The two contested races for seats on Waynesboro City Council are too close to call, with Republican Jim Wood leading incumbent Ward D Councilman Sam Hostetter by 21 votes, a less than 1 percent margin among the 2,218 votes cast in Ward D, and Kenny Lee leading Republican Jeremy Sloat by 57 votes in Ward C, a 3.95 percent margin among the 1,442 votes cast in that ward.
The Republican candidate for the Ward D School Board seat, Amber Lipscomb, is the presumptive winner in her race with incumbent Kathe Maneval, with a 134-vote lead, and a 6.15 percent margin.
According to Lisa Jeffers, the city’s general registrar, there were 65 provisional ballots cast citywide that have not been tallied yet, and her office, like others across the state, has a noon Monday, Nov. 14 deadline to receive mail-in ballots postmarked no later than Election Day.
The provisionals and mail-ins received as of Nov. 14 will be reviewed for final tallying at the Waynesboro Electoral Board meeting scheduled for Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. at the registrar’s office at 605 Market Ave.
Because of the tight vote margins in both City Council races, we’re considering both to be too close to call until that final tally next week, though the advantage in both races would seem to be to the favor of the candidates with the narrow leads on Election Night.
Hostetter, an independent, was elected in 2018 and is wrapping up his first four-year term in Ward D.
Wood, the Republican challenger, has voiced doubt on the 2020 election results, both locally, in a race for City Council that he lost to Terry Short by 398 votes, and the 2020 presidential election, which Democrat Joe Biden won by 7 million votes.
The Ward C City Council race featured two political newcomers – Lee, an independent and military veteran, and Sloat, the Republican who ran a low-key campaign relative to the bombastic Wood in the Ward D race.
Lipscomb is a former Waynesboro teacher who now teaches online for Virtual Virginia. Maneval has served on the School Board since her first election in 2006.
Tuesday’s voting in Waynesboro was the first election for City Council and School Board seats in November as opposed to May, and the first election in which only voters in the wards with open seats could vote for their preferred choice of representative, a change from the previous city-wide voting.