Newcomers are helping shape the races for seats on the county’s board of supervisors in this November’s election

In a local Republican Party canvass, or party-run primary election, Lori Hester Deel, a newcomer to elected government service, defeated incumbent Rick Blevins to represent the party in the race for the Rye Valley District seat on the board of supervisors.

Deel, a former director of economic and community development for Smyth County, received 73 votes to Blevins’ 39 votes in the Saturday canvass.

At this time, the Democratic Committee hasn’t nominated a candidate for the Rye Valley race, but could still certify one until June 11.

In a press release, county GOP leaders said, “The Smyth County Republican Committee wishes to thank the candidates, all those who voted in the canvass, and the canvass volunteers who helped make the event a success.”

The Democrats are also bringing a newcomer to the election process.

Norman Sparks, who currently serves on the county’s planning commission, has been nominated to run for the North Fork District.

Sparks will challenge incumbent Charles P. “Phil” Stevenson, who’s representing the GOP and is completing his first term as a supervisor.

The county Democratic Committee also gave its nod to incumbent Charles Atkins to seek re-election to represent the Atkins District and incumbent Todd Dishner to run again for the Park District.

Atkins is seeking his second term on the board, while Dishner, who serves as the board’s chair, is seeking his fifth term.

Dishner is being challenged by Kristopher S. Ratliff. Atkins is unopposed at this time.

The Democratic Committee certified by caucus Chip Shuler (incumbent) for county sheriff, Roy Evans (incumbent) for commonwealth attorney, Tom Burkett (incumbent) for county treasurer and Jeff Richardson  (incumbent) for commissioner of revenue.

In a press release, local Democratic officials said, “The Smyth County Democratic Party believes that the board of supervisors should represent the needs of the citizens, especially to create more job opportunities, fiscally support our schools, be fiscally responsible with tax dollars and assure the public safety of our citizens.” 

The local races will be decided in the Nov. 5 general election.

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