Mark A. Hugel

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Challenger

Background

Hugel graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a BS in Systems Engineering. Hugel went on to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated with an MS in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and an MS in Mechanical Engineering [1]. Currently, Hugel serves as Senior Vice President at Consolidated Analysis Center, Incorporated (CACI), and he leads CACI’s Norfolk, Virginia office. Hugel has served in this role from 2009 [1, 2, 3].

Hugel is a veteran who served in the United States Navy from 1973 to 2009 as a Rear Admiral. During his time in the Navy, Hugel served as Surface Warfare Officer,  Shipyard Commander in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Director of Fleet Readiness in Norfolk, and Deputy Commander for Logistics, Maintenance and Industrial Operations [2, 3].

During his time at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Hugel was awarded with the SenateProductivityand Quality Award from Virginia Senators John Warner and George Allen, Naval Sea Systems Command Installation Excellence Award, Secretary of the Navy Energy Conservation Award, Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Management Award, and Franklin Covey Principle-Centered Leadership Award [1].

Key Issues

Economy

Hugel wants to invest in workforce development. He believes that Portsmouth should help its citizens gain local jobs, which are currently met by recruits from outside of Portsmouth. He wants the school system and local government to partner with the business community to create cost-effective training and educational opportunities so that Portsmouth citizens have opportunities to learn the skills necessary for certain local jobs [1, 4].

Economy

Hugel supports investment in public schools. He wants all children in Portsmouth to earn their High School Diplomas, and he believes that completing high school or college will lead to good jobs for these children. Hugel plans on working with the Portsmouth public school system, school board, students and the business community to create school-to-employment success for Portsmouth children [1, 4].

Public Safety

Hugel plans on working with the Portsmouth Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, Social Services Department and Mental Health Department to confront crime [1, 4].

Endorsements

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce; Portsmouth Firefighters; Hampton Roads Realtors Association

Sources

1 Rear Admiral Mark Hugel for City Council
2 Naval Engineers
3 Linkedin
4 The Virginian Pilot
5 VPAP

Carlos J. Clanton

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Incumbent

Background

Carlos J. Clanton earned a Bachelors of Science from Old Dominion and is a candidate for Masters in Public Administration from Old Dominion University [7]. He has served as Vice-Chair of the Norfolk City School Board since 2018 [1]. Prior to his school board service, Clanton worked in various managerial roles at Bank of America, T-Mobile, and Marriott before joining Norfolk Public Schools as the Executive Director of the Office of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnership in 2009. Clanton currently serves as Vice President of Organizational Development of STOP Inc., a nonprofit organization that runs initiatives to reduce the effects of poverty among economically disadvantaged residents [3]. In July of this year, Clanton was elected as interim chair of the school board [6].

Clanton was the President of the National Urban League Youth Professionals in 2019. He previously served as the Policies and Procedures Chair or NULYP, and was the chapter president of the Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals, which won a national award. Clanton was also the Executive Director of the Norfolk Education Foundation, the Senior Director of Resource Development & Community Relations for the Hampton Roads Community Action Program, and the Director of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. He has received a variety of awards, including being named as one of Hampton Roads Top 20 under 30 African American Leaders by African American Today Magazine, and a Top 40 under 40 winner by Hampton Roads Inside Business magazine. Clanton was also named Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Alpha Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the “Anchors of the Community Award” by the Norfolk Admirals [7].

Key Issues

Education

Clanton wants to increase teacher retention by expanding resources, training, and recruitment efforts. Clanton also wants to increase enrollment in advanced courses by expanding access to technology and high-speed internet. He is in favor of free preschool education and workforce certifications [2]. As a member of the school board, Clanton supported proposals that increased base substitute teacher and bus driver pay. Clanton also supported funding for mentoring services for principals and the Grown Our Own Program, which created a pipeline for hiring gifted resources teachers. He also approved a revised health insurance plan that increased coverage for teachers and school administrators. During his time on the school board, Clanton advocated for initiatives that provided English Learner Supports and free, school-based tutoring to elementary students. Clanton also approved funding for free STEM-focused summer skills programs [1]. Clanton has also voiced support for the school division’s five-year strategic plan [6].

Community

Clanton is in favor of using community input to revise existing diversity and equity initiatives [2]. While on the school board, he advocated for the expansion of student meal distribution sites and relaunched faith-based partnership initiatives. Clanton also produced a constituent podcast and spoke at PTA meetings [1]. In the past, he has expressed support for CCEIS, Norfolk Public Schools’ equity conference [5].

