Mayor: Scott Taylor
While a political novice, Taylor has crash-coursed himself on the issues: went to Norfolk Southern to learn fixed-rail transit, went to the Department of Economic Development (DED) to learn economic development, rode the buses with Virginia Beach's HRT UCAC delegation to see transit firsthand, etc. He has a background, both as a former SEAL and a businessman, to lead.
Meyera Oberndorf has been a good ribbon-cutter and ambassador, but hasn't led on an issue in 5-6 years. After 32 years on City Council, if she hasn't accomplished what she's wanted to, how much longer does she need?
Will Sessoms has been a great Mayoral candidate, but was a lousy Vice Mayor. If elected, let's hope we get the former rather than the latter.
John Moss is a decent, intelligent man. However, Moss in the Mayor's office with the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) Board of Directors as his sounding board should scare the crap out of any sane resident of Virginia Beach.
City Council, At-Large: Georgia Allen
Georgia Allen was already a very busy woman, regularly putting in 18 hour days. Why then did she take on an uphill battle for City Council? Rosemary Wilson has the worst record on inclusion of anyone on the Virginia Beach City Council. One African-American leader once told me Rosemary had been on the opposite side of every issue of particular interest to their community. Wilson couldn't be allowed to run unchallenged, so their best-known leader (Allen) was drafted to run.
That same sense of self-sacrifice would make a refreshing change on City Council. In addition, Georgia Allen could be counted on to press on many issues being ignored now.
City Council, Centerville District: Bob Dyer
Bob Dyer was a longshot in 2004; conventional wisdom was that Margaret Eure would win reelection "in a walk". Not only did Dyer win, but his four years of service has won over many Eure supporters while maintaining the lion's share of 2004's "mosaic coalition".
I just ran into Bob around Noon today. Even though he had a Council Workshop to get to, he saw me at a bus stop, picked me up, and drove me to my destination. We had a nice chat during the trip. Great guy. (Bob, if you're reading this, please reply to my Sunday e-mail to your City account.)
City Council, Kempsville District: Andrew Jackson
The fundamental question in the Kempsville race is whether we're simply going to tweak the status quo (Diezel) or take a fundamentally different path (Jackson). If you want "change" at the City level, you definitely want to vote for Andrew Jackson.
At a meeting of the African-American community leadership in March, I was the second speaker while Andrew was the third. I wish you could have been there to see tears come to his eyes as he told us how his single mother worked three jobs to put him through Catholic grade school.
Joe Flores is the Dave Kingman of City Council candidates: he occasionally hits a question for a spectacular home run, but usually whiffs. Flores has burned his bridges to the African-American community leadership running against Jackson, so expect him to be on the outside on Lake Edward issues once he gets clobbered.
City Council, Rose Hall District: Glenn Davis
Reba McClanan is a nice lady. However, she has regularly opposed measures both for greater resident involvement (community input on the legislative package, a ward system, and - initially - a Public Comment session at City Council meetings) and an urban services model.
Given who is backing Glenn Davis, I don't expect the full package from him on the former. However, those same interests back much of the latter, often for entirely different reasons than I. Therefore, take the half full glass in Davis over the empty glass in McClanan.
Okay, some will argue I just endorsed four underdogs. However, to quote Eugene Debs, "I'd rather vote for what I want and not get it than vote for what I don't want and get it."