Incumbent Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser on Tuesday trounced his challenger—longtime Councilwoman Joan Lehr—leading a sweep of new faces on to the Town Council.
Fraser followed up on his surprise 2014 mayoral win by garnering 1,090 votes to Lehr’s 446.
“I think it’s a clear mandate. The people have spoken,” Fraser said Tuesday night. “This is a council we can work with. We’ve put four people in place, and we all have the same vision, which is to listen to the voice of the people.”
Lehr is the longest serving council member, first elected in 2008. She’ll leave the council when her term expires June 30.
“I have had the opportunity to serve this town—two years on the Planning Commission and eight years on council,” Lehr said. “Purcellville is a great place to live, work and raise a family, and I hope it can stay that same way under the new council.”
Planning Commissioner Chris Bledsoe, making his second bid for council, was the top vote-getter among council candidates with 954, followed by Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman with 938 votes and Ryan Cool with 795. Coming up short were first-time candidate Sam Chapman, who received 481 votes, followed by Councilman John Nave with 361 votes, Vice Mayor Patrick McConville at 356, and first-time candidate Chris Hamilton with 319 votes.
Longtime civic activist Kelli Grim also won a council seat, after previous unsuccessful campaigns for mayor and council. She’ll take her seat immediately, filling the unexpired term of Ben Packard, who moved out of town. Grim won a three-way race garnering 733 votes. Melanie Fuller, who was appointed to fill Packard’s seat until Tuesday’s special election, got 403 votes and Sandy Nave got 308.
As expected, the Purcellville election saw the most action on Tuesday when voters in five western Loudoun towns went to the polls. Purcellville registered a 28 percent turnout among its 5,323 registered voters.
Aside from Grim, the new slate will join Councilwoman Karen Jimmerson, a strong Fraser ally, and Councilman Doug McCollum on the dais starting July 1.
Voters also went to the polls in Hamilton, Lovettsville, Middleburg and Round Hill to select mayors and council members. Of those races, only Middleburg’s council race had more candidates than available seats. Voting in those towns was much lighter than in the Purcellville race.
In Hamilton, 38 of the town’s 415 registered voters participated in the election that featured three incumbents. They gave John Unger a rare unanimous vote of support. Vice Mayor Kenneth Wine followed with 33 votes and Matthew Clark got 32.
In Lovettsville, 85 of the 1,361 registered voters cast ballots. Mayor Bob Zoldos II was unopposed in his bid for a third two-year term and garnered 78 votes. Planning Commissioner Robert Gentile led the council race with 75 votes, followed by Jim McIntyre (74) and Vice Mayor Michael Senate (56). It will be Senate’s third four-year term and McIntyre’s second.
In Middleburg, 85 of the town’s 540 registered voters turned out. Mayor Betsy Allen Davis was unchallenged in her bid for a sixth two-year term and garnered 78 votes. In the council race, which featured all first-time council candidates, Trowbridge M. Littleton (59), Phillip Miller (46) and Kevin Daley (44) were the top vote-getters. Tony Pearce came up just short with 43 votes, according to the unofficial results.
In Round Hill, 50 of the town’s 439 voters cast ballots. Mayor Scott Ramsey was unopposed for a third four-year term; he gote 44 votes. Longtime Councilwoman Mary Anne Graham (42) will be joined on council by newcomers Kim Fortunato (42) and Mike Minshall (40).