Year in Review: Voters make few changes to elected offices
This year saw voters in Shenandoah and Warren counties make a few changes in leadership when they hit the polls Nov. 3.
In Shenandoah County, voters in District 3 elected political newcomer Richard Walker to the Board of Supervisors, keeping longtime member David Ferguson from winning a fourth term. But county voters stopped short of unseating all incumbents seeking re-election, quelling an effort to make sweeping changes to the board’s membership.
District 2 Supervisor Steve Baker fended off a challenge by independent candidate Michael Wakeman. District 6 Supervisor Conrad Helsley kept his seat but ran as an independent when the Republican committee picked S. John Massoud. Helsley also fended off challenges by Strasburg Town Councilman Robert “Bob” Baker and former councilwoman Sarah Mauck.
A five-way race to succeed retiring Circuit Court Clerk Denise Estep ended with her chief deputy clerk Sarona Irvin winning the election. Irvin beat out Republican Party candidate David George, Democrat Adam Sharp and independents Tammy Heishman and Lisa Long for the position. When Irvin failed to win support of the Shenandoah County Republican Committee to run as its candidate in the election, she made an independent bid. Irvin came under fire mainly by George because of negative audits the office received.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley also fended off a challenge for her seat by Republican Party candidate Chad Logan, an assistant prosecutor for Rockingham County.
The same effort to change the makeup of the Board of Supervisors failed more so with the School Board. Kathryn Holsinger chose not to seek another term as the District 3 representative. A push by the group formed earlier in the year, Parents’ Alliance for Strong Schools, helped elect the organization’s co-founder, Cyndy Walsh, to the District 3 seat. Walsh fended off challengers D. Roger Barbee and Steve Wood. District 2 member R.L. “Rick” Koontz Jr. kept his seat on the board, defeating Barbara Bliss and Joanie Hovatter. District 6 member Sonya Williams-Giersch also kept her seat by defeating candidate Van Holmes III.
Sheriff Timothy C. Carter, Commissioner of Revenue Kathy Black and Treasurer Cindy George ran unopposed for re-election to their constitutional offices.
In Warren County, voters picked a new supervisor to represent the Shenandoah District and a replacement for the retiring circuit court clerk. Republicans fared better in most of the Warren County elections. North River District Supervisor Daniel Murray Jr. retained his seat for a second term by fending off Democratic Party challenger N. Shae Parker, a former member of the Front Royal Town Council.
Thomas Sayre, also a former member of the Town Council, won election to his first term as the next Shenandoah District supervisor. The Republican Party candidate defeated Ralph Rinaldi and Dee Schools, who ran as independents. Rinaldi made the independent bid after he lost the Republican Party nomination to Sayre.
Front Royal Town Councilman Daryl Funk, also a Republican, won election to the circuit court clerk’s post. Funk succeeds Jennifer Sims who retires at the end of the year. Rhonda North, town clerk of Middleburg, ran as an independent for the office.
Voters also re-elected Commissioner of Revenue Sherry Sours, who ran as an independent. François Flippen ran for the Republican Party. Sours begins her first four-year term in January.
The Warren County School Board membership changed little this election. Newcomer Donna McEathron succeeds Joanne Cherefko as the South River District member. Shawn McCloskey also ran for the seat. Members C. Douglas Rosen and Arnold Williams Jr. ran unopposed for their seats.
Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron and Treasurer Wanda Bryant ran unopposed for re-election.
In Frederick County, voters chose a new sheriff and picked members for the Board of Supervisors. L.W. “Lenny” Millholland won election to succeed longtime Sheriff Robert Williamson, defeating Terrence P. Bohan and A.S. “Scott” Madigan Sr. Millholland had previously served as Winchester’s sheriff. In the races for Board of Supervisors’ seats, Blaine P. Dunn defeated Jason E. Ransom in a special election for the Red Bud District. Back Creek District Supervisor Gary A. Lofton won re-election, defending his seat against Shawn L. Graber. At-large Chairman Charles S. DeHaven Jr., Gainesboro District Supervisor Robert A. “Bob” Hess and Opequon District Supervisor Robert W. “Bob” Wells ran unopposed for re-election. School Board members John J. Lamanna, Kali C. Klubertanz, Michael A. Lake and Seth T. Thatcher ran unopposed.
Frederick County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ross Spicer, Circuit Court Clerk Rebecca Hogan, Commission of Revenue Ellen Murphy and Treasurer C. William “Bill” Orndoff Jr. ran unopposed for their offices.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or email@example.com