By Alex Bridges
Town voters may notice some new names on the ballots -- and others missing -- when they go to the polls in May.
Voters in five of the six towns in Shenandoah County can choose leaders in the general election May 6. Voters will choose council members in Edinburg, Mount Jackson, New Market, Strasburg and Woodstock; mayors in Woodstock, Edinburg and Mount Jackson.
The deadline to register to vote in the elections in person is April 14. The Shenandoah County Voter Registration office will be open that day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voting by absentee ballot began Friday and registered voters may submit applications to receive a ballot by mail, according to General Registrar Lisa McDonald. The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is April 29. Voters wishing to submit an absentee ballot in person may do so at the office no later than 4:30 p.m. May 3.
Voters in two towns may notice the absence of two members whose seats come up for re-election. Longtime Mount Jackson Councilwoman Kay Whetzel, currently vice mayor, is not seeking re-election after 20 years serving the town. Whetzel did not return calls for comment about her decision. Strasburg Councilwoman Sarah Mauck also decided not to run for a third term.
"I never thought that being a public servant, being a public official, should be a career," Mauck said this week. "I think more people should take the opportunity to serve the community."
Mauck added that she wants to devote more time to her grandchildren and other activities in her life.
"I believe we're all here to serve in some way and we bring gifts and knowledge and experience to the public, and there should be new eyes and new thoughts brought to the community every so often," Mauck added.
In Strasburg, voters may choose among five candidates running for four seats on town council. Councilmen John M. Hall Jr., Donald M. Le Vine and Scott E. Terndrup are seeking re-election to their seats. Seth John Newman and Edith R. Wallace also are running for seats on council. The four candidates who receive the most votes win the at-large seats.
Mount Jackson voters will choose a mayor between two candidates. Allen L. "Al" Asbury and J.G. "Bucky" Miller are running for election to the seat held currently by interim Mayor Michael Koontz. Council appointed Koontz last year to fill the vacancy when longtime Mayor Joseph Williams died unexpectedly. Koontz, also a former councilman, chose not to run in the general election for mayor.
Also in Mount Jackson, four people are running for three open seats on council. Kenneth H. Hackenbracht and W. Todd Holtzman are seeking re-election to their council seats. Newcomers Roger A. Rudy and Whitney J. Sperry Miller are also running for election.
In Woodstock, Councilwoman A. Paje Cross and Councilmen Frank H. Haun and Stephen D. Heishman are running unopposed for re-election to their seats. Mayor Jeremy D. McCleary is running unopposed for re-election to his position.
Edinburg Mayor Daniel J. Harshman is running unopposed for re-election. Council members Bradley Mark Dellinger, Steven D. Wood and Fay M. Wymer are seeking re-election.
Visit www.shenandoahcountyva.us/voting for more information, including voting by absentee ballot, registration, locations for polls, sample ballots for each town election and how to volunteer as an election official.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or email@example.com