Steve Harvey, the 35-year-old Outreach Director for the U.S. 5th Congressional District, will challenge Ann Mallek for the White Hall district representative seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors this November. Harvey characterizes himself as a constitutional conservative with a strong libertarian streak, and is running on a small government, economic growth platform.
An aspiring farmer, Harvey lives in White Hall with his wife and three young children. “We’ve planted two acres of clover and we’re getting beehives up,” he said, “and we’ll eventually have an orchard out here. I’ve lived all over the place and this is the most beautiful to me, just gorgeous with the right mix of culture and quiet.”
Harvey lived here as a child and attended Meriwether Lewis Elementary, went to high school in Lynchburg and then attended college at Notre Dame, where he participated in the ROTC program and earned a business degree. While waiting for a spot in flight school, he did a brief stint as a mutual fund specialist with AIG, then became a pilot and flew Blackhawk helicopters as an Army officer. Upon his medical retirement due to a spinal cord injury, the Army offered to move Harvey and his family anywhere in the country, and they chose Albemarle county.
Now that he’s come full circle, he’d like to represent western interests on the Board of Supervisors. “One of the factors in my deciding to get more involved is that there seems to be a subset of the constituency out here that is unhappy that most of the county’s attention doesn’t get directed at White Hall,” he said. “Whether we need a new school, new roads, or improved broadband, it’s not happening out here, even as our taxes are going up by five percent this year.”
“My job [as Outreach Director] is to talk with business owners about what kinds of regulatory obstacles get in their way,” said Harvey, “and a theme has become that they’d like to open a business in Albemarle County but can’t afford it and the process is overly burdensome. Excessive regulations, Architectural Review Board rulings and zoning approvals all hamstring the process so they end up opening in Greene or Madison instead.”
Harvey plans to campaign in person as much as possible, “trying to knock on doors that haven’t been knocked on in 40 years,” he said. The Gazette will present side-by-side candidate positions in the coming months in advance of election day, November 5.