19-Year-old write-in candidate becomes Timberville’s youngest town council member ever

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 5:29 PM EST
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TIMBERVILLE, Va. (WHSV) - The town of Timberville has elected its youngest town council member ever. 19-year-old write-in candidate Isaac Kelley learned this week that he had won the third of three open seats on the council after making a last-minute decision to run.

Kelley said he went back and forth on whether he wanted to run as a write-in and did not make a final decision until the morning of election day when he headed out to the polls with a whiteboard asking people for their vote.

“I kind of sat here the morning of and pondered on it back and forth. I thought I had not a lot but some to offer to the town council as a younger voice. The more I thought about it, it was about 11:30 I decided I wanted to go down and run,” said Kelley.

Timberville had 3 open council seats but just two candidates on the ballot making it a race between write-ins for the final seat. Kelley said that one reason he ran is that he wanted to make sure not just anyone won the seat.

“I feel like I talk to enough people in town that I can kind of listen and hear what some of the issues may be that are being talked about by the public,” said Kelley.

Kelley said he does hope to have a future in politics and was thrilled to learn he had won the seat by a margin of just 18 votes.

“I was pretty excited about it. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do and I’d like to continue into politics and I think getting on to town council is a step in the right direction to get my foot in the door,” he said.

Kelley said that he is not going into the council with an agenda but he does have some ideas he hopes to bring to the town.

“I’d like to do some family events in Timberville. I’m a little envious of Broadway, they do a lot of events as far as families, festivals, and stuff like that at their park. I’d like to see some of that come into Timberville,” he said.

Another idea Kelley plans to bring before the council is to make the non-lined roads in the town more golf cart friendly similar to those in Elkton, Grottoes, and Bridgewater.

One of Kelley’s new fellow council members, Debbie Jessup once taught him in school, and now he said he is looking forward to learning from her and the other council members while providing a younger perspective.

Kelley will be sworn in in January alongside re-elected council member Sharon Jones and newly elected member Sarah Berry.