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Wise County voters oust two from school board

November 8th, 2011 10:07 pm by Steve Igo

WISE — Larry Greear returned an election defeat favor to Jess Roy Powers for the Wise County School Board on Tuesday, and John Schoolcraft defeated school board Chair Ted Thompson.


Other unofficial returns from Tuesday’s elections showed Wise County Board of Supervisors Chair Dana Kilgore turning aside a District 4 challenge from Russell A. “Drew” Mullins. Kilgore drew 56.61 percent of the vote to 43.28 percent for Mullins, or 1,117 votes for Kilgore to 854 for Mullins.


The Greear/Powers District 4 school board race was a rematch of an April special election when Powers prevailed over Greear, who was appointed to the school board last year in the midst of the county’s heated debates over high school consolidation.


Powers edged Greear in the April special election, but this time around Greear took 58.37 percent of the District 4 vote to 41.52 percent for Powers, or 1,167 votes for Greear and 830 for Powers.


In District 3, Schoolcraft — a former consolidation opponent who has since endorsed the new consolidated makeup of the county’s high schools — was handily provided his first term to the school board over incumbent board Chair Thompson. Schoolcraft collected 73.36 percent of the vote to Thompson’s 26.39 percent, or 1,237 votes for Schoolcraft versus 445 for Thompson.


In the race for Virginia Senate, incumbent state Sen. Phillip Puckett, D-Lebanon, fought off a challenge from Republican Adam Light. Republican C.W. “Bill” Carrico handily defeated Democrat John Lamie.


Wise County voters chose Republican challenger Light over Puckett and heavily favored Carrico over Lamie. Light notched 46 more votes than Puckett in the eight Wise County precincts where that Senate race prevailed, or 1,586 votes for Light versus 1,540 for Puckett (50.67 percent Light, 49.20 percent Puckett.)


In other areas of the county where voters had the choice of Carrico and Lamie, 71.11 percent of the voters in that state Senate district chose Carrico. The Republican took 2,647 Wise County votes to Lamie’s 1,062, or just 28.53 percent of the total county vote.


Meanwhile, incumbent Delegates Terry G. Kilgore (R) and Joseph P. Johnson Jr. (D) were both unopposed for their re-election bids in expanded state districts across Wise County.


The county’s constitutional officers also sought re-election unopposed this election cycle, and Tuesday’s election served as a formality for new terms for Wise County Sheriff Ronnie Oakes, Commissioner of Revenue Doug Mullins Jr., Commonwealth’s Attorney Ron Elkins and county Treasurer Delores W. Smith.


Other county offices up for election Tuesday and with all incumbents seeking new terms unopposed assured those new terms for District 1 Supervisor Fred Luntsford Jr., District 3 Supervisor J.H. Rivers, District 2 Supervisor Steve Bates, District 1 school board member Mark Hutchinson, and District 2 school board member Mike Mullins.


James A. Stone was unopposed in his election bid to the Big Stone Gap Town Council, and in Coeburn Charles E. Kiser Jr. notched an unofficial victory to the Coeburn Town Council by just seven votes over J. Roger Bell. Unofficial returns posted Tuesday night showed Kiser with 179 votes to Bell’s 172.


In the city of Norton, Valerie M. Brown was elected unopposed in her special election bid for the Norton School Board. Puckett received a narrow edge from city voters in the state Senate matchup. Puckett had 351 votes in Norton to Light’s 296.

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