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Hodge seeks to run for city council seat
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
A week before the deadline, just one person has submitted paperwork to be on the ballot in the Martinsville City Council election Nov. 6.
Sharon Hodge, of 203 Greyson St., said she hopes to “inspire people who aren’t participating” in city government to get involved so their viewpoints can be heard.
Her candidacy is not yet official, though.
To be on the ballot, a person must submit petitions with signatures of at least 125 registered city voters, according to city Registrar Cindy Barbour.
Hodge said she submitted her petition but found out she needs 19 more signatures.
But “I think she’ll make it,” Barbour said, referring to Hodge’s attempts to get more signatures by the June 12 deadline.
Three council seats are up for grabs. They now are held by Kimble Reynolds Jr., who is not seeking re-election; Danny Turner, who has said he does not plan to run again; and Mark Stroud, who has declared his candidacy but had not submitted any paperwork as of Tuesday afternoon.
Other documents, including a declaration of candidacy, must be submitted with the petition in order to be considered an official council candidate.
Barbour thinks there will be no shortage of candidates by the deadline.
“I’ve heard a lot of interest” among people in running for the council, she said, noting that other people are circulating petitions.
Hodge, a former Martinsville Bulletin reporter, now heads the Black Family Preservation Group. The organization works to foster strong relationships in African-American households, such as through emphasizing a need for two-parent families. She also teaches marriage education classes nationwide.
Her husband, Anzel, the grandson of the late Clay Hodge Jr. of Axton, is a telecommunications engineer who works out of state because he has been unable to find a job in his career field locally, she said.
Hodge, 52, grew up following her father, who was in the military, around the country. She was born in California but she said she considers Fairfax County to be her home community.
Hodge said she questions priorities of current council members and “who they’re listening to” in decision-making. She thinks city officials should be more accommodating to diverse viewpoints, she said.
Officials have said they sometimes do not hear opinions on issues from people of different socioeconomic sectors.