Kristin Szakos

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Kristin Szakos
2013-Kristin Szakos.JPG
Kristin Layng Szakos (D), ca. 2013

Electoral District At-Large
Term Start January 1, 2010
Term End December 31, 2013
Preceded by Julian Taliaferro
Succeeded by Kristin Szakos

Electoral District At-Large
Term Start January 1, 2014
Term End December 31, 2017
Preceded by Kristin Szakos
Succeeded by Heather Hill

Biographical Information

Date of birth Age 63
Spouse Joe Szakos
Children Two
Residence Charlottesville, Virginia (Since 1994)
Alma mater Grinnell College
B.A. in Religious Studies
Northwestern University
M.S.J. in Print Journalism[1]
Profession Freelance writer, editor,[1] Grant Writer, Volunteer
Campaign $ VPAP
Contributions $ VPAP

Kristin Szakos (D) was elected to two terms on the Charlottesville City Council. [2] [3] [4]

She did not run for a third term. [5]


Kristin Szakos signing documents after being sworn in by the Hon. Paul Garrett on December 23, 2009

Szakos has been a Charlottesville resident since 1994 [citation needed]. She is married to Joe Szakos and has two daughters. She currently lives with them in the Locust Grove neighborhood. She was president of the Burnley-Moran PTO, served on the city Special Education Advisory Committee and the board of the Charlottesville Branch NAACP, and currently, as of 2011, serves on the Trinity Episcopal Church Vestry.[1] A former journalist, Szakos spent two years as Volunteer Coordinator for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign in Charlottesville.

Szakos and Councilor Satyendra Huja were potential candidates to succeed Dave Norris as Mayor of Charlottesville in late 2011.[6]

Public service

See also List of City Councilors

See also Charlottesville City Council 2010-2011, 2012-2013, 2014-2015 and 2016-2017

2010 appointment of City Manager

As a member of the council that appointed Maurice Jones, Szakos said that she and other community members who reviewed the candidates for city manager then felt Jones was the best fit for the job.


“He didn’t have the same degrees as some candidates, but degrees don’t necessarily make you a better manager,”
“It was a concern that he should have a degree, though, so that’s why we decided to pay for him to get his master’s.”
Szakos said she thinks that the city will “lose out” on part of its investment, but demurred when asked if she disagreed with the council’s decision to not renew his contract.
“As a former councilor, I don’t think they need me second-guessing their decisions,” she said. “I don’t think those investments were wasted. Now that [Jones] is going somewhere else, he’ll be a good manager there.”[7]

2016 committee assignments

In January 2016, Szakos was assigned to the following committees. [8]

Past policy positions

Szakos has called for the city to explore the introduction of a municipal composting system[10]

2013 election for City Council

Candidates Votes %
Kristin Szakos (D) incumbent 7,411 34.89
Bob Fenwick (D) 6,650 31.31
Mike Farruggio (R) 3,897 18.35
Charles L. Weber, Jr. (R) 3,172 14.93
Write-In 112 .53
Source: Virginia State Board of Elections[11]

Each voter could vote for up to two candidates.

Candidate Profile Resources
Candidate Kristin Szakos (D) - Incumbent * WINNER
Office Charlottesville City Council
Election year 2013 election
Logo-small25.jpg Candidate interviews by Charlottesville Tomorrow
Candidate interview transcript
Candidate interview audio

Source website

Szakos was nominated by the Democratic Party in the June 11, 2013 primary when she won 1,307 votes, or 29 percent of the electorate. [12]

Szakos chose Valentine's Day to formally announce her campaign for a second term. Her campaign manager was Lisa Green. [13] Through May 29, 2013, Szakos had raised $2,941 in campaign foundations including a $1,000 donation from herself. [14]

Szakos also participated in a questionnaire on public housing conducted by the Public Housing Association of Residents. [15]

In the period from July 2013 to August 2013, Szakos raised $3,468 in campaign donations. [16]

Audio of campaign announcement

<play audio> </play audio>

2009 election for City Council

Campaign launch

Kristin Szakos announced in February 2009 that she would run as a Democrat seeking one of two available seats on council.

At her campaign launch, Szakos told a crowd of supporters that she had never considered herself a potential candidate for political office until experiencing the Obama campaign. "I never thought that I’d want to run for office," said Szakos. "Yet here I am and I am feeling really good about it."

Szakos said she intends to channel the energy from the Obama campaign into local issues at City Hall. "We need to talk about why there are still such great gaps in opportunity and education in Charlottesville, and work hard to close them," said Szakos. "We need to speak out about inequality in a town as seemingly progressive and prosperous as ours, and we need to work to change it."

