Nygaard announces he will not run in special election for Beach District seat, must leave district to care for family

David Nygaard announced that he will not run in a special election in the Beach District. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

VIRGINIA BEACH — David Nygaard announced on Sunday, April 7, he will not seek to regain the Beach District Seat he won in November but left in March after a panel of judges found he had been ineligible to run due to a residency issue.

The district seat will likely the subject of a special election in November, and Nygaard previously had said he intended to run. Nygaard’s new announcement was first reported by The Virginian-Pilot’s Peter Coutu on Sunday evening.

On Sunday, April 7, Nygaard wrote in a social media post that his decision not to run in the special election followed a serious fall by his father, who needs his attention.

In a text message today, Nygaard said he had moved from the family home last year into the Beach District — a decision that was part of the civil case this year — but now he needed to return to be with his father. That means he will need to leave the Beach District.

The hospitalization of his father this weekend, he said, was a wake up call. Nygaard said he was at his apartment at the Oceanfront when his father fell in Alanton, a neighborhood which is within the Lynnhaven District.

“I moved out, as you know,” Nygaard wrote, “and have tried to split time but really want to be there for him. … Now I feel like I need to move back with him in Alanton.”

Nygaard wrote that he understands some people don’t believe he really moved to the district, but said he he did. Circumstances have changed.

“So the truth is I need to leave my apartment and move back with Dad so I can be there on site if he falls,” Nygaard wrote via text, “and that’s in Alanton, not in the Beach District.”

This City Council is in the middle of appointing a temporary replacement for Nygaard. Applications were due today. The process that may conclude following public interviews of the final candidates on Tuesday, April 23, and a vote could follow that day.

Nygaard defeated incumbent John Uhrin in November, in a four-candidate race that saw candidate John Coker drop out after ballots were printed, a recount and then court challenges.

R.K. Kowalewitch, who placed third in the race, raised questions about Nygaard’s residency during the campaign last year. Local prosecutors did not find enough evidence to prove a crime, The Pilot reported.

In March, three judges determined Nygaard had moved into the district only to run, and they declared that there was no winner in the Beach District race, though votes taken by Nygaard while he served in the seat stood. The judges entered a final order on Tuesday, March 19.

“After a time of prayer and reflection I’ve decided I will not run in the special election for my old seat as the Beach District City Council member,” Nygaard wrote on social media. “While I loved the job more than any I’ve had before, I have to be cognizant of my other responsibilities and these campaigns can take a toll on families. …

“I am still looking and considering other ways to serve and different avenues for public service,” he continued, “but City Council for now will not be my place to serve.”

This past month, Nygaard in a text message told The Independent News he didn’t want to apply for appointment to the seat. He wrote that he would rather be elected by the people than appointed.

“Elections matter,” he wrote at the time, “and the people deserve to have their choice honored.”

© 2019 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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