In an upset win, Nikuyah Walker led at the polls Tuesday to become Charlottesville’s first independent candidate elected to the Charlottesville City Council since the 1940s. Democratic candidate Heather Hill was also elected to a four-year term on Council.
The two open seats on City Council went to Walker and Hill, who won with 29.13 percent and 28.57 percent of the vote, respectively. Democratic candidate Amy Laufer fell just short of winning a seat on Council, trailing Hill by 55 votes.
In total, Walker won 7,906 votes and Hill received 7,752 votes.
Walker’s campaign was defined by the issues of affordable housing, local government transparency and addressing racial inequality in the Charlottesville community. She is currently employed by the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2004 from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her campaign as of Oct. 26, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project.
Hill has served as the president of the North Downtown Resident’s Association and is a member of the Belmont Bridge Steering Committee. Hill structured her campaign around transparency and accountability in local government, economic progress and community equity as well as safety and infrastructure. Hill’s campaign raised a total of $37,838 as of Oct. 26, VPAP.
Other candidates in the race included independents John Edward Hall, Paul Long and Kenneth Jackson.