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Warrenton Town Council picks former delegate for vacated seat

Wednesday, Aug. 13 | By Jonathan Hunley
Jerry Wood, former Virginia delegate and new Warrenton Town Council Ward 1 member. - Photo by Adam Goings
Jerry M. Wood, a retired pharmacist and former Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates, was named Tuesday night as the Ward 1 representative on Warrenton's Town Council.

Councilors voted 6-0 to appoint the 77-year-old to the spot vacated last month when Powell L. Duggan became mayor.

That change of seats on the dais meant that the remaining six councilors had to vote on a replacement who would tackle the job until July 1, 2016, when Duggan's ward term was due to end.

Councilors asked interested Ward 1 residents to apply for the job, and Wood won over three other hopefuls.

They were Mike Forsten, co-owner of the Old Town Athletic Club; Warrenton Planning Commissioner Ali Zarabi; and Fauquier County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Myers.

Duggan said it was "gratifying" to have to pick among four "qualified" candidates.

"We haven't always had this," he said of the yearn for public service.

In fact, he recalled running for his former Ward 1 seat one year and inquiring whether he would be challenged.

"Powell, nobody wants your job," he was told.

"Now, people do," the mayor said Tuesday night.

Wood's name was put into official nomination at the Town Council meeting by Vice Mayor L.P. "Sunny" Reynolds.

Then he was approved with barely any discussion, which prompted audience member Walt Hitchcock to whisper sheepishly, "That was a hard-fought campaign."

After the vote, Wood said that he always had wanted to return to office after serving in Richmond in the early 1990s.

He said he enjoys helping his fellow man, which is why he was a pharmacist.

Wood said he plans to hold regular Ward 1 constituent meetings, and he said he's interested in running for a full council term in 2016.

"This town has been wonderful to me," said the white-haired Wood, who with his dark-blue suit looked like he could have just walked out of a committee meeting at the State Capitol.

The former 31st District delegate counts among his legislative achievements the securing of land for Lord Fairfax Community College and fighting to keep a state agricultural laboratory in Warrenton.

He retired from his main job, the pharmaceutical business, on July 1, 2005.

He was pharmacist and president of Fauquier Pharmacy in Warrenton from 1972 to 1992, and he worked in drug stores in Culpeper and Fredericksburg during his career.

Wood also has been involved with several local, state and national civic and nonprofit organizations over the years.

He is married to the former Coleen M. Kendrick and has six children and a dozen grandchildren.

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