By Alex Bridges
Winchester Mayor Liz A. Minor retained her seat on city council according to unofficial election returns Tuesday.
Minor had sought re-election to a third, four-year term against challenger Patrick Farris.
Unofficial results from the Virginia State Board of Elections website showed Minor received 6,262 votes, or 64.84 percent, of those cast in the mayor's race. Farris received 3,331, or 34.89 percent. Write-in votes counted for less than 1 percent.
Minor could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night. Minor has served on city council since 1980. She was first elected mayor in 2004.
Reached by phone, Farris said he'd congratulated Minor on her win and offered to assist the mayor in improving the city.
"I thought it was an excellent race," Farris said. "The race gave us, as citizens of Winchester, an opportunity to air our positions and feeling on a number of very important issues and that is one of the functions of competitive elections is to force candidates to take positions which then of course allows citizens to better be able to have an open discussion of the things that are important to them."
In the weeks before the election the mayoral candidates participated in a community forum where they answered questions on various issues.
Farris lauded the efforts of his campaign team during the election season. Farris also kept a website during his campaign that he updated often as the season progressed.
Councilmen Leslie C. "Les" Veach, John A. Willingham, and John W. Hill ran unopposed for re-election to their seats. Councilman R. Ben Weber ran unopposed for his first, four-year term. Councilman Milton F. "Milt" McInturff ran unopposed in a special election to fill an unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2014. Council appointed Weber to fill the vacancy left when Councilman Art Major resigned in the middle of his term. Weber ran for McInturff's seat when McInturff sought the shorter, unexpired term.
In other local election results:
Voters in Middletown elected C.C. "Trip" Chewning III, Carole S. Snyder and Mary L. Shull to seats on Town Council, according to the unofficial results made available late Tuesday night. Councilman Mark H. Davis sought re-election to another term but did not receive as many votes as the other three candidates.
Middletown voters also elected Mayor Charles H. Harbaugh IV to his first, four-year term. Harbaugh, appointed mayor in the spring, ran unopposed for the position. Thomas M. Simon and John A. Copeland ran in a special election to fill two seats on council.
Stephens City voters re-elected Town Councilmen Ronald L. Bowers, Joseph E. Grayson and Joseph W. Hollis. The candidates ran unopposed for three seats on council.
In New Market Peggy Lee Harkness ran unopposed in a special election for a seat on Town Council. Harkness received 589 votes, or 98 percent, of the total cast for the election. Voters cast 12 votes for write-in candidates.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org