the vote out. They know how to get support. And quite frankly, we're outnumbered here by quite a bit."
"The major fact is that you've got two qualified candidates who are willing to step forward, who have good ideas and who really feel that the time may be right for a change in Charlottesville City Hall," Schilling said.
And those candidates will be announced at an event Thursday on the Downtown Mall.