Oh, Snap! Halfaday gym ownership claim refuted

Back in the spring, after James Halfaday announced a run for City Council, he met with a reporter at Snap Fitness and acted like he owned the place, and, actually, claimed he did. Halfaday's alleged co-ownership of the 24-hour gym on Zan Road went unchallenged from April until September.

Photos of the gym appear on his election website, and local media, including the Daily Progress, Charlottesville Tomorrow, and the Hook, reported it; and he's listed in Cvillepedia as the co-owner of the fitness center. It was only after a story in the September 8 issue of the Hook"Quake casualty? Council candidate claims knock-out blow"– that an email from attorney Brad Young showed up in a Hook reporter's inbox on behalf of Mike and Nancy Hamdani, owners of The Long Run Inc.

"Mr. and Mrs. Hamdani are the sole owners of Long Run, which in turn is the sole owner of the Snap Fitness franchise in Charlottesville," writes attorney Young. "This state of affairs has existed since Snap Fitness opened in August 2008. Mr. Halfaday does not have and has never had any ownership interest in either Long Run or the Snap Fitness franchise in Charlottesville."

Halfaday did not respond to emailed requests for comment from the Hook; and, for the past two weeks, dialing his phone number has resulted in a busy signal.

After the August 20 Democratic primary, in which Halfaday finished seventh out of seven candidates, he continued to make increasingly more bizarre news.

In late August, Halfaday, Charlottesville's first openly gay candidate, obtained an emergency protective order against Nina Gregory, a volunteer for Council candidate Kathy Galvin. He told NBC29 that Gregory, who is married, approached him romantically and allegedly sent him 134 text messages and numerous harassing phone calls, including the message, "I love you. I want to be there. I've got a knife for us."

"There's absolutely no truth to these allegations," Gregory told the Hook August 29, the day she was arrested for allegedly violating the protective order. 

Later, Halfaday posted a photo of himself on Facebook wearing a neck-collar to bolster his claim that he'd been knocked unconscious by a falling ceiling in his sunroom during the August 23 earthquake, apparently making him the only quake-related injury reported in Charlottesville.

While Young says that Halfaday is or was a member at Snap Fitness, the lawyer calls the former candidate's ownership claim "pretty breathtaking" and says the Hamdanis are not available for comment.

"They have no desire to get injected in the Halfaday story," says Young. As for their months-long silence on the Halfaday claim that he owned their business, Young says, "They kept thinking the media would find out."


Halfaday's website shows him pictured with former 5th District Congressman Tom Perriello and with UVA President Teresa Sullivan. Former Charlottesville Sheriff Cornelia Johnson and former fire chief and vice mayor Julian Taliaferro are also pictured– because they endorsed Halfaday.

"He seemed like a nice enough young guy who wanted to serve the community," says the former chief, who knew Halfaday from his involvement as a fire department volunteer. Taliaferro says he was unaware that the claim of owning Snap Fitness might be fabricated.

"If that's true," says Taliaferro, "it would be a little disturbing."

Motivational instructor Charles Alexander, who goes by the moniker Alex-Zan, also endorsed Halfaday.

"I don't really know him," concedes Alexander. "I met him at Cville Coffee, and he came up and said, 'I've heard about your work with young people.' He said he runs a fitness outfit and would consider supporting my event."

Neither Taliaferro nor Alexander say the Halfaday brouhaha will deter them from making future political endorsements.

"You go mostly on face value," says Alexander. "Every week, there's a coach or someone in the political system who's been doing something unethical for 20 years. You just don't know."

Still, he says of his Halfaday encounter, "It is strange."

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This dude is strange and disturbing.

Further this - HOOK - why do you keep reporting on him? How come you haven't done due diligence in reporting and RESEARCHED this guy? Really? Oh - that is right - no one is a reporter anymore - it is all Yellow journalism!

Sounds to me like this guy is Washington DC material. A guy pathological liar should fit right in up there. ;)

Ooops, should be "gay pathological liar".

Clearly he meant to say, "I OWWWWWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN Snap Fitness."

Clearly he meant to say, "I OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNNNN" Snap Fitness," in a gruff voice.

Al you went from typo to oh no. What does his sexuality have to do with his truthfulness? All things equal "guy pathological liar" is less offensive and more represetnative of the problems in DC.

I pwn'd halfaday

The dude's got balls - that's for sure. Moves halfway across the country, fabricates a new identity for himself, and then runs for political office.... Didn't Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom Hanks make a movie about this guy a few years ago?

