Election recap: Winners and losers

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 9, 2007

FRANKLIN—The ballots have been cast and counted, the victory parties held and — for some — regretted, the winners declared and congratulated.

What remains in the seven weeks or so before Tuesday’s winners in local and state elections take office are consolation, reflection and preparation.

&uot;I’m about the business of representing the people of my district,&uot;

Newsoms District Supervisor Walt Brown said Thursday, after winning re-election to his seat by the slimmest of margins.

Brown received just 19 votes more than his closest competitor in the three-way race, one of two contested Board of Supervisors’ seats in this year’s election.

Brown decried the low voter turnout in his district, especially in the Blackwater River precinct that proved to be his base. Brown placed second to Glenn Updike in the Newsoms precinct. But the incumbent’s support amongst the 28 percent of registered voters in the Blackwater precinct who actually voted was just enough to give him the victory.

&uot;There were about a thousand people (in the Newsoms District) that did not exercise their constitutional right to come to the polls and cast a vote,&uot; he said Thursday. &uot;People bled and died for that right.&uot;

Claiming that votes for his competitors did &uot;not necessarily mean

(voters) were not in favor of what I’m doing,&uot; Brown said, &uot;I am going to continue to be pro-education, continue to be pro-land use, continue to be for lower taxes for senior citizens and the disabled and continue to be pro-economic development.&uot;

&uot;By doing that, I’m supporting the majority of my constituents,&uot; he said.

Updike, who received 234 votes to Brown’s 253, said he would continue to keep an eye on county government by attending meetings of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission.

&uot;I’m not going to back off at all,&uot; he said.

Though it had played itself out less publicly than the Newsoms race, the contest for the Capron District seat on the Board of Supervisors attracted greater voter interest on Election Day.

Incumbent Moses Wyche relied on strong support from the Capron precinct to overcome a slight lead challenger Kay N. Pope built in the Sebrell District.

In all, 42 percent of Capron District voters cast their ballots for one of the two candidates. Wyche picked up 411 votes, or 56 percent of the total.

The Capron polling place experienced a rush of voters that kept workers busy from 5 p.m. until the polls closed at 7, according to Southampton Voter Registrar Leona Davis. In keeping with the law, those waiting in line at 7 p.m. were allowed to vote.

Claud pitches a ‘shutout’

Supporters of Rick Francis for Clerk of the Circuit Court in Southampton and Franklin had to check their eyes Tuesday night if they watched the returns on the state’s board of elections Web Site.

According to the site, Claud collected every vote.

Obviously that didn’t happen. The reports out of Richmond were that the state’s system developed a glitch.

However, those results were reported on some television news accounts in their &uot;crawl,&uot; the message board that moves along the bottom of the screen.

By the morning,however, it was repaired.

Quayle back to Senate

Veteran Republican Sen. Frederick M. Quayle will be returning to Richmond to represent voters of Senate District 13 for a fifth term.

Quayle, who was challenged by Portsmouth City Councilman Steve Heretick, tallied 21,114 votes in the district to Heretick’s 14,819 in light voting. Some 30.2 percent of the registered voters cast a ballot.

The 13th District of the Virginia State Senate includes portions of Isle of Wight County, Southampton County, Franklin City, Prince George and Surry counties, and the cities of Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth and Hopewell.

Quayle won 59 percent of votes in the 13th District. The only exceptions were in Hopewell — Heretick’s hometown — and its neighbor, Prince George County.

Heretick had his strongest showing in Prince George. He won the county by a narrow four percent margin, receiving about 200 more votes than the incumbent.

One of the Quayles’s tightest victory margins was in Hopewell, where he received just 51 percent of the votes — 928 to Heretick’s 880.

Quayle kept an eye on elections results during a party at A.J. Gator’s in downtown Suffolk, surrounded by campaign workers, friends and family from across the district. After days of campaigning, Quayle, 71, said he was going to relax —

for a little while anyway — before getting back to business.

&uot;I’m going to savor the victory for a day or two,&uot; he said. &uot;Then I’m going to start making plans for January.&uot;

Quayle said the campaign against Heretick has been the most aggressive in his political career.

&uot;I was concerned,&uot; Quayle said. &uot;It was tenacious. We had to stay on guard all the time.&uot;

Quick on the draw

The Isle of Wight registrar’s office is quickly becoming a friend of the local media, if not the candidates running for office by getting results made public in short order.

Election workers take the information telephoned from the county’s 12 polling places and type the results into an Excel spreadsheet. Those results are sent via mass e-mail by about 8 p.m., 60 minutes after the polls closed.

Ivy defeated

In Isle of Wight, William E. Laine Jr. retired earlier this year after more than 20 years in office. Jones, who worked in the clerk’s office since 1976 and has been chief deputy for the past 12 years, collected

4,955 votes to R. Curtis Hardison’s 3,279 and Thomas L. Mays’ 522.

Some 39 percent of the county’s voters turned out.

Voters in the Smithfield District did not return Tom R. Ivy as chairman of the county board of supervisors. Alan &uot;Al&uot; Casteen defeated Ivy, 1,264 votes to 876 votes.

Ivy became the supervisors’ face when they approved formation of the Hampton Roads Transportation Authority which meant higher taxes and higher fees for the county’s residents and some merchants.

Apparently, those affected in the Smithfield District did not forget.

For precinct-by-precinct vote totals in Franklin and Southampton County, see Friday’s print edition of The Tidewater News.

Allison T. Williams of the Suffolk News-Herald and Paul McFarlane of The Tidewater News contributed to this report.