Candidate gives campaign donations to grieving family

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — With just a couple of months before election day in November, every day and dollar spent campaigning is important. But one local candidate’s actions show money is the last thing on his mind.

Pastor Cardell Patillo, Jr. is one of nine candidates vying for four seats on Portsmouth’s school board.

“I want to do what I can to improve our school system in Portsmouth,” Patillo told

And even though he may sound like a typical candidate, one local family learned he is anything, but average.

Photos: Candidate kindness in Portsmouth

“I don’t know him,” Antonio Hoggard said. “I have never met him before in my life.”

Hoggard is in town from North Carolina under the worst of circumstances. His brother Kelvin was found dead Monday inside his Portsmouth apartment after having a heart attack.

“To me, he was a man amongst men,” Hoggard said. “He was very spiritual. He liked helping people. He would help people before himself.”

Kelvin Hoggard was only 43-years-old and worked as a probation officer for the State Department of Corrections. As his family started to prepare for Hoggard’s burial, word spread that they were having trouble finding the money to pay for the funeral.

That’s when politics showed a caring side.

“What’s more important: making sure a friend is buried properly or winning the campaign?” Patillo said.

The answer was easy, and even though the election is only months away and every fundraising penny is important, he asked his donors to give somewhere else.

“I told them I want to stop my fundraising efforts, and if they could, if they were thinking of donating to my campaign, to donate towards the funeral expenses for Kelvin,” Patillo said. “I’m not doing this for publicity at all. I feel like I’m a good quality candidate, and I think people will recognize that.”

“We appreciate it,” Hoggard said. “We really do. We are humbled by it. It is just a loss for words.”

If you’d like to donate to the Hoggard family, click here.

You can cast your vote for the Portsmouth School Board positions on November 4, along with all other local elections.

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