In Lynchburg’s local elections, guns take a backseat to the economic response to the pandemic


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — At the start of the year, many thought the Lynchburg local elections would focus on the Second Amendment, and the City Council’s 5-2 decision in January not to become a so-called “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

“It’s not been discussed a lot,” said Vice Mayor MaryJane Dolan, who is the incumbent council-member representing Ward I, “but it’s been an underlying thing.”

Dolan is endorsed by the Lynchburg Democratic Committee in her reelection.

“I’m for it,” said Chris Faraldi, a Republican running to represent Ward IV, a seat Councilman Turner Perrow is vacating. “I realize it’s not a legally binding resolution, but it’s a statement to the community that we support your rights.”

Dolan said voting for it would have violated the Virginia and U.S. Constitutions.

“Had I voted for the sanctuary city vote, I would have violated my personal oath of office, which I was not willing to do.”

However, the pandemic changed everything, including the issues that Dolan is prioritizing, if she wins another term.

“Probably the next 18 to 36 months, we’re going to be in a recovery mode,” she said. “We’re going to be recovering from the virus and what it’s done to our education system, what it’s done to the health of our folks and the employment issue, so I think most of what we’re going to be doing is getting back to where we were pre-COVID.”

For Faraldi, the pandemic’s effect on the economy did not change his approach.

“In many respects,” he said, “we actually had to double down on our platform.”

His focus is still on fiscal conservatism and cutting the budget.

“To give an example, I’m a former employee of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance. We give them $100,000 a year. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we need to be having these discussions about sending money to this organization or that organization.”

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