By Alex Bridges
FRONT ROYAL - Warren County voters on Tuesday picked Sherry T. Sours as the new commissioner of the revenue, according to unofficial results from the State Board of Elections.
Sours, who ran as an independent candidate in the special election, received 3,668 votes or 40.27 percent of the 9,109 votes cast in the special election for the constitutional office.
"I'm just relieved," Sours said by phone at the Stonewall Jackson Inn. "Happy and relieved. It was a long campaign."
Republican candidate Mike D. McCool received 3,151 votes or 34.59 percent, according to the unofficial results. Independent Roy K. Boyles received 2,290 or 25.14 percent of the votes cast.
"She sneaked right up there," McCool said, also at the Stonewall Jackson Inn. "I did all I could do."
McCool pointed out the vote spread in the three-way race and added that he may have fared better if two candidates ran for the office.
"I made them earn it," McCool said. "I think we reached a good number of people."
McCool hinted that he could try again when the seat comes up for re-election in two years.
The county held the special election for the office to fill the vacancy left by the sudden death of longtime Commissioner of the Revenue John H. Smedley Sr. last summer midway through the 4-year term. The county appointed Sours as the interim commissioner and set the special election. Sours will serve out the remaining two years of the unexpired term.
In general elections Tuesday, Supervisors Tony F. Carter and Archie A. Fox ran unopposed for re-election to serve the Happy Creek and Fork districts, respectively.
School Board members Catherine R. Bower and James S. Wells also ran unopposed for re-election to their seats serving the Fork and Happy Creek districts, respectively.
While voting remained steady throughout the day in Warren County, some voters expressed discontent with the choices available on the ballots.
Mary Chenery pointed out the importance of voting.
"Everybody absolutely should come out and do their civic duty and should be reasonably informed as my 11 year old pointed out to me," Chenery said.
Chenery voiced cynicism when asked how she felt about the choices for state offices.
"Nobody is ever going to be pleased with who the options are," Chenery said. "It's the lesser of the devils.
Longtime county resident Butch Campbell called the choices on the ballot "mediocre."
"I think there's a lot of dirty talk going on," Campbell said as he left the polls. "Too much negative. Candidates come on, all they want to talk about is what the other guy's not gonna do. They don't say what they want to do -- they just come down and cut the other guy down.
"I wasn't even gonna come vote because of that but I did anyway," Campbell said.
Scott Brady, a resident of the county for 47 years, shared a more positive view on the election and the choices on the ballot. Brady said he would like to see the winners "keep things going the way they have been." But Brady also recognized the importance of the commissioner's race and noted his support for Sours.
"I think we should have somebody that is familiar with what's been going on, that has worked in that type of office before," Brady said. "I think that makes a difference."
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org