Ken Heath’s campaign that could ran out of steam on Tuesday, failing not only district wide in his bid for a spot in the state Senate but also falling to best Republican Todd Pillion in his home county.
Across the 40th District, Pillion picked up 76% of the vote. Pillion won 56% in Smyth County, where Heath serves as Marion’s director of community and economic development.
The bright spot for Heath’s campaign came from absentee voters, who gave him a 57% edge over the delegate from Abingdon. Heath also bested Pillion among East Park voters – 408 to 344 – and in West Park, where he won 179 votes to 161. Heath topped Pillion, too, in Wassona, garnering 332 votes to Pillion’s 288. Elsewhere in Smyth County, Pillion pulled out a victory, with Heath coming closest in the Royal Oak East polling station, where Pillion won by eight votes.
In another closely watched race, Sheriff Chip Shuler held onto his seat by a comfortable margin, according to unofficial results from the Virginia Board of Elections.
Shuler claimed 60% of the vote – 5,106. Testerman garnered 3,391 votes.
All was not smooth sailing for incumbents, though.
Phil Stevenson appears to have held onto his seat in the North Fork District contest, beating Norman Sparks by an unofficial 30-vote margin, not factoring provisional ballots. Stevenson held a 10-vote edge among absentee voters, won by 19 votes in Seven Mile Ford and by one vote in Rich Valley, according to the Virginia Department of Elections’ unofficial results.
Current board chairman Todd Dishner, however, lost his bid for re-election, falling to Kristopher Ratliff by a nearly 400-vote margin. Ratliff tallied 743 votes in the Park District. Dishner received 361.
In the School Board election, Atkins District incumbent Susan Williams bested Victor Bonham 770 votes to 545 votes.
In the only other contested local election, former schools employee Kyle Rhodes picked up a spot on the School Board, besting Patrick Ford to represent the Park District. Rhodes won 783 votes to 313.
Incumbent Atkins Supervisors Charlie Atkins was unopposed in his bid for re-election. He received 516 votes.
Lori Hester Deel, running unopposed, won the Rye Valley District seat on the Board of Supervisors with 1,204 votes.
Mac Buchanan was unopposed for re-election in the North Fork District on the School Board, and Jesse Choate was unopposed for his spot in the Rye Valley District. Buchanan garnered 927 votes and Choate 1,211.
Roy Evans was unopposed in his race to return to the commonwealth’s attorney’s post, receiving 6,238 votes. Commissioner of Revenue Jeff Richardson was also unopposed, getting 6,572 votes. In the Treasurer spot, Tom Burkett was unopposed. He was re-elected with 6,732 votes.
Incumbent Republican Sen. Ben Chafin easily bested independent challenger George McCall on Tuesday, collecting more than 60% of the votes. Smyth County’s tally tracked closely with the 38th District. Chafin picked up 750 votes to McCall’s 475, taking 61%.
Jeff Campbell held on to his House seat, beating Democratic challenger Jim Barker by a wide margin. Across the 6th District, Campbell picked up 74% of the vote. In his home county, Campbell won by 61% of the votes – 32,52 to 2,048, according to preliminary total. Israel O’Quinn was unopposed in his bid for re-election to the House’s 5th District.
Billy Bear, Justin McClellan and Kristy Waller were elected to the Soil and Water Conservation Director Evergreen District.
Even as national parties kept an eye – and poured money into – Virginia’s elections, there were a staggering number of seats locally and statewide unopposed.
Eleven Senate seat were unopposed, all but one occupied by Democrats. Republicans hold a narrow 20-19 edge in the Senate and a 51-48 advantage in the House.
The Election Day ballots weren’t any more crowded in the House, though. Of the 100 seats up for grabs, 31 featured candidates running unopposed. Again, most of those benefiting from the uncontested races were Democrats.
Terry Kilgore, Will Morefield, Israel O’Quinn, Charles Poindexter, Christopher Head, Terry Austin and Jay Leftwich Jr. were the lone Republicans without opposition. Most of those running unopposed are from the southwestern portion of the state. Leftwich is the only one from outside the broader region, representing Chesapeake City.