Aug. 19 deadline set for Dendron District supervisor candidates in Surry

Published 6:48 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Candidates interested in serving the remainder of Michael Drewry’s term on Surry County’s Board of Supervisors have just under nine days to get their names on the ballot.

Surry Circuit Court has scheduled a special election to fill Drewry’s vacated Dendron District seat for Nov. 8. Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Aug. 19 to collect and submit a Virginia Department of Elections petition bearing the signatures of at least 125 registered Dendron District voters, and related documentation, to the county’s Registrar’s Office.

Drewry resigned from the board in July, citing Virginia Bar Association conflict-of-interest rules, after filing a petition in court seeking to overturn the board’s vote to approve a regional biogas facility that would be sited near his home.

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Align RNG, a joint venture of Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods, received the board’s 2-1 approval in June to construct a regional processing facility near the Surry-Sussex county line that would turn methane from hog manure, also known as biogas, into pipeline-quality natural gas. Drewry, who cast the dissenting vote, asks that Surry’s Circuit Court declare the board’s vote “null and void” on grounds that the county Planning Commission allegedly “did not follow” procedures required under state law when vetting the project last fall.

At the time of Drewry’s resignation, he had just under 18 months remaining on his 2019-2023 term.

The Nov. 8 election to fill Drewry’s seat will coincide with another special election to fill former Vice Chairman Ronald Howell Jr.’s vacated Carsley District seat. Howell resigned his seat in April less than a year into his first elected term in office.

There’s also a general election scheduled for the date. U.S. Rep. A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat, will have a rematch with Leon Benjamin Sr., his Republican challenger from 2020.