November council races set in Pulaski, Dublin


The Patriot

Tuesday at 7 p.m. was the deadline for Pulaski and Dublin residents to file the necessary paperwork to be on the ballot in November’s town council races.

Three seats must be filled on the councils in both towns, and Pulaski will also elect a mayor.

According to Kathy Webb, Pulaski County’s Director of Elections and General Registrar, all three incumbents in Dublin are seeking re-election and they were the only ones to file as candidates. Those are Debbie Lyons, Stephen Crigger and Debbie Hager.

In Pulaski, however, only two of three council incumbents are seeking re-election – Brooks Dawson and Tyler Clontz.

Longtime incumbent councilman Lane Penn chose not to seek another term on council.

“I think I’ve had enough,” said Penn when contacted Wednesday by The Patriot. “When my term ends in December it will make 24 years that I’ve served on council. It’s time to move along and let someone else have a chance.”

That “someone” appears to be the third candidate in Pulaski, Jeremy L. Clark.

Penn said he has enjoyed working with the other councilmembers.

“They’re a good group to work with and they care about the town,” Penn said.

“I think the town is doing better now than it has been for a long time,” Penn said. “Town finances are getting in good shape and the future is bright.”

Penn, who said he was first elected in 1996 and has served two different stints on council, said he is going to miss it.

“It’s almost like a regular job,” Penn – who turned 84 in May – said.

He noted that in all his years on council, he had only missed one meeting and was late once. The one absence occurred in early 2015 when he fell after suffering a mini stroke.

“It took some long, hard thinking on it, but it’s time for me to move on,” Penn said, repeating that he is going to miss being on council.

Council terms in Pulaski and Dublin are for four years.

In Pulaski, where the mayor’s job comes up every two years, current mayor Shannon Collins is the only candidate who will be on the November ballot.

Collins is completing his first term.

The Virginia General Assembly approved a plan in February of 2021 to move municipal elections in the Commonwealth from May to November beginning this year. Proponents of the move said it would help to limit confusion, increase voter turnout and save localities money.