Primary Results For PE
Published 5:14 pm Thursday, August 25, 2011
PRINCE EDWARD – With five candidates vying for the Republican Party nomination for the 22nd District Tuesday, it could be easy to overlook Democratic Party primaries to select nominees for the board of supervisors in Farmville District 801 and Lockett District.
The challenge for candidates was not only the odd time of year (given redistricting) for a primary, but that voters could only participate in either the Democratic or Republican primary, not both.
In the end, voters overwhelmingly threw their support behind incumbent Robert “Bobby” Jones, who is seeking his fourth term and, in a race decided by 12 votes, chose former supervisor Pattie Cooper-Jones as their nominee over incumbent Mattie Wiley.
“…The one thing that concerned me,” Jones said Wednesday, “I really wondered how having the Republican Primary and Democratic Primary and people having (to) declare to vote one way or the other was (going to) affect me,” Jones said Wednesday. “So…I really felt like I was (going to) lose a lot of support with people that were voting for the Republican senatorial race.”
Jones garnered 103 votes in the Lockett District contest compared to 29 for Deborah Hicks-Shealey. And, as it turns out, participating voters in Lockett were about evenly split: 123 participated in the Republican primary; 136 cast votes in the Democratic party contest.
Jones assessed that it “turned out pretty good. So I guess people will have to put up with me for another four years, I reckon,” he added with a chuckle, “'Cause, as far as I know, nobody else came in and turned in petitions yesterday to run…”
Individuals seeking office as an independent – or non-party affiliated – had until Tuesday to file the necessary paperwork to get on the November ballot. No other prospective candidate filed to run for the Lockett District seat, which means Jones will be the only candidate listed on the ballot.
“…I'm pleased to see the way things turned 'cause I guess if nothing else… hopefully this tells me that some of the controversial issues…going on in the county that people from Lockett District must be in support of the way I'm looking at it, too,” Jones said.
Asked if he thought any one thing made a difference for him this time, Jones noted that he received “more help from people that were residents of Lockett than I have in the past.”
He cited efforts prior to the election and at the polls.
In Farmville District 801, a much tighter race, Ms. Cooper-Jones – who served on the board from 2004 to 2008 – received 64 votes to Ms. Wiley's 52.
“…I was very happy to be selected as the Democratic nominee,” Ms. Cooper-Jones said Wednesday. “And I thank God first, every person that voted for me and, especially, to the Parkview Gardens Apartments residents. They really showed up for me so I'm truly thankful for that.”
Asked if there was some confusion with two primaries going on at the same time, Ms. Cooper-Jones said there was, but adding: “But I think we did a good job – both Mattie and myself – I think we did a good job explaining to the people. Some people wanted to say that it's not fair.”
She added that they told them “…We're not gonna change the law in a day…We're not even (going to) pretend that we can do anything about it. You know, it's a choice that you have to make and…they finally came to grips with it…but some people, they were a little upset, they were kind of in a state of shock that they couldn't vote for both, but that's the way it was set up so we had to follow the rules.”
Asked what she felt was the difference for her, Ms. Cooper-Jones, who is the Property Manager for Parkview Gardens, said her residents.
“And I worked hard,” she said. “And trust me, I worked hard. They didn't just come. I worked hard – I even campaigned Monday evening.”
“No, I'm not disappointed at all, to really be honest,” Ms. Wiley said, “because you know, I've always said no matter what happens, it's for a reason and I can accept that. I am debating on some things as to…the next step that I will do. You know, I am a fighter…and I don't give up very easily, particularly when there are other avenues that I can take. I just don't know at this point…which way that I really, really want to go with this, but there are some options out there. But I will be prepared a little later to disclose my intent.”
Asked if she planned to run a write-in campaign – if it were an option, Ms. Wiley, who has served on the board since 2008, indicated that she had not made a decision.
“I…am not in a position right now to answer that, but it certainly is an option, but…I haven't fully made a decision at this point,” she said.
Ms. Wiley feels that having the two primaries on the same day and the confusion over that was a hindrance.
According to Voter Registrar Dale Bolt, 118 voted in the Democratic primary for District 801; 32 in the Republican primary-or a total of 150.
In addition to Jones in the Lockett District and Ms. Cooper-Jones in Farmville District 801, Prince Edward voters in Hampden and Farmville District 101 will select supervisors in what will be unopposed races for current incumbents. Charles McKay is seeking reelection in the Hampden District, Howard Simpson in Farmville District 101.
County-wide, voters will also elect a new sheriff. Travis Harris is not seeking reelection and the candidates in November include Democratic Party nominee Wesley Reed and independent Greg “Juice” Giuriceo. The Commonwealth's Attorney race will feature incumbent Democrat James R. Ennis and independent John Marsden; the Treasurer's race will feature incumbent Democratic Party candidate Mable Shanaberger and independent Ben Murdock. Commissioner of Revenue Beverly Booth, the Democratic Party candidate, is unopposed in her bid for reelection.