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Bailey, Shruntz take Shenandoah board seats

Shenandoah County District 5 candidate Marsha Shruntz, left, celebrates with District 4 candidate Cindy Bailey, after the two independents won their supervisor seats. Shruntz defeated longtime supervisor Dennis Morris and Bailey defeated former School Board member Steven P. Shaffer, and Democrat Emily G. Scott. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

By Alex Bridges

WOODSTOCK - Cindy M. Bailey and Marsha E. Shruntz, both vocal critics of government spending in Shenandoah County, won seats on the Board of Supervisors in election Tuesday.

Shruntz, a political newcomer, defeated longtime Supervisor Dennis Morris in the race for District 5, according to unofficial results from the State Board of Elections. Morris, a Republican, sought his ninth term as supervisor.

"I'm thrilled," Shruntz said by phone at a friend's home in Edinburg upon hearing of the unofficial results. "It speaks well for the voters because they knew what they were voting against and what they were voting for."

Bailey, a retired jail captain for the Sheriff's Office, defeated Republican Party candidate and former School Board member Steven P. Shaffer, and Democrat Emily G. Scott for the seat to represent District 4. Current District 4 Supervisor Sharon Baroncelli declined to run for another term.

Bailey, at the same Edinburg home with Shruntz, said by phone that she thanked the voters for giving her the opportunity to serve the District and the county.

Shaffer said he felt he ran a professional campaign. While Shaffer and other supporters felt the county was being run properly the candidate acknowledged an "undercurrent" of people seeking change.

"Obviously the electorate saw it differently," Shaffer said. "But that's why they go to the polls. We were certainly in it to win. We ran a very efficient campaign."

Shruntz received 1,098, or 51.05 percent of the 2,151 votes cast for the District 5 seat. Morris received 1,046 votes or 48.63percent, unofficial results showed. Voters cast seven ballots for write-in candidates.

Bailey received 902 votes or 46.64 percent of the 1,934 total cast. Shaffer received 689 votes or 35.63 percent. Scott received 336 votes or 17.37 percent.

Also in the election, Supervisor John R. "Dick" Neese ran unopposed for re-election to represent District 1.

The following candidates ran unopposed for seats on the county School Board: Karen S. Whetzel for District 1; Katheryn A. Freakley for District 4 and Irving L. "Skeeter" Getz for District 5. Freakley ran for the seat when board Chairman Gary L. Rutz decided not to seek re-election.

Early that day, the three candidates for District 4 stood outside the polling place at Central High School. A steady stream of voters flowed in and out of the school as night fell.

Several voters commented on the choices offered on the ballots.

"I wouldn't say it was a particularly thrilling election but it's always important to vote and to make your choice," said Rachel Canada. "Going into the election I didn't know [about local candidates] but I did make an effort to educate myself before I voted this time because I didn't want to go in not knowing much."

Longtime Woodstock area resident Jim Campbell said after he voted that he didn't "have a whole of choice" on the ballot. Campbell said he usually votes for Democrats. This election he went "all Republican."

"I didn't think anybody was worth it," Campbell said.

As for the District 4 Supervisors race, Campbell admitted he knew little about any of the candidates.

"They don't put any word out so I really didn't know what was going on," Campbell said. "Other than seeing the signs I never knew who was running."

Campbell said he voted in the last presidential election for the Democratic Party ticket because he didn't like the Republican candidates. However, this time Campbell said he "had to vote for [Ken] Cuccinelli" because he felt that Terry McAuliffe would take state money and funnel it into the Washington, D.C.-metropolitan area. Campbell builds and repairs gas stations in the Northern Virginia region.

Negative campaign ads by candidates turned off many voters like Woodstock area resident Brittany Jett.

"I think it's dumb how everyone bashes one another just to get a vote," Jett said.

As for the supervisors race in District 4, Jett said she hadn't heard much about any of the three candidates.

Maurertown resident Cody Harbison said he knew how he planned to vote in some races but the choice seemed less clear in others.

"A couple of candidates that it was a definite 'no' but other ones I had no idea who they were, what they were running for," Harbison said.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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