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Fuentes Moves to Powhatan District, Considering Run to Keep SB Seat

Joe Fuentes

Until one month ago, Williamsburg-James City County School Board member Joe Fuentes didn’t live in the Powhatan District he represents.

Fuentes recently moved from his home in the Jamestown District to the Powhatan District, and has started collecting petition signatures to run for the Powhatan seat on the School Board. He hasn’t formally announced intentions to run for the seat, he said Thursday.

When voting district maps were redrawn for James City County in 2011, three School Board members were drawn out of the districts they represented: Ruth Larson, Jim Kelly and Fuentes. None of James City County’s five School Board representatives lived in the new Powhatan District at the time.

In the new map, Kelly and Fuentes were both residents of the new Jamestown District. Larson, formerly the Jamestown representative, became a Berkeley District resident.

Election 2013Elected officials affected by redistricting could either run for seats in their new districts or complete their terms. Larson successfully ran for the Berkeley seat in 2011 and resigned from her Jamestown seat. Kelly was appointed by the board to serve until November 2012, when he was elected to complete Larson’s Jamestown District term, which concludes in December. If he wants to continue serving the Jamestown District, Kelly will have to be elected to his own four-year term in November.

That left Fuentes with two options to stay on the board: Run against Kelly in the Jamestown District or move in order to run for office in the Powhatan District. He did not consider running in the Jamestown District, and had been considering a move for a while, he said.

“I wanted to stay in the Powhatan District,” he said.

The new Powhatan District covers a large swath of the west side of the county, from Lanexa to Olde Towne Road. When the Board of Supervisors was considering redistricting maps, Fuentes suggested an option that would keep his home in the Powhatan District. His option would have also swapped several neighborhoods from Powhatan to Jamestown to compensate.

The Powhatan District, redrawn in 2011, is shown in blue.

The Powhatan District, redrawn in 2011, is shown in blue.

The map garnered the support of several School Board members and supervisors Jim Icenhour and John McGlennon, who were also drawn out of their districts by the approved map. A motion failed as the supervisors voted 2-2, with member Jim Kennedy abstaining after accusing Fuentes of unethically offering him a political endorsement in return for support for the map. (Read more here.)

Fuentes must collect a minimum of 125 petition signatures from registered voters in the Powhatan District. Candidates for School Board have until 7 p.m. June 11 to file all necessary paperwork to get on the ballot for the November election.

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Posted by on March 22, 2013. Filed under Elections,Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

10 Responses to Fuentes Moves to Powhatan District, Considering Run to Keep SB Seat

  1. Enough Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    There was a time when I was a Fuentes supporter. But somewhere along the line, he forgot that he was elected to represent an entire district and not just his own neighborhood. For the life of me, I cannot fathom any criteria whereby his neighborhood should have been fortunate enough to be moved to Blayton instead of Season’s Trace.

    It’s time for Mr. Fuentes to ride off into the sunset. He’s just too divisive.

  2. Why Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 11:26 am

    He will run as a democrat for the Board of Supervisors, unless Andy Bradshaw is their chosen one. I think either one of these two will make that run. I know Bradshaw says he isn’t running, don’t believe it for a minute.

    • Bob R. Reply

      March 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      I know Bradshaw says he isn’t running, don’t believe it for a minute.

      Why? Because he is an independent?

  3. Before signing his petition... Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Be sure to get some clarity on his criteria for splitting neighborhoods. After what he did to Powhatan Secondary, I find it very hard to trust him.

  4. Vocational Annex perhaps Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Jim Kelly is a breath of fresh air to the board.

    Good luck Joe.

  5. Citizen Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Give me a break. Fuentes said “I wanted to stay in the Powhatan District.”

    About the only thing consistent between the previous iteration of the Powhatan district and this one is the name. Plain and simple, he’s unlikely to win against Jim Kelly, and his moving to try and stay on the school board.

  6. Darius Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Smart move on his part. He had about a 0 percent chance of winning against Jim Kelly this time around. But seriously, moving just to get re-elected to the school board? Back in my day, that’s what we called a carpet bagger.

  7. Anybody else running? Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Are there any other Powhatan residents who would make good candidates, so voters can have a choice?

    • Jo Reply

      March 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Let’s hope so… Things are not going to change if we keep electing the same folk over and over.

  8. Gualano Davis Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Good Luck, Joe!

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