RADFORD – Radford Mayor David Horton and council member Jessie Foster were re-elected to four-year terms in Tuesday’s election and will be joined by three new council members.
Horton, who was running unopposed, garnered 2,481 votes (77.27%), and 730 write-in votes (22.73%) were cast. Of the write -in votes, 519 were cast for former Radford vice-mayor Keith Marshall, 133 were cast for multiple individuals and 98 were invalid (Mickey Mouse, none of the above, etc.)
Foster received 1,715 votes (16.07%). Seth J. Gillespie (2,127 votes, 19.94%) earned the most votes in the council contest and will join Horton and Foster for a four-year term. Kellie Banks Artrip (1,702 votes, 15.95%) and Bobby L. Davis Jr. (1,491 votes, 13.98%) will fill the unexpired terms of two council members who resigned before their terms were finished and will serve until the end of 2024.
Artrip and Davis will begin their terms “as soon as the Electoral Board Certifies and issues a certificate of Election” explained Radford Voter Registrar Tracy Howard. Gillespie’s term will begin Jan. 1, 2023.
“[The certification] can’t happen until Tuesday after certifying the remaining ballots on Monday,” said Howard. “Their terms will end on Dec. 31, 2024. The next council election will be concurrent with the 2024 presidential election.”
Howard said a few ballots remain to be counted, but it won’t affect the outcome.
“Due to recent law changes, we still have outstanding ballots that can only be counted afterwards.,” he said. “Late mailed ballots postmarked by yesterday have until Monday at noon to arrive. There are multiple provisional and same-day registration ballots that will be added to those on Monday as well. These are called post-election processing and currently consist of 48 votes remaining, that number may increase by Monday.”
The remaining breakdown of the vote was
Chad L. McClanahan (1,214 votes, 11.38%)
Naomi R. Huntington (886 votes, 8.30%)
Janiele V. Hamden (753 votes, 7.06%)
Write In: 781 votes, 7.32%)
Huntington is a current member of the Radford City Council but announced she was dropping out of the race earlier this fall. She remained on the ballot since she dropped out after the deadline to qualify as a candidate, at which time the ballot is made.
Voters also cast ballots for the U.S. Congressional election in which incumbent H. Morgan Griffith, R, was re-elected. Radford voters cast 1,990 votes (53.71% percent) for Griffith. Democrat challenger Taysha Lee DeVaughan received 1,705 votes (46.02%).
Howard said the turnout for Tuesday’s election was robust, coming in slightly higher than the average election for U.S. Congress and much higher than a local-only election.
“For a normal November Congressional election, turnout was slightly higher, and for a city council race, it was much higher,” he said. “I attribute the increase to a couple of things. First, the availability of early voting. We voted more than 30 percent of overall turnout before Election Day and, second, the fact that all seats of council were available for election.
Turnout was 3847 voters of 9523 registered, or 40.04% . There were 2470 election day voters and 1377 absentee and early voters.
The winning candidates all say they are looking forward to serving Radford.
“I am honored and humbled to be returning as Mayor for another four years,” said Horton. “Our community has come so far in a really short time and so many wonderful things are on the horizon. We have the opportunity to grow and improve, to seek and discover new pathways, and to be the very best Radford possible, and it is all due to the citizens of this amazing city.
“Thank you Radford for trusting me four years ago to help guide our progress and thank you for reaffirming your support yesterday,” Horton said. “As Mayor and Council, we serve as your voice and your representatives as we work to make Radford the best it can be.”
Foster said she is looking forward to continuing work on the projects the council has undertaken.
“It is with great enthusiasm and tremendous honor that I return for a second term to the Radford City Council,” said Foster. “The prior council worked diligently to launch many exciting projects, and I am thrilled that the mayor, the new council, and I will be able to further advance them for the betterment of our citizens.
“It is my ongoing mission to continue to seek opportunities to expand our parks, foster business development, enhance tourism, support housing growth and update/repair aging infrastructure,” Foster said. “I will continue to be transparent and responsive to the needs of our citizens while making fiscally sound decisions ensuring a healthy bottom line for future endeavors.
“Radford is such a special place to call home, and that is in large part to our citizens. Thank you for your continued faith in my service. A heartfelt note of appreciation must also be extended to my family as they know the many hours it takes to perform this role successfully.”
Gillespie said he is ready to get to work.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve Radford,” he said. “I can’t say thank you enough to those who have helped me on this journey and the citizens who believed and trusted in me to take on this role. The real work now begins. I look forward to working with the new council to try and make Radford a better place for us all to call home.”
Artrip said she is humbled by the support of her fellow citizens.
“I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to serve our great city,” she said. “It was truly surreal to see my name on the ballot, and I am so humbled to have the support of so many of our citizens. Thank you for putting your trust in me; I promise I will do everything in my power to not let you down. I look forward to serving the community and Radford with everything I have to give to ensure Radford continues to be the amazing city we know and love. We have a strong, knowledgeable council, and I have no doubt we will move mountains together.”
Davis said he hopes to make a positive difference in the city.
“I was humbled to listen to families’ struggles while campaigning and people congratulating me after winning,” said Davis. “To sum it up, it was a reconfirmation that I’m so glad that I ran to help make a positive difference. I’m looking forward to working with everyone to make Radford oneof the best cities in the state. I’m passionate about people and their needs.”