Story by Chris Graham
The votes are in, and the winners are …
Drum roll, please.
OK, so there were no real surprises in Tuesday’s general elections in Staunton and Waynesboro – with all six incumbents running for re-election to the respective city councils winning handily.
The only quasi-surprise of Election Night came with the relatively easy win of Waynesboro School Board at-large candidate Brian Edwards over former school-system administrator Doris Hulvey.
Edwards, a Waynesboro police officer, received 67.9 percent of the votes cast in the two-way race with Hulvey, who lost a narrow decision for the Ward D seat on the board to current board chair Lorie Smith in 2002.
Waynesboro Mayor Chuck Ricketts took home a similarly easy victory over former city councilman DuBose Egleston. Ricketts picked up 64.8 percent of the votes cast in the two-man contest.
City Councilman Tom Reynolds will also serve another four years on the body after receiving 87.9 percent of the vote in his race with Howard Monroe.
In Staunton’s all-at-large elections, the four incumbents running for the four open seats on the city council won in convincing fashion.
Councilman Dickie Bell led the way with 1,917 votes, or 74.1 percent. Rita Wilson was second with 1,788 votes, or 69.1 percent. Dave Metz was third with 1,750 votes, or 67.7 percent.
Vice Mayor Dick Robinson received 1,560 votes, or 63.2 percent, to take the fourth and final open seat on the city council.
Challengers James Welsh and Doug Manning were a distant fifth and sixth – with 1,110 votes (42.9 percent) for Welsh and 928 votes (35.9 percent) for Manning, a former council member.
Voters in Staunton also elected three new members to the school board – Lee Hersch, Edward Scott and Ronald Ramsey. The three were the only candidates on the ballot for the three open positions on the school board.
Two Waynesboro School Board candidates were unopposed for their seats – Doug Norcross in Ward A and Jonathan Lovelady in Ward B.
Current Ward A school-board representative Tim Williams was elected without opposition to the Ward A seat on Waynesboro City Council.
Voter turnout was abysmal in both cities. In Waynesboro, 2,349 of the city’s 10,795 registered voters cast their lots, or 21.8 percent. In Staunton, 2,586 of the city’s 12,726 registered voters went to the polls, or 20.3 percent.