I don't know why you guys and girls are whining.

I think Halfaday would fit right in with the rest of the liars in city and county government.


It took a lot of courage for James Halfaday to run for City office, He has no reason to lie and has been more truthful than any other candidate. He came out to his community because he felt it was right for people to know what he stands for. Its a shame that the community didn't stand behind him. Charllottesville can use a few good men.

The Hook just made Mr. Halfaday a millionaire. I know a great defamation of character lawyer in DC Mr. Halfaday.

To Daily Harold: Gay or straight, nobody cares anymore. But somebody who can't seem to get a grip on the truth, now that's a different issue. It seems Mr. Halfaday's credibility is somewhat damaged.

This makes me ashamed to be a gay man. I hope that one day in my lifetime I will see the first openly gay President, and it's drama like this that leads people to unfair assumptions about all gay potential candidates for any political office. I sincerely hope this all pans out to reveal the unabridged truth.

Anyone ever seen this guy and Halsey Minor in the same room? Just might be the same person. Or perhaps this guy is the long lost, illegitimate son of Lee Danielson and Halsey Minor?

I don't know, we've been serenaded before only to be left hold the sack(oops). How much more damage to the reputation of city councilors can this guy do than hasn't already been done?

looks like the Hook is going to get another shout out from www.fark.com

There might be more, keep looking. Where did he come from, what did he do before, what has he done since he has been here, where did and where does he work???


Hopefully, most folks have sense enough to realize that Mr. Halfaday's sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to do with his other "issues".

i can has him as personal trainer?

It occurs to me that Jim's stated gender preference may ALSO be a part of the ruse. If what the Hook has otherwise reported about him is true, what basis is there to believe his claimed sexual orientation? Whether he is gay, straight, Bi, TV, or asexual has about the same relevance as freckles and eye color, when it comes to public service.

But what DOES have relevance is a tendency to make everything up as you go along, so he would probably be unsuited for a position involving the public trust, to say nothing of taxpayer money.

Perhaps he is really running a kind of social experiment, the object of which is to see how much people will believe just because someone tells them. If the Hook article is any indication, Jim's claims strongly suggest that most people are pretty accepting and trusting -maybe even gullible.

But, we already knew that. Didn't we?

I'll bet that he is secretly a teabagger.

Deleted by moderator.

Fabricators to the left of me, fabricators to the right of me, fabricators in front of me............ fabricators be...... errr, stop right there!!! Hmmm, I think I'll go read The HOOK's story now about Mr. Caravati instead. Just what more excitement can happen here in the 'Ville???
How the unentangled evolves into the tangled. All this local news lately just doesn't seem to take very long to break, does it?

We as native North Americans own it all except Manhatton which we sold .Not a good place anyway rather stinky . According to our laws of ownership Jim not only owns the gym but he owns all of Charlotteville and surrounding areas .

Please stop reporting just what people are claiming about James Halfaday and find out who really owns Snap Fitness. How hard could it be? I know Brad Young and I trust Brad Young, but given the claims on both sides of this, considering that one of the claimants was a City Council candidate, I would have expected The Hook to verify Mr. Young's statements before printing them. If Mr. Halfaday doesn't own Snap Fitness, then I agree with the comment of Look Deeper.

Here's a question: Who gives a s*** about a guy who finished 7th in voting for council?

never suprised - I care. Deez stories bout Halfaday make my day mane


Word out, man! That's groovy, B!

Who got Caravati's endorsement?

Man stares into the abyss ...and sees nothing but darkness
...at that time man finds his true character

Or maybe the truth is something that works twice.

Seriously. Halfaday needs mental health care before he hurts himself.

He has my vote! If that is all he is fibbing about, then he is the most honest politician I have seen around here. Let's send him to Washington, to clean things up for a change.

Is it true that Halfaday lives on Pantops, in Albemarle county? If so, how could he run for office in the city?

@Eric: Uh...........nope.

The Hook needs to investigate whether Halfaday attended the UVA Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. I have my doubts. But he may have attended a 3-day candidate training program sponsored by Sorensen. Even that claim is questionable in light of the gym ownership and earthquake injury revelations.

That one was particularly hilarious, when he signed up for a 3-day workshop at Sorenson and then made a huge deal out of having "graduated" from UVA. Sorry James, just because I once took a leak in a bathroom at the Harvard library doesn't give me the right to say I "attended" Harvard University.

