By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Nov. 8 — In a four-way race for three seats featuring two incumbents and two newcomers, it was one of the challengers that ended up receiving the most ballots. Alex White was the only candidate in the Luray Council race to receive more than 1,000 votes.
“I’m excited to get to work,” White said on Election Night. “No one can do it alone, but I’m going to do my best to do right by the voters.”
White received a total of 1,046 votes, and received the most ballots in each of the two voting precincts, early voting returns and absentee ballots. The Harvard University senior has committed to being involved with the council as he finishes his last few months of undergraduate work at the Ivy League school.
“I tried my best to put in the work and contact as many people as I could,” White said, “and I’m humbled to see how it worked out.”
Coming in second in the balloting was incumbent Stephanie Lillard with 849 votes. Lillard was first appointed to the Luray Council in January 2021 to fill the seat vacated by Jerry Dofflemyer, who was sworn-in as mayor that month. Lillard then ran unopposed to fill the remaining year of that term last November. The win this week marks Lillard’s first election to a full, four-year term.
Efforts to reach Lillard for comment on Election Night were unsuccessful.
Narrowly retaining his seat by a margin of only 63 votes, incumbent Ron Vickers was happy on Tuesday night to be able to keep serving his community. He acknowledged that he “didn’t have that many signs up” and now works outside the county, so the longtime resident was pleased to still have the support of voters.
“It humbles me more than anything,” Vickers said.
Vickers earned 768 votes to capture the third and final open seat on the Luray Council. The other challenger in the four-way race, Jeremy Hilliard, tallied 705 votes.
In District 1, Vickers only edged out Hilliard by 10 votes (168-158). In District 2, Hilliard actually came in second in the voting behind White and earned two more ballots than Vickers (334-332). The incumbent, however, held a stronger margin among early voters (238-176) and absentee ballots (66-37).
“It’s better to have more candidates than we have seats,” Vickers said on Election Night. “That’s what democracy is all about.”
With longtime councilman Jerry Schiro stepping down, Vickers becomes the longest serving member on the Luray Council. In January, he will sworn-in for his third four-year term, and he hopes that citizens will speak out about issues that concern them. The high school teacher also is optimistic about having “new blood” on the council.
“I’m glad to see Alex White do so well,” Vickers said. “I think he’ll make a good addition with his excitement and enthusiasm.”
Terms for all three seats won on Tuesday night run through Dec. 31, 2026.
Voter turnout two years ago during a presidential election was much higher, with Councilman Jason Pettit receiving 1,690 votes, Councilman Joey Sours earning 1,268 ballots, and Councilman Ligon Webb earned 1,169 votes.