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What happened in Staunton update: City flips back to blue in November

(© Richard –

What happened in Staunton in the May City Council elections just got more shocking after what happened in Staunton in November.

Republicans, famously, swept the four-seat City Council race back in May, taking the majority on the body for the first time in a generation, and it wasn’t even close.


Joe Biden won Staunton yesterday, taking 53.6 percent of the vote – amid a record-high voter turnout in the city of just over 12,800.

For perspective, Hillary Clinton won Staunton in 2016 by a narrow 47.8 percent to 46.0 percent margin, and Barack Obama got 51.0 percent and 51.2 percent in the city in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

How’s that for perspective? Biden, five and a half months after the 2A sanctuary movement flipped City Council, outdid the best that Barack Obama could do in Staunton.

And it wasn’t just Biden. Mark Warner got 56.6 percent of the vote in his Senate re-election race with Daniel Gade, and Nicholas Betts, who barely waged a fight in his race against Republican incumbent Ben Cline, won the congressional vote in the city by 228 votes.

Our analysis back in the spring was that Republicans simply got more of their voters to the polls.

For instance, the vote total for Andrea Oakes, who would go on to be elected by her peers to serve as mayor, at 2,541, was in line with the total cast in Staunton for 2013 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, who polled 2,869 votes in Staunton in his loss to Terry McAuliffe, as T-Mac won Staunton with 47.2 percent of the vote in a three-way race that also included a Libertarian, Robert Sarvis.

That’s how you flip a May City Council race – by getting your voters to turn out in numbers akin to a November statewide election.

If it feels like Staunton is back on its axis after what happened yesterday, well …

The results of that City Council election in May will linger for another three and a half years.

Elections, the saying goes, have consequences.

The City Council held a 2A sanctuary public hearing just last week.

Democrats on the Council are having to FOIA public documents from the Republicans.

It’s going to be a long three and a half years.

Story by Chris Graham