He was my 4th pick out of 7 at the primary. Now I would vote him 7 of 7 (like all the majority of others did) or just leave his name off entirely. He better have paper/email proof of the claims against N. Gregory going into Court.

Mother Nature here ... OK, I admit to causing the 5.8 earthquake, but didn't hurt that innocent boy. That's so untrue. And you know what they say ... It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

and now facing election fraud charges.........................

Hook, you've done it again and you are on to something, keep looking, there has got to be much more. Now the Commonwealth Attorney looking into possible election fraud (see below), I'm just sayin...


Buh Bye Halfa "brain" day.

Got to agree with Gas Bag. This boy would fit right in with most boards and councils.

All of his pitures on his web sites were just really weird and staged.

If he had made it, a scandal or law vilation would have soon followed. Classic

Ooops. Really meant Vile-Lation.. HAHAHA AAAHH

Analyzed - runs for council - looking for attention; announces that he is gay - looking for attention; earthquake victim on his facebook - looking for attention; pictures with politicians - looking for attention...

Looking for attention!

Is this the same James Halfaday, see this link?


Twenty-one? That can't be right. The Hook needs to FOIA the report and look at the contributors.

"For example, the Democratic candidate claimed he's co-owner of Snap Fitness, however owners say he's never even been an employee there. The Board is also curious about 21 separate campaign donations of $499 dollars, amounting to more than $10,400, of which records show he has only spent slightly more than $900."

This has been turned over to the commonwealth's attorney, the same commonwealth's attorney who is pictured with Halfaday on Facebook as one of his supporters. Conflict of interest?

This clown also claims to have been elected to city council of his hometown at the age of 18. I think the Hook should follow up to see if that is actually true.

@Snap Crackle Pop Twenty-one? That can't be right. The Hook needs to FOIA the report and look at the contributors.

No need to FOIA the report; see it here: http://www.vpap.org/candidates/profile/money_in_donors/198239

@ Sunny---never mind. I did my own investigation, and although I still don't know if he was elected to anything, I found that he couldn't have been a "city" councilor because his hometown is not a town, much less a city. It is actually a small village with less than 300 residents, including children who can't vote. They don't have "councilors; they have village trustees.

This whole thing is just a cultural misunderstanding .

Big Chief Half Moon: What culture would that be? The culture of "Say whatever is necessary to win?" Or the culture of "Don't get caught doing it?"

The Native North American Indian concept of property ownership is different than that of the Europeans. Natives that use a territory ,area,or plot of land contend that they own the property. That ownership does not preculde others from using it providing they do so in good faith and not be destructive . The native ownership system in North America is the senior code .

Halfafag has done it now!!! (that's what he wants - folks to make comments so he can claim some sort of harassment!!)

Or somebody to get him in court about a question of ownership and alleged false statements pertaining ownership .Quelle can of worms . Some are also claiming he has made a false statement about graduating from a course at UVA . He was only being gentle as he could just as easily in conjunction with his heritage group claimed ownership to UVA .

Back in the 90s or earlier on the bulletin board at Albemarle Circuit Court was a letter from someone claiming all land east of the Mississippi from a Spanish Land grant. By memory there was a warning not to record any more deeds. I suspose they mailed one to every clerk east of the Mississippi. So Shelby Marshall or someone there put Albemarle's on the bulletin board.


James Halfaday WAS a Trustee for the Village of Dunfermline at the time that he claims. I don't know if he was elected or appointed. But he was on the Board of Trustees.

@ Sunny: Why would relatives and friends write the same amount $499? I smell another mistruth and credit card debt. Lets see more. Like cancelled checks.

@ Big Chief Half Moon: How about American Indian LGBT rights?

Sunny, all those donation for $499 exactly? That looks really fishy to me - does some other report kick in if you go over $500?

@St. Halsey I was wondering the same thing. He claims that he asked for the donations for his birthday and he personally placed a maximum of $499 to the request. I used to be very familiar with elections laws but have been out of touch for too long to know what the laws are regarding donations, but my best guess is there is a very good reason all those donations were for one dollar less than $500.

wonder if he has skipped town by now...........

In today's age of "instant information", how long did he think it would take for someone, anyone to catch up to all these fabrications? Dude is obviously unbalanced. Obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Not sad, just pathetic...

"Catch me if you can", isnt that a movie? Life imitating art?