Home Donald Smith, Steve Landes cruise to wins in Augusta County races

Donald Smith, Steve Landes cruise to wins in Augusta County races


augusta countyAugusta County Sheriff Donald Smith and long-time state delegate Steve Landes cruised to easy wins in contested local races on Tuesday.

Smith, first elected in 2015, defeated Republican Neil Kester, with a nearly 7,000-vote lead, and 65.6 percent of the vote, in a bitterly contested sheriff’s race.

Kester and a pair of local PACs had waged an ugly and costly campaign alleging that Smith had conspired with a Harrisonburg man convicted in a human trafficking case.

With 23 of the county’s 26 voting precincts reporting as of 9:25 p.m., Smith had recorded 14,694 votes, to 7,632 votes for Kester, who didn’t win a single precinct.

Landes, who has represented the 25th House District in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1996, was just short of 50 percent in a five-candidate race for the open Augusta County Clerk of Court post.

Landes, the Republican nominee, was at 11,139 votes with 23 of 26 county precincts reporting, at 49.95 percent. Carolyn Bragg, a member of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, was a distant second, with 4,580 votes, 20.5 percent.

There were two contested races for seats on the Board of Supervisors. In the South River District, Steven Morelli defeated James Kindig and Randall Wolf in a tight three-way race, with Morelli receiving 1,345 votes to 1,221 for Kindig and 869 for Wolf.

In the Wayne District, Scott Seaton unseated incumbent Wendell Coleman in a three-way race that included John Graves, with Seaton tallying 1,883 votes to 1,234 for Coleman and 559 for Graves.

Story by Chris Graham



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