UPDATED – Wednesday, Nov. 4
Jerry Dofflemyer picked up another 779 votes in his bid for mayor of Luray when absentee ballots were reported on Wednesday morning. Write-in votes increased by 472.
However, the overall margin of victory for Dofflemyer only changed by one percentage point on Wednesday morning, despite only 44.7 percent of the actual ballots being reported on Tuesday night. While 1,013 ballots were cast in the mayorial race on Election Day — 1,251 ballots (55.3 percent) were sent in absentee.
In the final tally, Luray Councilman Jerry Dofflemyer won the office of mayor with 1,429 votes — 63.1 percent of the 2,264 votes cast in the race.
While it is not certain if a single write-in candidate received all of the votes, it can be reasonably assumed that the vast majority of the 835 write-in votes (36.9 percent) for mayor went to Darry Haley.
By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Nov. 3 — Jerry Dofflemyer is still not sure if he should be celebrating just yet.
“I think it’s a little premature,” Dofflemyer said of the election’s outcome after five of six precincts had reported results on the Virginia Department of Elections website Tuesday night. “There’s seems to be a lot of votes missing.”
During the last mayoral election in Luray four years ago, around 2,000 votes were cast. With all but absentee votes counted on Tuesday night, only 1,013 ballots had been reported in the mayor’s race.
Among those results, Dofflemyer earned 650 votes (or 64.2 percent), compared to 363 votes (or 35.8 percent) for write-in candidates.
These results reflect ballots counted in both District 1 and District 2, but it does not include absentee ballots. As of Oct. 27, there were 3,412 registered voters within the Town of Luray.
“I’m just glad it’s over,” Dofflemyer said. “It seems like it’s been a long campaign.”
While many local campaigns historically see their “official” kickoff at the annual Page Valley Fair in August, the race for mayor of Luray began in mid-summer, when Darryl Haley launched a write-in campaign.
Dofflemyer was the only candidate to meet the June 9 deadline and file his candidacy with the county registrar. Therefore, he was the only candidate to appear on the ballot.
Multiple attempts to reach write-in candidate Darryl Haley for comment on Election Night were unsuccessful.
Dofflemyer commented on Tuesday night that he had met with Haley about a week after he announced his write-in campaign, and both men had agreed to run a clean, positive campaign. Dofflemyer further said he felt both candidates stuck to that agreement, and he was glad to see it.
Dofflemyer, a lifelong resident of the town, has served on the Luray Council since 2015, when he was appointed to fill Pam Flasch’s unexpired term. After winning a special election to fill the remainder of that term, he won election to a full four-year term in 2018.
Haley, a 20-year resident of Luray, has operated a bed and breakfast just off Route 211 since 2000. He played in the NFL with the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers from 1981 to 1988.
While noting that current results are still “unofficial,” the Virginia Department of Elections posted a statement at the top of the results page on its website Tuesday night that read: “Absentee ballots may be accepted until noon on November 6th. Therefore, results are incomplete. Results will be certified on November 16th.”
If absentee ballots do not change the initial results and Dofflemyer wins the mayoral race, it would open up an additional seat on the Luray Council. The potential vacancy would be filled by appointment through the end of 2021, and then at the polls during a special election next November to fill the remainder of the term through Dec. 31, 2022.