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City mayor going for a second term
Tomzak makes mayoral campaign official

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Date published: 1/31/2008

BY EMILY BATTLE

Tom Tomzak announced yesterday that he will seek a second term as mayor of Fredericksburg.

He will face City Councilwoman Debby Girvan in the May 6 election.

Tomzak, 60, is director of clinical services for the Rappahannock Area Health District. He made his announcement outside City Hall. Girvan, 44, announced her intentions two weeks ago.

About 50 people attended Tomzak's announcement yesterday.

Among them were several former members of the City Council and current Councilman Matt Kelly.

Former council members Billy Withers, Richard Garnett, Walt Sheffield and Joe Wilson, and former Mayor Lawrence Davies attended the event.

Wilson said he was endorsing Tomzak because "I think he's done an excellent job of bringing City Council together."

Davies, however said his appearance was not indicative of an endorsement of Tomzak over Girvan.

"I'm supporting both of them, because I believe that either would be a good mayor," Davies said.

Tomzak won the mayor's seat in 2004, the same year Girvan won her council seat. During that campaign, the two shared several campaign donors and their signs were regularly seen in the same yards.

Recently, the two have bickered at meetings, often over procedural matters like what protocol should be used for communicating with boards and commissions and who could get the last word at meetings.

While the vast majority of this City Council's votes have been unanimous over the past four years, recent votes where Tomzak and Girvan differed were last spring's budget vote and the recent vote on a letter of intent laying out incentives offered to Kalahari Resorts.

In the budget vote, Girvan and Councilman Hashmel Turner were alone in the opposition. Girvan said the city could adopt a lower tax rate by spending from its fund balance, while five other council members said that would not be financially responsible.

In the Kalahari vote, Girvan was alone in the opposition. She said the city hadn't done enough due diligence on the incentives package and on the Kalahari project, but her colleagues all said the vote was a necessary next step to moving forward with the process, and that there was still time for more study.

The deadline to file for candidacy is March 4. In addition to the mayor's seat, the two at-large seats are also up for election.

Vice Mayor Kerry Devine has said she'll run again. That leaves an opening, as Girvan will vacate her seat to run for mayor.

Emily Battle: 540/374-5413
Email: ebattle@freelancestar.com