By Marty Gordon
Both the Christiansburg Town Council and the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors will have some new faces on the governing boards this January. Local businesswoman Johna Hicks received the most votes in a five-way race for three spots on the Christiansburg council, while Blevins will replace longtime supervisor Chris Tuck on the county board. Tuck did not seek re-election.
All of the results are unofficial and will have to be certified by the local voter registrar’s office.
As they stand unofficially, Hicks, Henry Showalter and Sam Bishop were elected to seats on the Christiansburg Town Council. Incumbent Harry Collins lost his seat.
Hicks had a total of 3,225 votes to Showalter’s 3,032 and Bishop’s 2,648 votes. Collins finished with 2,580 votes.
Hicks said she is honored to be elected by the great people of Christiansburg, and the fact that she received so many votes shows the people want change. She had campaigned for change, and she got it.
Her main goal is to connect Christianburg’s citizens with all that is going on in town. “I want the voices of the people to be heard by the council,” she said.
Collins said he was disappointed by the loss, and his pride was hurt with mud that was slung before the election, but he has a brighter outlook that lets him keep losing a council seat in perspective.
“Back in 2010, I was told I had just six months to live. I’m still here (after a lung transplant), and every day is a good day for me,” he said Thursday.
“I plan to put the town council in my rearview mirror and work more on the Virginia Lung Transplant Committee,” Collins said. “I wish everyone on the council the best of luck.”
Deveron Milne finished fifth in the town council election with 1,390 votes.
Blevins, who is also a local businesswoman, outdistanced Brian Lawson 2,056 votes to 1,506 for the Montgomery supervisors’ District B seat.
The Blacksburg Town Council had three seats up for grabs with only three candidates, so they all were assured of seats before the election was held, Michael Sutphin led with a total of 4,924 votes. Joining him on the town’s council are John Bush, who finished second with 4,361 votes, and Jerry Ford Jr., who finished third with 4,345 votes.
Darrell Sheppard will represent the Montgomery board’s District E for another term after shaking off Robbie Jones in a 1,137 to 923 finish.
In a contested race for the District F seat on the county’s school board, Susan J. Kass defeated Sofia Zhang Midkiff 1,484 to 1,147.
Helen St. Clair, who had previously served as the deputy treasurer for Montgomery County and had been appointed treasurer to serve the remaining term of a retiring office holder, won election to a full term as county treasurer. She tallied 13,225 votes to challenger Tay Taylor’s 7,907.
Bob Phillips was elected as the representative for the Soil and Water Conservation Skyline District, outdistancing second place Richard Wall 8,995 to 7,168.
Several people had no competition in Tuesday’s election. Penny Franklin was re-elected to the Montgomery County School Board’s District B, while Marti Graham will serve another term on the school board’s District E.
Mary Biggs will retain her seat from District F on the county’s board of supervisors while Sheriff Hank Partin also ran unopposed. Mary K. Pettit will serve another term as commonwealth’s attorney, while Helen Royal had no competition for commissioner of revenue.
April DeMotts ran unopposed for the District G seat on the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. Mark Cherbaka was also re-elected to the District G seat on the county’s school board.
In state political races, Republicans maintained most of the control.
In the race for the state senate’s 19th district seat, Republican David Suetterlien defeated Democrat Flo Ketner 41,279 votes to 16,468. In Montgomery County, Suetterlein had 4,467 votes to Ketner’s 2,132.
Voters returned Republican incumbent Nick Rush to the House of Delegates from the Seventh District. Rush had 13,835 votes to Democrat challenger Rhonda Seltz’s 6,877 votes. Rush carried Montgomery County voters by a 5,458-3,536 margin.
County voters also gave Republican Joe McNamara 2,432 votes in the Eighth House District race to Democrat Darlene Lewis’ 1,921 votes. Overall, McNamara won the seat with 15,191 votes to Lewis’ 7,669.
Democrat Chris Hurst won re-election to the House of Delegates 12th District seat, defeating Republican challenger Forrest Hite 11,133 votes to 9,642. tallied 6,987 Montgomery County.
Montgomery County sided with Democrat incumbent District 21 Senator John Edwards with 11,084 votes to Independent candidate Steve Nelson’s 4,527 votes. Overall, Edwards retained the seat with 26,872 votes to Nelson’s 13,881.
In the race for the Virginia Senate District 38 seat, Republican Ben Chaffin garnered 30,279 votes to Independent George McCall III’s 16,684 votes.