Earlier this month, Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman stunned the town’s residents by announcing that he would not seek reelection in the election being held on May 6. Mayor Foreman had declared for reelection back in November and was actively campaigning until that point. Last week, Mayor Foreman reversed his decision and is back in the race.
After having the opportunity to speak with Mayor Foreman and discussing his initial decision and the change of heart that he has had, I am more convinced than ever that he is the right man to lead the Town of Dumfries.
It is natural for everyone to become frustrated at times and Foreman is no exception. He reached the point where he questioned whether it was worth it to continue on in this post and decided that perhaps he should allow someone else to take over. Once he made that decision, Foreman returned all of the campaign contributions that he had received and thought that he was done.
Within 48 hours of making this decision, Mayor Foreman was inundated with people stopping by, emails, and phone calls all urging him to get back in the race and give residents a choice in the election. He finally relented after one day when he was faced with a constant stream of residents and business owners who came in from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Last week, he announced that he was back in the race to win.
The fact that Foreman was willing to walk away after his term expired says to me that he is the type of person who is in this not for the title or to “be somebody,” but is serving because there are specific things that he wants to accomplish.
The other candidate in the race, Vice Mayor Willie Toney, had a clear shot at the top office in the town after Foreman dropped out. According to Foreman, he watched Toney’s actions after he had left the race to see how Mr. Toney would be as mayor.
In one instance, Foreman says he witnessed Toney yelling at a citizen at a public event. When he got the chance, Foreman pulled Toney aside and told him that he can’t yell at citizens and needs to act mayoral. Mr. Toney is said to have told Foreman that he would, but Foreman then witnessed Toney doing it again at yet another public meeting. It was at this point that Foreman came to have serious concerns about Toney’s temperment to serve as mayor.
These concerns only grew for Foreman after it was reported that Toney had violated Virginia’s governmental sunshine laws by meeting with a majority of the town council at someone’s home as well as attempting to use his position in order to get a ticket thrown out. Mayor Foreman has devoted a page on his campaign website to listing the litany of issues that he has with Vice Mayor Toney’s behavior and trustworthiness.
Even putting aside Mr. Toney’s issues of temperment and behavior, Jerry Foreman’s stands on the issues – particularly his call to eliminate the BPOL tax in order to help grow the town’s economy – make him the right person to continue holding the office of mayor. If you live in the Town of Dumfries, be sure to head to the polls on May 6 and vote to reelect Jerry Foreman.