HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Last weekend, the Harrisonburg Democratic Committee chose their three nominees for city council after receiving results from their virtual caucus.
Mayor Deanna Reed, receiving 82 percent of the votes, will run to keep her seat on the council alongside Laura Dent, who received 58 percent of votes, and Charles Hendricks, who received 61 percent of the votes.
The three seats from Reed, Richard Baugh, and George Hirschmann are up for grabs as their terms come to an end.
A major focus for newcomers Dent and Hendricks is helping the city recover after coronavirus impacts.
"Economic recovery for all, from the underprivileged to businesses that are seeking help from the economic development office," Dent said.
And Hendricks agreed.
"Most important right now is making sure that our city is as resilient as possible, so looking at ways we can empower our locally owned small businesses so they can be as prosperous as possible," Hendricks said. "Especially in this time where challenges that small businesses are facing are unparalleled."
If elected, Dent also plans to focus on addressing climate change on a local level.
"I've been in touch with the leaders from EPSAC, the Environmental Performance Standards Advisory Committee, on how we can promote renewable energy, recycling and other environmental stewardship practices to address the longer-term climate crisis we will be facing," Dent said.
Hendricks said implementing city-wide renewable energy is an important issue for him, as well as affordable housing.
"Making sure that everyone has access to comfortable, healthy, safe housing is going to be very important," Hendricks said. "These aren't new issues for me. These are the issues I started with when I started my campaign, and they've been amplified by the current state of the world."
Current councilmember George Hirschmann will run for re-election as an independent. If re-elected, he wants to
pay attention to the needs of the elderly.
"I am part of that group, so I know a little bit of how many of those people feel and they're pretty much responsible for a lot of the taxes in the city," Hirschmann said.
Hirschmann told WHSV he's enjoyed being on the council for the past four years, serving the city and residents of Harrisonburg.
"Our city is definitely growing and in the time I've spent here to see what it has gone through," Hirschmann said. "I'm very excited about the potential for this area."
After serving on the council for 12 years, current councilmember Richard Baugh did not receive a nomination and told WHSV he does not think he will run as an independent.
While Democrats have chosen their nominees, Jeffrey Mayfield, chairman of the Harrisonburg Republican Committee, said they are looking for potential candidates, but do not have anyone for the ballot just yet.