Janice Wheaton, an Amherst woman who in July was removed from her elected position on the Amherst Town Council without an explanation, is the only name that will appear on the ballot for the at-large seat up for grabs in the Nov. 5 special election.

Wheaton secured a four-year term in November 2018 with 511 votes but on July 10 was expelled from council on a 4-1 vote. She is the only town resident to file to run for the seat by the Friday deadline, according to Amherst County Registrar Fran Brown. Wheaton has said she is running again to continue the work voters elected to her to do.

Interested candidates still can seek the seat as a write-in, Brown said. The town has 1,469 registered voters.

Wheaton, a newcomer to town government, voted against her own expulsion. Mayor Dwayne Tuggle and council members have not commented on the highly unusual decision made following a closed session.

The town has said through prepared remarks and statements council spent much consideration on the “difficult” move and acted properly to expel an elected official through a provision in the town’s charter and to hold the closed meeting for disciplining a public official.

Town resident Ann Hubbard presented council with a petition during its Wednesday meeting requesting the town amend its charter through the Virginia General Assembly to remove the expulsion language. The charter allows for expelling a council representative with concurrence of two-thirds of council’s vote but does not give any reasons why such an action can be taken.

Sharon Turner, who is serving in the council seat on an interim basis, has not yet said if she will run. The new council member will take office when the results of the Nov. 5 special election are certified.

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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