Ward 5 candidates make their case

Published 12:21 pm Saturday, March 10, 2018

Two candidates will appear on the ballot for the Ward 5 seat on Franklin’s City Council come the election in May: Wynndolyn Hilliard-Copeland and Ricky Sykes. The seat is currently held by Copeland’s mother, Councilwoman Mary Hilliard, who has announced that she will not seek re-election.

When asked about her campaign and what she hoped to bring to the council, Copeland highlighted her willingness to listen to issues and provide feedback, the importance of keeping citizens informed of policies and procedures and being dependable.

Her priorities for the city, if elected, would be to promote public safety, support economic development to provide tax relief for all citizens, support educational programs for youth and adults and enhance youth and adult recreation opportunities.

Sykes, who ran unsuccessfully for the Ward 5 seat against Hilliard in 2014, said he was inspired to run again in order to hep people and try to make a difference in the community. He is the current chairman of the Franklin City Democratic Committee.

“The FCDC had no one to show interest so I decided to step up,” he said.

When asked about his campaign, Sykes highlighted his volunteer experience working with city youth via the Franklin Department of Parks and Recreation and said one of his priorities, if elected, would be integration.

“I plan to be a team player, open minded to ideas, an attentive listener and focus on solutions that will promote and better our city,” he said. “I am committed to integration among city council because it is necessary so we can effectively work together to help serve our community.”

Though chairman of the FCDC, Sykes said he is not running for council as a democrat. He confirmed, however, that he had obtained the backing of the party within the third congressional district.

City Registrar Jennifer Maynard explained that Virginia Code section 24.2-613 specifies that only in elections for federal, statewide and General Assembly offices will a candidate who has been nominated by a political party or in a primary election be identified by the name of his or her political party.

“That means [in local elections] you don’t get your party identifier on the ballot,” she said.