About the Race
The election for Nansemond Borough’s representative for Suffolk City Council takes place on November 3, 2020, in conjunction with the US presidential election. Incumbent Judith Brooks-Buck, a former school principal, is running against newcomer and business owner Andy Hilton.
About the District
Suffolk is an independent city located in Hampton Roads. Much of the city is located on either the James or Nansemond Rivers and the city has a population of roughly 100,000. Suffolk has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 2008, with Hillary Clinton earning just under 55% of the vote. However, many members of the Suffolk City Council are still conservative, and the city declared itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary in 2020. The Nansemond Borough consists of the Harborview, Burbage Grant, and Huntersville precincts. Nansemond tends to vote Democratic, with Hillary Clinton earning more than 60% of the borough’s vote in 2016.
Suffolk School Board Vice-Chair Dr. Judy Brooks-Buck has represented the Nansemond District on the school board since 2013. Before serving on the school board, she was a school principal and special education teacher for more than 25 years. Dr. Brooks-Buck served as the executive director of a family self-sufficiency program as part of a HOPE-VI Grant in Portsmouth for three years.
Brooks supported student walkout demonstrations against gun violence.
She is concerned with decreasing drop-out rates and addressing the issues of overcrowded schools.
Her opponent, Andy Hilton, is a business owner with no teaching experience or school administrative experience. Hilton is passionate about the impact that sports can have on the lives of students. He seems to have no concrete plans to improve schools themselves, but is instead focused on what he claims is corruption within the School Board. Given that his policies regarding schools and students seem unclear, he cannot be trusted to make progressive choices for Suffolk City schools.
Given her experience, her work on the school board, and her support for student demonstrations, Dr. Judy Brooks-Buck is the most progressive choice in this race.