In-person voting begins Friday for November ballot featuring House and town council races

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By Randy Arrington

LURAY, Sept. 21 — Page County’s 16, 689 registered voters can begin casting ballots this Friday, Sept. 23 in the upcoming Nov. 8 general election.

Only three races really emerge as contended contests on this year’s ballot in Page County, with three candidates vying for the 6th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, four candidates vying for three seats on the Luray Council, and four candidates vying for three seats on the Shenandoah Council.

Clinton O. Lucas Jr. will seek another two-year term as mayor of Shenandoah uncontested, while only three candidates — all incumbents — are seeking three seats on the Stanley Council. Duane Layman, Doug Purdham and Vice Mayor Bruce Stoneberger will all return for four-year terms.

In addition, a special election for Commonwealth’s Attorney will also be uncontested, as Republican Bryan Cave is the lone name on the ballot. Cave, formerly the assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Page County, assumed the position — as state law dictates — when former Commonwealth’s Attorney Ken Alger was appointed to a seat in the General District Court by the General Assembly earlier this year. Following November’s special election, Cave will fill the remainder of Alger’s term through Dec. 31, 2023. The seat will again be up for grabs in November 2023 for a full four-year term.

Two incumbents are attempting to retain their seat on the Luray Council — Ron Vickers and Stephanie Lillard — while two challengers — Jeremy Hilliard and Alex White — are also vying for one of three available seats. Voters may cast ballots for three candidates among the four appearing on the ballot, with the top three voter getters earning the office. Vice Mayor Jerry Schiro did not file paperwork with the county registrar to retain his seat.

The same situation exists in Shenandoah, where incumbents Lynn Fox and Vice Mayor William Kite face opposition from challengers Denise Meadows and Brenda Haggett. Longtime Councilman Charles Jenkins is not seeking another four-year term. Again, voters cast ballots for up to three candidates among the four vying for a seat on the town council.

Page Valley News will be publishing weekly Q&As with contested council candidates in Page County throughout the month of October.

The Page County Government Center at 103 S. Court St. in Luray is the site of in-person voting that begins Friday, Sept. 23 and continues through Saturday, Nov. 5. The polling location across the street from the Page County Courthouse will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as two Saturdays — Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 — from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Voters taking advantage of the early in-person voting should go to the rear of the Government Center and enter near the Treasurer’s office. A sign will be posted in the parking lot near handicapped parking spaces behind the Government Center with a phone number to call for those who need assistance.

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election is Monday, Oct. 17. Check your voter status and polling location at www.elections.virginia.gov/citizen-portal/ The final day to request an absentee ballot by mail is Friday, Oct. 28.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. All five polling locations in Page County will remain unchanged during this election cycle.

Voter turnout in Page County during congressional elections has fallen into the 40- to 45-percent range, according to Page County Voter Registrar Carol Gaunt.

“It’s always low,” she said.

By contrast, about “58 to 62 percent” hit the polls during presidential elections.

Redistricting and new voter cards

Although it will not directly affect this November’s election, Virginia’s Department of Elections began mailing out new voter registration cards statewide on Sept. 16. The new cards reflect the recent redistricting decisions made in Richmond. While Page County residents will see little difference in representation, there will be new numbers assigned to the “new districts” in the state legislature, which reflect the new lines that have been drawn and that are currently in effect.

House Speaker Todd Gilbert is the only legislator living in the House of Delegates’ new 33rd District, which encompasses most of Gilbert’s former 15th District. While much of the two districts is the same, Gilbert picked up some of Tony Wilt’s former 26th District in Rockingham County and lost portions of Warren County that he represented. The Woodstock attorney still represents Page County, as it moved from the 15th to the 33rd District in the House of Delegates.

In the Virginia Senate, Page County shifted from the 26th District to the 2nd District, which is still represented by Mark Obenshain. The Harrisonburg attorney picked up Bath and Highland County from Creigh Deeds’ former district (which was completely broken up), as well as a portion of Augusta County from Emmett Hanger’s former 24th District. However, Obenshain lost Shenandoah, Warren and Rappahannock counties.

“This was my second redistricting,” said Gaunt, who has served as the county’s voter registrar for about 15 years. “The first was much smoother…this time we worked for about six weeks, stopped for the June [primary] and then started again.”

“Please read your [voter] card,” Gaunt added. “If anyone has a question, contact our office.”

The links below provide maps that overlay Virginia’s new district boundaries with old ones:

https://www.vpap.org/offices/state-senate-2/redistricting/

https://www.vpap.org/offices/house-of-delegates-33/redistricting/

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For more information about voting procedures, deadlinesrequesting a mail-in ballot, or volunteering as a poll worker, contact the Voter Registrar’s office at (540) 743-3986 or email [email protected]

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On Page County Ballot for Nov. 8, 2022

U.S. House of Representatives – 6th District

  • Benjamin Lee Cline (R) — incumbent
  • Jennifer Lewis (D)
  • Danny LeBeau (I)

Cline easily won the Republican nomination during a June 21 primary over Merritt Hale.

Commonwealth’s Attorney

Acting Commonwealth Attorney Bryan Cave is running unopposed as the Republican nominee.

Luray Council

  • Jeremy Hilliard
  • Stephanie Lillard — incumbent
  • Ron Vickers — incumbent
  • Alex White

Three open seats will go to top three receiving votes, and voters may vote for up to three candidates.

Shenandoah Council

  • Denise Meadows-Cave
  • Lynn Fox — incumbent
  • Brenda Haggett
  • William Kite — incumbent

Clinton Lucas Jr. is running unopposed for another two-year term as mayor. Three open council seats will go to top three receiving votes, and voters may vote for up to three candidates.

Stanley Council

  • Duane Layman
  • Doug Purdham
  • Bruce Stoneberger

Three open seats will go to top three receiving votes, and voters may vote for up to three candidates.

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Call to candidates for town councils

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