FRONT ROYAL – Councilman Eugene Tewalt will shift to the mayor's seat on the dais during Town Council meetings.
Tewalt, with 2,166 votes or 59.8 percent, defeated former Mayor Hollis Tharpe, who received 1,296 votes or 35.7 percent, in a special election Tuesday.
The special election was necessary after Tharpe resigned as mayor in April after being indicted on a misdemeanor count of prostitution solicitation, which was dropped. Tewalt will begin as mayor as soon as he swears in, which he said must take place within 10 days after the results are certified.
Tewalt said over the phone Tuesday that he is thankful that the citizens had the faith and confidence in him to be the town's mayor.
He said that there are plans and goals he plans to set, which he will be ready to discuss sometime after he gets sworn into office. He added that he hopes to sit down with the three newest Board of Supervisors members so that the town and county can work together to give the citizens a better outlook toward the future.
Tewalt will serve out the remainder of Tharpe’s original term, which expires at the end of 2020.
This will be Tewalt’s second mayoral term, having served from 2008-2010. He has also served as a councilman for 14 years.
He is taking the helm from Matt Tederick, who became the interim mayor upon Tharpe’s resignation. Next week, Tederick will become the interim town manager as Joe Waltz exits the position. Tewalt served as the lone vote against Tederick's town manager appointment.
Tewalt's election came one day after he expressed discontent with how Tederick's town manager contract allows him to transfer his salary to an unidentified LLC. Tewalt said over the phone that it was unusual in how Tederick was hired in that he never saw a resume.
Still, Tewalt said: "I hope we can work out any differences we may have."
Tewalt's council seat will become vacant upon his swearing-in, at which point the town will have 45 days to decide how it should be filled.
RESULTS BY PRECINCT
Tharpe: 266; Tewalt: 415; Write-in: 34
Tharpe: 281; Tewalt: 618; Write-in: 42
Tharpe: 368;Tewalt: 522; Write-in: 38
Tharpe: 151; Tewalt: 272; Write-in: 16
Tharpe: 195; Tewalt: 246; Write-in: 23
Tharpe: 35;Tewalt: 93; Write-in: 6