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Voters decide Botetourt, Franklin school board races, reelect Salem sheriff

Voters decide Botetourt, Franklin school board races, reelect Salem sheriff


The results of contested school board races in Botetourt and Franklin counties and a competitive Salem sheriff’s contest were solidified after the vote count was not complete Tuesday night.

But a winner had not been declared as of Wednesday in another Franklin County write-in race.

Physician Kevin David unseated incumbent and corporate consultant Penny Blue from Franklin County’s at-large school board seat by a wide margin in Tuesday’s vote.

There is a three-way contest between write-in candidates seeking the school board seat in the Snow Creek District.

G. B. Washburn, the Snow Creek incumbent, said he did not know when the result might be released and Franklin County Registrar Kay Chitwood could not be reached for comment. A woman who answered the phone at the registrar’s office said officials were processing the write-in ballots and might need until Friday to finish. She declined to give her name.

The other two write-in contenders in that Snow Creek district race are Carletta Whiting and Gregory Maxwell.

In the Blue-David race, voters elected David, 50, of Penhook, who is white, to an at-large board seat created 50 years ago at the request of African American residents in the county and held by a member of that community since. Blue, 61, of Union Hall, held the at-large seat for eight years and was the fourth person to serve in that seat.

David has said he wasn’t familiar with the history of the at-large seat, which was added in 1971 to what was at that time a seven-member board. He also said the skin color of an office holder shouldn’t matter.

David captured 64% of the vote.

In the Botetourt County School Board races, Jenny Wilson of Buchanan won with nearly 76% of vote, exceeding all write-in votes, to claim to the Buchanan District seat to be vacated by Michelle Austin, who decided not to seek reelection. Brandy Campbell of Buchanan had announced a write-in campaign.

And, incumbent Anna Weddle of Troutville was reelected by a margin of 70% to remain the Amsterdam district representative. Steve Dean of Troutville had announced a write-in campaign in that district.

Meanwhile, Salem voters reelected Sheriff April Staton, giving her nearly 51 percent of the vote. Also on the Salem sheriff’s ballot were Chris Shelor, a Salem police detective, and Richard Goodman, a Roanoke sheriff’s office employee, who received 37% and nearly 12% of the vote, respectively.

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Jeff Sturgeon covers the city of Roanoke, including schools, banking and transportation. Phone: (540) 981-3251. Email: Mail: 201 W. Campbell Ave., Roanoke, VA 24011.

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