Three Democrats set to announce runs for council seats

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Three people are expected to announce campaigns for seats on the Charlottesville City Council this week.

Community organizers Don Gathers and Michael Payne will be hosting a launch event on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Kardinal Hall. They are backed by a new PAC called Progressives for Cville.

Gathers specifically says there is a need for leaders with a drive for unification and figuring out solutions to problems like affordable housing, a living wage, and racial inequities.

Both Gathers and Payne are active in the community, with Gathers being on the Charlottesville Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces and the Charlottesville Civilian Police Review Board and Payne working with the Charlottesville Low-Income Housing Coalition and Indivisible Charlottesville.

On Wednesday, Sena Magill will officially launch a campaign at 10:30 a.m. at City Space.

She is the wife of a University of Virginia librarian who suffered a stroke in the days after a torch-lit march on Grounds on Aug. 11, 2017, during which he protested against while nationalism in front of the Rotunda.

It is not certain if the stroke was associated with the events of that night and the Unite the Right rally the next day, though doctors did say it was caused by a carotid artery dissection, which occurs when the large artery in the neck is damaged and blood clots break loose and travel to the brain. The doctors said such strokes are more often than not caused by trauma.

Magill grew up in this area, has a child in the city public schools and worked for Region 10 and PACEM.

All three of these candidates will be running as Democrats.

There are three seats that will be up for election this November. They are currently held by Kathy Galvin, Wes Bellamy and Mike Signer.

If one of the current councilors announces a run to keep their seat and/or another Democrat announces a campaign, there will need to be a primary to determine which three candidates will appear on the November ballot as Democrats.

The primary is currently set to take place on June 11.

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