Walker wins CCH special election

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Shelby J. Walker will sit on the Charlotte Court House Town Council until at least the end of 2018.

Walker defeated Terrill W. “Terry” Ramsey in a special election to fill an unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2018.

According to the Virginia Department of Elections’ (VDOE) website, Walker won the special election with 150 votes, or 64.94 percent of the 231 votes cast. Ramsey received 80 votes, or 34.63 percent. There was one write-in vote.

In Keysville, Mayor Audrey H. Payne will retain the mayoral seat she took over July 1 after the mid-term resignation of former Mayor James Ramsey Jr. Payne, who was appointed to the mayor’s position, ran unopposed. Two hundred thirty-six of the 244 people who voted Tuesday chose Payne to continue in the role for 96.72 percent of the vote. The remaining eight votes went to write-in candidates.

Also running unopposed in Charlotte County was incumbent Phenix Mayor Thomas Franklin Dodd. However, while Dodd won re-election, the votes cast weren’t as overwhelmingly in his favor as Payne’s in Keysville. Of the 75 total votes cast for Phenix mayor, Dodd received 46 for 61.33 while write-in candidates received the remaining 29 votes, or 38.67 of the votes.

County election officials could not be reached after returns were completed Tuesday night to determine whether most of the write-in votes were for a specific person.

Phenix was also the site of a town council election, with seven candidates running for five seats. Incumbent Vice Mayor Dean Evans and fellow incumbent Councilman Rodney Childress both won re-election. However, incumbent Councilwoman Gladys Haskins Reid failed to be re-elected in what turned out to be a fairly even seven-way split among the candidates.

There were 355 votes cast, but voters could choose up to five of the seven candidates.

Candidate Rachel H. Canada led the pack with 64, or 18.03 percent of the votes. Candidate Claire R. Hancock followed with 59 votes, or 16.62 percent. Childress was third with 50 votes (14.08 percent); Evans, fourth, with 48 votes (13.52 percent); and, rounding out the five winners, candidate Emily Lawhorne with 45 votes (12.68 percent).

Candidate Ann T. Newcomb missed the fifth spot by only one vote, earning 44 votes, or 12.39 percent. Reid received 40 votes, or 11.42 percent. There were five write-in votes.

Charlotte County went Republican for the 5th Congressional District race and for president Tuesday.

County voters cast 5,538 ballots in the election to replace U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt, who announced at the end of 2015 he would not run for re-election. Of those Charlotte County votes, state Sen. Tom Garrett Jr., the Republican candidate, received 3,546, or 64.03 percent. In comparison, Democratic candidate Jane Dittmar earned 1,992, or 35.97 percent, of the votes.

There were no write-in votes for this race.

For president, Charlotte County voters went for Republican candidate Donald J. Trump by a nearly 2-1 margin, although Democrat Hillary Clinton took the state by an extremely narrow 1.33 percent difference.

Of the 5,539 ballots cast in Charlotte County, Trump earned 59.6 percent with 3,301 votes compared to Clinton’s 2,074 votes, or 37.44 percent. Third party candidates came in far behind: Libertarian Gary Johnson, 107 votes (1.93 percent), independent Evan McMullin, 34 votes (.61 percent: and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, 12 votes (.22 percent). Eleven write-in votes were cast for president in Charlotte County.

Finally, county voters made their decisions known on two Constitution of Virginia amendments. They split fairly closely on an amendment which would have constitutionalized the commonwealth’s right-to-work laws, casting 2,962 “no” votes (55.26 percent) versus 2,398 “yes” votes (44.74 percent).

On the other hand, voters overwhelmingly said “yes” to an amendment which will allow localities to pass ordinances exempting the spouses of certain emergency workers who die in the line of duty from having to pay real property taxes on their primary residences. Charlotte County voters cast 4,050 “yes” votes (75.03 percent) versus 1,348 “no” votes (24.97 percent).