COVID-19

Clanton wants to divert resources towards a transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic [2]. On the school board in 2019, Clanton directed the Restart Smart Plan in collaboration with the National Urban League that educated families on reducing virus spread. In addition to producing Ward 3’s weekly COVID-19 reporting protocol, he also approved the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and school supplies for students [1]. As a member of the school board, Clanton wants to continue efforts to expand vaccination sites around Norfolk [4].

Public Safety

Clanton is an advocate for increased safety measures in Norfolk Public Schools [2]. As a member of the school board, Clanton approved funding to add six security officers and provide additional crisis response equipment to support elementary schools [1].

Endorsements

Glenn E. Porter, author

Sources

1 Board Member Carlos Clanton

2 Carlos Clanton for Norfolk City School Board

3 LinkedIn

4 Instagram

5 Twitter

6 Virginian Pilot

7 National Urban League

Curtis D. Bethany III

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Challenger

Background

Bethany graduated from Thomas Nelson Community College with an associate’s degree and from Old Dominion University with a BA in accounting and finance. He is currently the financial manager at The Focus Center, a nonprofit serving Norfolk and Newport News, and was previously a financial advisor at Lions Bridge Financial Advisors [1, 4]. Bethany is also the vice chairman of the Newport News Human Rights Commission [2].

Key Issues

Economy

Bethany aims to support local businesses by making Newport News appeal to a larger workforce, which he believes will help businesses recruit skilled workers and diversify the tax base. He also supports a strong night-life economy to promote citizen security, employment, and tax revenue for local governments [2].

Education

Bethany supports raises for teachers and greater funding for the school system [4].

Community

Bethany seeks to invest in leisure and commercial initiatives in Newport News to boost citizen morale, increase tourism, and attract skilled workers to the city. He also seeks to revamp the downtown area [2, 4].

Public Safety

Bethany seeks to address poverty/gun violence-plagued neighborhoods by empowering people within the neighborhoods and creating a greater sense of community within them instead of making the city take charge of creating change in said neighborhoods [3, 4].

Government

Bethany supports modernizing city hall processes and creating efficiencies [2].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 Ballotpedia

2 Curtis Bethany

3 Facebook

4 Daily Press

Mark S. Askew, Sr.

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Challenger

Background

Askew is from Norfolk and graduated from Norview High School. Askew graduated from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication/Media Studies. He served in Norfolk State University’s Student Government Association and was a part of ROTC. Askew has served as the owner of Mark Askew Sr. Consulting Service from 1997 to the present [1]. Askew has also been involved with The Virginian-Pilot as a writer [3].

Key Issues

Government

Askew wants all demographics to be present at city council meetings. He believes that seniors feel left out because they can’t get to public meetings or understand certain technologies. To combat this, he wants to formulate a simple, half-page survey asking citizens which means of communication they prefer local government to use – email, snail mail or phone message – to connect with them [3].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 LinkedIn

2 Children Advocates

3 The Virginian Pilot

4 VPAP

Adale M. Martin

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Incumbent

Background

Adale M. Martin received a BA in French and International Studies from Ohio State University. She graduated with a master’s degree in Public Administration from Louisiana State University. Martin is currently a PhD candidate in collaboration policy at Old Dominion University. At LSU, she became Assistant Manager of Operations and Planning at the National Center for Biomedical Research & Training / Academy of Counter-terrorist Education. She has been a member of the Norfolk Jury Commission, Naval Station Norfolk Centennial Commission, and member of The King’s Daughters Communications Committee. She has been a member of the Norfolk City School Board since 2018. Martin serves as the Executive Director of the Slover Library Foundation [1]. She has been the Commissioner of the Norfolk Poverty Reduction Commission, and she has been a member of the Youth Education and Career Pathways committee. Additionally, Martin is the past president of the Magnolia Circle, and is the Founder and Chairman of the annual Magnolia Circle Dragon Boat Race fundraiser [2]. Martin is currently the chair of the Norfolk School Board [6].

Key Issues

Education

Martin advocates for the expansion of accessibility of resources to kids at school with disabilities or needed accommodations [2]. She has promised to ensure a 95% graduation rate for all students in Norfolk Public Schools [3].

