Year in Review: Town elections saw upsets, added new faces

Town councils in the valley saw membership changes with elections in 2014.

Voters in five of Shenandoah County’s six towns went to the polls on May 6 to pick candidates for seats on councils and, in some cases, mayors.

In Mount Jackson, voters elected J.G. “Bucky” Miller as the town’s new mayor. Miller defeated Allen L. “Al” Asbury to take over the position held by former councilman Michael Koontz. Council had appointed Koontz in 2013 to fill out the remainder of the term when longtime Mayor Joseph Williams died unexpectedly that summer.

Also in Mount Jackson’s elections, Kenneth H. Hackenbracht won re-election to serve another term but longtime Councilman W. Todd Holtzman didn’t receive enough votes to keep his seat. Voters picked newcomers Roger A. Rudy and Whitney J. Sperry Miller to fill the remaining seats.

Strasburg voters helped incumbents keep their seats but also added a new member. Councilmen Donald M. Le Vine, Scott E. Terndrup and John M. Hall Jr. were re-elected to the board. Councilwoman Sarah Mauck chose not to run for a third term, making her seat available, and voters picked Planning Commission member Seth John Newman over Edith R. Wallace.

New Market voters re-elected Councilmen John H. Blosser and Gary D. Comer. Peggy L. Harkness, appointed to council to fill an unexpired term, also received enough votes to win one of three seats up for election. James E. Stroop Jr. also ran for council but did not receive enough votes.

Edinburg Mayor Daniel J. Harshman and Council members Bradley Mark Dellinger, Steven D. Wood and Fay M. Wymer ran unopposed for re-election. Woodstock Mayor Jeremy D. McCleary ran unopposed for his position, as did Councilwoman A. Paje Cross and Councilmen Frank H. Haun and Stephen D. Heishman.

Voters in Front Royal went to the polls Nov. 4 to elect members of council and a mayor — the first time the town held local contests in November.

Councilman Hollis L. Tharpe retained his seat on Front Royal Town Council. Voters also elected newcomers John P. Connolly and Bebhinn Cecilia Egger to the two remaining council seats.

Vice Mayor N. Shae Parker sought re-election but did not receive enough votes. Councilman Thomas H. Sayre chose not to seek re-election, thus freeing up his seat. A total of seven candidates sought three council seats. Linda J. Allen, Alford D. Carter III, and Robert M. Tennett Jr. also sought seats on council.

Voters in Front Royal also re-elected Mayor Timothy W. Darr, who fended off challenger Jim Rogers, who ran for the seat on a write-in campaign.

Frederick County held local elections Nov. 4 for Middletown and Stephens City. All seats were uncontested. Voters in Middletown reelected Councilmen Jeff Pennington and Tom Simon and picked Scott Fink to fill Councilman John Copeland’s seat.

In Stephens City, Councilmen Linden Fravel and Jason Nauman won reelection to their seats. Voters picked Regina Swygert-Smith to fill Councilwoman Martha Dilg’s seat and Mike Grim to serve as mayor.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or

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