Darr won’t run for re-election as Mayor of Front Royal
27 April 2016 News
FRONT ROYAL, Va. – On Monday night (April 25), Front Royal Mayor Tim Darr stated he would NOT run for re-election to a fourth, two-year term as Mayor this November.
Darr ended several months of speculation on his political future at the end of his bi-monthly Mayor’s Report. Darr, who served 4-1/2 years on the Warren County School Board, two as Chairman, prior to running for Town Council in 2004, said there were no internal issues related to Council that impacted his decision.
“I’m JUST TIRED – that’s the only way to describe it,” he said.
Asked after the meeting if health considerations were a factor, Darr said “no” despite a scar on his left cheek he said marked the recent removal of a skin cancer.
Darr received a life-saving, kidney transplant from his wife, Tammy, in 2008. He was out of public life for two years (2008-10) due to that health issue, before re-entering with a successful 2010 run for Mayor.
Of his possible political future after a “rest”, Darr said, “I have enjoyed my time as a public servant and will never rule out serving again either on the town council or in some other capacity.”
Darr, a political independent, has come under increasing pressure from both local and state attempts to politicize all Municipal Elections in recent years. As a government-contracted security worker, were Town Elections to become legally partisan – which would be a Party designation indicated on ballots – the mayor would be disqualified from running due to Hatch Act restrictions on federal employees seeking elective office.
Currently, a long tradition of non-partisan Front Royal elections is codified ONLY by Town Ordinance. In the recent legislative session, state Republicans attempted to allow municipal exemptions to partisan elections by Charter only.
A little over two years ago, an attempt to have then newly-elected Republican 18th District Delegate Michael Webert sponsor a change to the Town Charter codifying non-partisan elections mysteriously was re-worded 180-degrees in committee. The change would have codified partisan elections.
The re-worded Charter change request died in committee after Town officials and the media became aware of the change that reversed what the Town Council was trying to accomplish, assuring that its mayor would not be shut out of future runs for office.
Submitted by Roger Bianchini