Mixed bag in local election results
Story by Chris Graham
Tighter-than-expected elections in Waynesboro, and results as expected in Staunton. That was Election Day in the Valley on Tuesday.
Mike Harris outpolled Lorie Smith in the marquee race of the day, for the Ward D seat on Waynesboro City Council, by a surprisingly close 141-vote margin. Harris, a retired State Police lieutenant and conservative allied with the majority bloc on the City Council, received 52.45 percent of the vote in the race with Smith, who was running for a second term representing Ward D.
In the Ward C race in Waynesboro, Jeff Freeman, like Harris allied with the conservative majority bloc on City Council, received 58 percent of the vote en route to a 426-vote win over Virginia Department of Transportation engineering assistant Robert Johnson.
The results in the Ward D School Board race were the biggest surprise of the day. Incumbent Kathe Maneval held onto her seat with a 216-vote victory over challenger Jennifer Jones, who over the weekend received the endorsement of Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Maneval won a second term with 53.9 percent of the vote.
In Staunton, incumbents Lacy King, Carolyn Dull and Bruce Elder held onto their seats in the all-at-large race for the three open seats on City Council that featured just one challenger, Carl Tate. Tate, who received the endorsements of a pair of fellow Republicans, former Virginia Gov. and United States Sen. George Allen and sitting State Sen. Emmett Hanger, came in a distant fourth with 738 votes, or 15.3 percent of the votes cast.
King, the mayor of Staunton, led the voting with 1,464 votes, or 30.4 percent. Dull came in second with 1,335 votes, or 27.7 percent. Elder was third with 1,261 votes, or 26.2 percent.
The three open seats on the Staunton School Board will be filled by newcomer Amy Guffey Darby, Angie Whitesell and Ron Ramsey. Whitesell and Ramsey are incumbents, with Darby winning her first term on the Board.