Stanley voters write-in former mayor for vacant council seat

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Purdham Doug

By Randy Arrington

STANLEY — While the “official” election results are still being finalized this week, Page County Voter Registrar Carol Gaunt confirmed on Monday that former mayor Doug Purdham won the vacancy on the Stanley Council that had no candidates listed on the ballot.

Councilmen Joseph Mauck and Jeremiah Knight retained their seats last week on Election Day, as both incumbents ran unopposed for another four-year term. Mauck earned 504 votes, while Knight received 396 votes.

Mayor Mike Knight also ran unopposed and will retain his seat for another four-year term after gaining 600 votes. The mayoral race also received 50 write-in votes.

The fourth open council seat on the Nov. 3 ballot drew 108 write-in votes — 89 on Election Day and another 19 by absentee ballot, according to results reported on the Virginia Department of Elections website. Those results do not include names with write-in ballots totals. However, the county registrar stated on Monday that, “Doug [Purdham] did get a seat.”

As of Oct. 27, there were 1,026 registered voters in the Town of Stanley.

Members of the Page County Electoral Board have been finalizing election results since last Wednesday and continuing through this week. It will be several more days before the election results are considered “official.”

Efforts to reach Purdham for comment have been unsuccessful.

On April 8, the Stanley Council appointed Purdham to fill a vacancy left by Mike Uram when he abruptly resigned from his council seat at the end of February.

Purdham, 70, was first elected to the council in 1992 and became mayor of Stanley in 1996. He stepped down from that position on Dec. 31, 2018.

At the time of his appointment in April, several council members and citizens had approached the former mayor about filling the void and Purdham told PVN that two factors drove him to step back into public service.

“The first reason is I love this town, this community and its people,” Purdham said in April. “Second, I believe we should work with a full council.”

“I believe in community service,” Purdham continued. “I believe if you live somewhere, you need to do whatever you can to make it the best place to live.”

The April 8 appointment to the council runs through Dec. 31, 2020. Purdham never filed with the county registrar to run for the seat on Nov. 3. In fact, no one did. The Election Day ballot contained two names — Mauck and Knight — for three available seats on the Stanley Council (not including the mayor’s seat).

The term of the council seat that Purdham has now retained by default, through a write-in campaign he never launched — expires Dec. 31, 2022. 

The two-year span represents the remainder of Uram’s original term that he was elected to in 2018. Uram was first elected to the Stanley Council in 2014, after several previously unsuccessful attempts., and then re-elected four years later.



Stanley Council appoints former mayor to fill vacant seat

Stanley Council faces April 14 deadline to fill Uram’s seat

Uram resigns suddenly from Stanley Council

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