Szakos identified the following items as her campaign pledge:

  • Make City government more responsive to under-served neighborhoods
  • Get people involved in the decisions that affect their lives
  • Listen to all perspectives and strive to find common ground
  • Find new and creative solutions to persistent community problems
  • Find new ways to save money and reduce energy consumption, and
  • Use "people power" to bring needed change.

2009 Unassembled Caucus

Szakos faced incumbents Dave Norris and Julian Taliaferro in the first-ever unassembled caucus held by the Charlottesville Democratic Party on May 9, 2009. Szakos won the nomination along with Norris[17].

Szakos won the caucus and ran in the general election with fellow Democrat and Mayor Dave Norris[citation needed].

General election results

Candidates Votes %
Dave Norris (D) incumbent 6,300 38.7
Kristin Szakos (D) 5,083 31.2
Bob Fenwick (I) 3,293 20.2
Paul Long (I) 1,214 7.5
Andrew Williams (I, write-in) 237 1.5
Other Write-In 141 0.9
Source: City of Charlottesville[18]

Overall voter turnout for City of Charlottesville in this election was 37.31%. Each voter could vote for up to two candidates.

Candidate Profile Resources
Candidate Kristin Szakos (D) - Challenger * WINNER
Office Charlottesville City Council
Election year 2009 election
Logo-small25.jpg Candidate interviews by Charlottesville Tomorrow
Candidate interview transcript
Candidate interview audio

Source website

Confederate statue controversy

At the 2012 Virginia Festival of the Book, Szakos asked civil war expert and former UVa professor Ed Ayers if the city should consider removing statues to confederate generals or balance them out with other statues.[19] The question generated criticism from members of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, who stated that the city's Civil War statues are an important reminder of the area's history and should not be removed.[20] Szakos said that as a result of her comments she was the subject of hostility but felt that the situation still warranted community conversation.[21]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Candidate Submissions to Charlottesville Tomorrow
  2. Web. Szakos, Fenwick win Charlottesville City Council seats, Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 5, 2013, retrieved November 6, 2013.
  3. Web. City Democrats to decide method for nomination process, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, December 1, 2012, retrieved December 3, 2012.
  4. Web. Szakos makes bid for second Council term official, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 14, 2013, retrieved March 14, 2013.
  5. Web. Szakos won’t seek third term on City Council, Lisa Provence, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, January 17, 2017, retrieved January 27, 2016. Print. January 17, 2017 .
  6. Web. Who will be the next mayor of Charlottesville?, Chiara Canzi, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, December 27, 2011, retrieved December 22, 2011. Print. December 27, 2011 , 23.52, .
  8. E-mail. Paige Rice, City of Charlottesville. "RE: list of appointments." Message to Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow. January 7, 2016.
  9. Web. MPO Policy Board, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, retrieved August 16, 2011.
  10. Web. Councilor likes idea of public composting, Rachana Dixit, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 6, 2010, retrieved November 8, 2010.
  11. Web. Charlottesville City Council Election Results, Virginia State Board of Elections, retrieved November 11, 2013.
  12. Web. Bellamy, Fenwick in dead heat; Szakos wins easily, Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, June 12, 2013, retrieved June 12, 2013.
  13. Web. Szakos makes bid for second Council term official, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 14, 2013, retrieved February 19, 2013.
  14. Web. Palmer, McKeel lead local candidates in fundraising, Daily Progress Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, June 7, 2013, retrieved June 10, 2013.
  15. Web. [ Questionnaire for City Council Candidatesurl=], June 4, 2013, retrieved June 10, 2013.
  16. Web. Local campaigns garner support from political parties, business PAC, Maggie Ambrose and Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow, September 22, 2013, retrieved October 3, 2013.
  17. "Charlottesville Democrats nominate Norris and Szakos for City Council" Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. Charlottesville Tomorrow, 9 May 2009. Web. 10 Aug. 2009.
  18. Official Results November 3, 2009 General Election. City of Charlottesville, 6 Nov. 2009. Web. 6 Nov. 2009. <>.
  19. Web. Historian talks Civil War as councilor wonders if statues should be torn down, Ted Strong, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, March 22, 2012, retrieved April 10, 2012.
  20. Web. City's Civil War statues remind us of our past, Daily Progress, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, March 27, 2012, retrieved March 10, 2019.
  21. Web. Szakos decries response to statue comments, Graham Moomaw, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, retrieved April 10, 2012.

External Links

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s News Center