VIRGINIA BEACH — David Fowler is no longer seeking the Princess Anne District seat on the Virginia Beach City Council, leaving a crowded race so he can support another candidate who is challenging incumbent Barbara Henley.
Five candidates either had filed or announced they will run in the district race, and that math played a part in Fowler’s decision to bow out.
“All I could foresee was somebody was going to win with 25 percent of the vote rather than someone people really wanted,” Fowler said.
The remaining four presently in the contest include Henley, a farmer from Pungo who has represented southern Virginia Beach communities for much of the past four decades, and Kwasny, who represents the Princess Anne District on the Virginia Beach Planning Commission and lives in Ashville Park.
The other candidates who have announced they will run include Tim Worst of Lago Mar, who has filed some campaign paperwork, and the Rev. Pieri Burton of Strawbridge, who has not filed any paperwork yet, according to the city voter registrar’s office. Fowler had filed some organizational paperwork to run but not signed petitions.
The final number of candidates will not be known until a filing deadline on Tuesday, June 12. The election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Henley has not faced more than one opponent since her first election in 1978, when she won in a field of three candidates that included an incumbent, Floyd Waterfield Jr., in the old Pungo Borough.
Fowler said he researched the other candidates and found he had much in common with Kwasny.
“I just think she’s going to be a great councilwoman,” Fowler said.
He spoke during in an interview at a campaign kickoff event for Kwasny held at Hunt Club Farm on Sunday, May 6. During remarks, Kwasny introduced Fowler and his wife, state Del. Kelly Fowler, D-21st District, and said David Fowler would work to support Kwasny’s effort to represent the district.
“Today, David is ending his campaign to join our team and support our campaign for new leadership,” Kwasny told supporters.
“We need leaders like David, like myself who are proactive not reactive,” Kwasny added. “Any politician can react to a problem after it happens, but leaders work to prevent problems from happening in the first place.”
Ed. — This story was updated with information from the city voter registrar’s office on Monday, May 7.
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