Western Tidewater said yes to Trump

Published 10:02 am Friday, November 11, 2016

Everyone knows that the nation voted for Republican nominee Donald Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But how did the voting go in Western Tidewater?

Based on the unofficial results in Franklin, Clinton got 62 percent (2,516 votes) over Trump’s 35 percent (1,421 votes).

For the House vote, Third District Democrat Robert C. “Bobby” Scott received 64.6 percent (2,481) over Republican challenge M.L. “Marty” Williams’ 35.2 percent (1,351) with .16 percent (6 votes) for a write-in. Scott ultimately won at 66.7 percent (203,271 votes).

All seven precincts said no (55.06 percent or 2,094 votes) to amending the state constitution regarding employers and labor unions (which was ultimately defeated at 53.5 percent or 1,994,593 votes), but yes (78.02 or 3,020) to the other proposal of granting an exemption of taxation on real property belonging to surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty. Virginians also favored this at 79.6 percent or 3,007,074 votes.

Southampton County was for Trump by 56.7 percent (5,035 votes) over Clinton’s 40.5 percent (3,595 votes). This all others are unofficial as well.

Michael L. “Mike” Wade, a Republican for the 4th District, got 59.4 percent (4,691 votes) over Democratic nominee A. Donald McEachin’s 40.6 percent (3,206 votes). However, the latter won at 56.9 percent (190,282 votes).

Voters in the county also said no the labor union amendment proposal at 56.2 percent (4,698 votes), and yes to the tax exemption opportunity at 79.4 percent (6,724 votes)

The county voters also favored Trump at 58 percent (11,971 votes) versus Clinton at 37.2 percent. (7,673 votes). Again, the results are unofficial until registrars complete the canvassing.

Williams won 59.4 percent (11,862 votes) over Scott’s 40.3 percent (8,064 votes).

The voters say yes to both proposed amendments at 51.4 percent (10,030 votes) and 77.9 percent (15,171), respectively.

Windsor Town Council incumbents Durwood Scott and Greg Willis were returned to their seats on Election Day, but voters picked challenger Walter Bernacki over J. Clint Bryant.

The canvassing to confirm the results is not expected to be completed until next week, according to deputy registrar Victoria Lonsdale. Meanwhile, the unofficial tally was 627 for Scott; 479 for Willis; 545 for Bernacki; 442 for Bryant; and six write-ins.

Scott, a local realtor, said,”I want to thank everyone that supported me. Now my work is cut out for me and I want to continue to be a good representative of the citizens.”

He added that whenever he’s not, he wants to townspeople to let him know so that he can improve.

“I hope that’s what they elected me for.”

Looking ahead to his next term, Scott said “We’ve got some decisions to make and challenges.  We have to prioritize. I’m not in support of raising taxes and have set my mind to not do so unless it’s something we’ve got to have, such as a water system.

Willis said the reelection was “bittersweet because my buddy Clint was not successful for reelection.

“We’ll do the best we can and move forward.”

He credited Bryant for having encouraged him to run in the past; this will be Willis’ third term. Both he and Scott came on board in 2008.

The motivation to stay in office is because it’s “one way I can serve my community and have some impact on what’s going on and to somewhat give back. This town’s been good to me.”

Bryant could not be reached for comment.

Bernacki admitted he was “a little bit surprised by the win — just because I’m the new guy. But after after a few second, I kind of felt I had a decent shot. I want to be a voice for the people; I didn’t feel that had been happening.”

He said he’d gone door to door asking for the support of voters. Bernacki said many of them told him no one had ever done that before.

While Bernacki also believes the current town council has been doing “a decent job,” he also feels he can bring new ideas and a different perspective to help making Windsor “a better and more enjoyable place to live.”