By Joe Beck -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Timothy Darr won a decisive victory Tuesday over Timothy Ratigan Sr. in a campaign in which Ratigan challenged Darr's style of leadership.
Darr won his second term with 73 percent of the vote, and all six precincts reporting, according to unofficial results from the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Darr campaigned on his efforts to mend fences among council members and staff after a spell of uncertainty that saw several council members defending themselves in a lawsuit involving a divisive economic development project, the firing of Town Manager Michael Graham and the departure of town attorney Thomas Robinett.
Darr said Tuesday night the favorable reaction he had received from voters during the campaign gave him confidence he was headed for a decisive victory.
"I felt good from the start, knocking on people's doors," Darr said. "I always felt very comfortable, and I think that was reflected in the day's results."
Darr said he is looking forward to working with a town council that will have three new members. Darr was a member of the council with Bret W. Hrbek and Eugene R. Tewalt, two of Tuesday's winners, during his stint on the council from 2004 to 2008.
"I've worked with Gene and Bret in the past and have nothing but respect for them," Darr said, adding that he was also excited about the election of Daryl W. Funk as the third new council member.
Ratigan, polling at 26 percent, argued during the campaign that the town needed a leader willing to take forceful stands on touchy issues. He cited Graham's firing, which he opposed while Darr did not cast a vote, as an example of the contrast between them.
Darr said the county and town are making slow but meaningful progress on several issues involving intergovernmental cooperation. Ratigan has sympathized with those who criticize the current agreement between the town and county over water and sewer development along the U.S. 522 corridor.
-- All election results are unofficial until certified by the Virginia State Board of Elections. More information can be found online at http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/