A week removed from Election Day, Leesburg voters can look forward to another Leesburg council race in 2017.
Kelly Burk’s victory in the mayoral contest will trigger a vacancy on the Town Council as of Jan. 1, 2017, when she will begin her mayoral term. According to Town Attorney Barbara Notar, the council has 90 days from when the council vacancy is created—most likely on or near Dec. 31—to fill Burk’s seat. Because Burk’s term does not end that same year, a special election is needed to fill her council term, set to expire Dec. 31, 2018.
According to Notar, the council must request the Loudoun County Circuit Court to issue a writ of election and may ask the court to set the election ahead of the November general elections. However, if the council does not make that request, the seat will be on the November ballot.
Both Councilwoman Katie Sheldon Hammler, who lost her re-election bid last week, and Gwen Pangle, who also lost last week in her first council race, have expressed interest in running in the special election. Hammler has also said she is interested in being considered for the interim council appointment in an effort to maintain Leesburg’s position at the Virginia Municipal League, as she is set to become the first representative from the town to serve as VML president.
Names you likely won’t see on the special election ballot include Kevin Wright, David Butler, John Hilton, and Evan Macbeth, the other candidates who were defeated last week. When surveyed by Loudoun Now, all said they either were not interested in running, or at the very least leaning towards sitting out that council race.
The council is expected to discuss the process for appointing an interim council member at its Jan. 3, 2017, organizational meeting.