In the Democratic primary, several candidates sought the nomination including M.A. Cohen, Carl B. Deane, S. Dexter Forbes, Bernard J. Haggerty, and Lindsay B. Mount.  Charles C. Johnson, an African-American man, filed in early February.  Coleman ran for re-election.
One issue was whether candidates supported a proposal by Delegate Harold M. Burrows to require a referendum before any annexation measure.  Cohen and Deane supported the idea. Coleman and Haggerty did not, nor did Johnson. 
Another issue was whether candidates supported an effort by state Senator Edward O. McCue to change the city's charter to a ward system. Mount said that would result in councilors who paid attention to their ward rather than the city as a whole. Coleman said the idea would lead to a more regressive government. 
Another issue was whether candidates supported public dollars to pay for private schools created when public schools were desegregated. Haggerty supported this and said citizens who sent their children to private school should have the same benefits.
Haggerty and Mount were white men who supported the creation of public housing. Forbes did not, and urged voters to cast ballots against a referendum that would set the policies of urban renewal in motion.
Forbes lost the general election in part because of his vote. The referendum also passed, and included these two requests for direct approval by voters:
1) The continuation of the powers of the Redevelopment and Housing Authority 2) the redevelopment of Vinegar Hill and location of public housing near the intersection of Hantman's Mill Road and Ridge Street
The first question passed by a margin of 203 votes, and the second passed by a margin of 23 votes
1960 election results
|Bernard J. Haggerty (D)||2,898|
|Lindsey B. Mount (D)||2,718|
|Robert E. Lee (R)||2,167|
|S. Dexter Forbes (D)||2,122|
|Source: City of Charlottesville|
Each voter could vote for up to three candidates.
- Print: Three Enter Primary for City Council Posts, Staff reports, Daily Progress, Lindsay family January 3, 1960, Page A1.
- Print: Negro Files For Council, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lindsay family February 6, 1960, Page 1.
- Print: Three Candidates Oppose Burrows' Annexation Bill, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lindsay family February 11, 1960, Page 17.
- Print: Johnson Says Referendum Unnecessary, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lindsay family February 12, 1960, Page 15.
- Print: Club Members Quiz Candidates for City Council, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lindsay family February 12, 1960, Page 15.
- Web. [http://books.google.com/books?id=KWdoSyxlf30C&lpg=PA63&ots=fn4uDIYhMd&dq=%22Royal%20Brown%20Hardy%22&pg=PA63#v=onepage&q=%22Royal%20Brown%20Hardy%22&f=false Urban renewal and the end of black culture in Charlottesville, Virginia: an oral history of Vinegar Hil], Dorothy West, James Robert Saunders, Renae Nadine Shackelford, McFarland, 1998, retrieved December 29, 2010.
- Web. Election Results for June 14, 1960, City of Charlottesville, retrieved December 30, 2010.