Budget

The Norfolk City School Board stoked controversy this March regarding the allocation of its budget because of concerns about employee input. Following the proposal of the budget, the school board did not hold a public hearing before voting on the budget. However, Martin defended the decision by mentioning the public hearing on budget priorities. Many teachers, bus drivers, and other employees spoke out against the budget. It included a provision for increasing the pay of teachers, classified employees, and administrators by 5.8%, 7.2%, and 4.2%, respectively. The budget also provided more funding for additional school psychologists, social workers, safety and security measures, building repairs, and maintenance, among other things [6].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 Adale Martin for Norfolk School Board 

2 Norfolk Public Schools 

3 Rally: Adale Martin 

4 Ballotpedia 

5 Twitter

6 WTKR

Brian Economy

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Challenger

Background

Brian Economy graduated from Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) with an MD and was a Navy Master EOD Technician. He taught advanced EOD tactics, serving as a lead instructor at Training and Evaluation Unit One and as the Readiness and Training Officer at Navy EOD Mobile Unit Eleven. Economy has conducted range clearance operations in Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Kuwait [4]. He founded Emerald State Environmental and currently serves as CEO. He has also volunteered as a Scout Leader for Boy Scouts [2].

Key Issues

Government

Economy believes government agencies are obligated to be transparent to citizens [1].

Economy

Economy supports fiscal transparency in which business and financial activities are conducted in an open manner [1].

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 Brian Economy for Chesapeake City Council
2 Linkedin
3 Facebook
4 Emerald State Environmental

Ella Ward

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Incumbent

Background

Ella Ward earned a B.A. and an M.A. in communications from Norfolk State University, an M.S. in educational administration from Old Dominion University, and a CAGS degree and a doctoral degree in educational administration and supervision from Virginia Tech [2]. Ward spent 35 years as a teacher and administrator for Portsmouth Public Schools, and she served on both the Chesapeake School Board and Virginia Board of Education, serving as Vice President of the latter. She also served on the Chesapeake City Council since 2006. She has earned numerous awards, including the YWCA Women of Distinction Award and the Old Dominion University Outstanding Alumnus Award [2].

Key Issues

Education

Ward wants the Virginia General Assembly to restore state funding for K-12 education to its pre-2009 levels [2].

Economy

Ward supports diversification of the regional economy in order to offset defense cuts. She is also in favor of local funding to revitalize South Norfolk and Western Branch [2].

Transportation

Ward advocates for improved regional transportation [2].

Infrastructure

Ward wants to expand broadband access in Southern Chesapeake and the region [2].

Energy

Ward is in favor of energy independence [3].

Endorsements

Chesapeake Democratic Committee

Sources

1 City of Chesapeake, Virginia 
2 Vote for Ella Ward  
3 Facebook
4 Blog Talk Radio  
5 Chesapeake Democratic Committee

Susan Vitale

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Incumbent

Background

Susan Vitale earned her B.S. in accounting from Rochester Institute of Technology and then earned an M.B.A. in management from Touro University International [4]. Vitale served as an Intelligence Officer and was in the United States Navy for 26 years, having served as Captain [1]. She has worked at Microsoft as a delivery management manager and is currently a managing director [4]. Vitale was awarded with the Defense Superior Service and Global War on Terrorism medals [2].

Key Issues

Budget

Vitale has moved to increase the property tax abatement cap for senior citizens in order to give them more financial security. She supports a property tax credit and reducing assessments on public property. 

Broadband

Vitale wants to improve broadband access and has worked to invest $25 million to build a new Southside-serving internet ring.

Endorsements

No endorsements could be found.

Sources

1 City of Chesapeake, Virginia 
2 Susan Vitale for Chesapeake City Council 
3 Ballotpedia 
4 LinkedIn

Les Smith Jr

Key Facts

Party Independent
Status Challenger

Background

Les Smith Jr. earned his B.S. in business administration from St. Paul’s College in 1983 and later earned an M.S. in human resources management from the University of Richmond. For 28 years, Smith served as a deputy lieutenant with the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Department. He now volunteers with several programs, including the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and New Chesapeake Men for Progress [2]. Smith is the Founder of the Ground Zero Development Program to support young men in the Chesapeake community [1].

Key Issues

Government

Smith is in favor of government transparency [3]. He also wants to improve living wages for city government [1].

Infrastructure

Smith supports infrastructure for entertainment and recreation [1].

Transportation

Smith wants to raise awareness about the benefits of public transit in Hampton Roads and advocates for safety in transportation [1].

Civil Rights

Smith is an advocate for inclusivity, diversity, and justice [1].

Endorsements

Lionell Spruill, Virginia Senator, 5th District; Dwight Parker, Chesapeake City Councilman; Chesapeake Democratic Committee

Sources

1 Les Smith For Office
2 Ballotpedia
3 Facebook