Jeff Houchins is unopposed in his bid for a council seat on the Stuart Town Council in the November election, as are incumbents Terry Dalton and Rebecca Adcock.
Houchins, 53, said he decided to run for the position because he wants to help make decisions to improve the town.
“I’m really interested in getting the town’s life back, because we don’t really have a lot of businesses that are open at night,” he said.
Houchins also wants to help clean up the town by addressing some of the abandoned houses and vehicles, but he plans to learn the ropes before creating some goals.
“I just want to get on the board, and then just look from there. You know, make sure we’re not wasting money and make sure we’re spending on things it’s supposed to be spent on,” he said.
Houchins said he primarily wants to serve as an asset to the town. Since he’ll be the only Black representative on the board, Houchins said he wants to serve as a voice for the town’s Black population.
“Not that there’s any issues, but once I get on, we’re going to see what happens. Everyone’s got their own ideas. Once I get comfortable and start focusing on my own ideas, we’ll go from there and see what happens,” he said.
Houchins also believes there needs to be more community involvement in council meetings and wants to send invitations out asking residents to attend the monthly meetings.
“Just give a chance or an opportunity for these people to speak on some issues they may have,” he said.
Houchins said he thinks his work experience will help him in this new role.
“I worked for the town once upon a time, so I kind of know what the actual workers there do and some of the things they go through. I think I will have a little bit of knowledge of what’s going on in the town,” he said.
A lifelong Stuart native, Houchins currently works for the Stuart branch of the United States Postal Service. He previously worked for the town and as a truck driver for Hall Oil & Propane before a motorcycle accident cut his career short.
A graduate of Patrick County High School (PCHS), he attended Patrick & Henry Community College (P&HCC) for a time before serving in the United States military for six years in the National Guard.
Houchins and his wife Tracey Houchins, have been married for 24 years. The couple have two daughters, Paige Houchins and Jennifer Foley, and two grandchildren.
His brother James Houchins currently serves as coordinator of Patrick County’s Tourism/Recreation. His sister Greta Payne works for the Martinsville Health Department.
Houchins served as a football coach for 20 years at Stuart Elementary School and for six years at Patrick County High School (PCHS). Besides football, in his spare time Houchins also enjoys fishing.