Amsterdam District voters unseat incumbents; county follows tradition of supporting statewide Republicans

Voters in Botetourt’s Amsterdam Election District turned out two incumbents in last week’s General Election in what was one of the closest local races in recent years.

The majority of those voters also tended to ignore party affiliation when it came to electing a representative to the Board of Supervisors.

Independent Steve Clinton— a former board member from the district— will replace Republican Todd Dodson on the board on January 1 after winning the seat with 1,423 votes, 65 more than Dodson’s 1,358.

Clinton will be the second Independent on the board along with Fincastle District and current Chairman Jack Leffel.

Clinton’s election means the board will turn over two-fifths of its members.

Precinct results were split among the Amsterdam supervisor and School Board candidates.

Dodson outpolled Clinton 684 to 675 in the Greenfield Voting Precinct, Clinton outpolled Dodson 656 to 589 in the Daleville precinct and absentee voters favored Clinton 92 to 85.

Weddle garnered 623 votes to Wallace’s 579 in the Daleville Precinct and Wallace outpolled Weddle 665 to 660 in the Greenfield Precinct. Weddle received 90 absentee votes to Wallace’s 80.

Republican Ray Sloan was unopposed for the Buchanan Election District seat currently held by John Williamson III, who chose not to run for a second term. Sloan received 1,771 votes. There were 48 write-ins.

Amsterdam District voters also elected a new School Board member. Anna Weddle unseated four-term incumbent and current School Board Chair Ruth Wallace with 1,373 votes, 49 more than the 1,324 Wallace received. Weddle will assume the seat January 1.

Michelle Crook was unopposed for the Buchanan District seat on the School Board in her first election. Crook was appointed last year to fill the late Kathy Sullivan’s unexpired term on the board. Crook received 1,777 votes. There were 32 write-in votes.


Troutville Town Council

Town of Troutville voters returned its three incumbents whose seats were up for election to Town Council. There were three candidates for the three seats.

Doris Camper received 96 votes, Dean Paderick 89 and Harry Ulrich Jr. 88 votes.

They will serve two-year terms.


House of Delegates

Botetourt voters also helped return both Republicans who represent parts of Botetourt to the House of Delegates.

Terry Austin was unopposed in his re-election bid for a third term in the 19th House District. Across the district that includes most of Botetourt, part of Bedford, Alleghany County and the City of Covington, he received 20,961 votes. There were 801 write-ins.

Austin received 9,103 votes in Botetourt.

Chris Head was re-elected to a fourth term to the 17th District House seat that includes a small part of Botetourt in the Cloverdale/Troutville area and parts of Roanoke County and Roanoke City  and the Town of Vinton.

Head collected 15,991 (60.5 percent) of the vote across the district to Democrat Djuna Osborne’s 10,379 votes.

Head received 1,155 votes in Botetourt (70 percent of the votes cast for the two candidates). Head also carried the Roanoke County and Roanoke City precincts in the 17th District.


Statewide Races

Botetourt voters continued their strong inclination to vote Republican for statewide and national candidates.

That didn’t keep the Democratic Party from sweeping the races for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General again, though.

While Botetourt voters overwhelmingly supported the three Republican candidates for those offices, Democratic candidate and current Lt. Governor Ralph Northam will be Virginia’s next governor.

Northam outpolled Republican Ed Gillespie statewide with nearly 54 percent of the vote to Gillespie’s 45 percent.

Botetourt favored Gillespie with 71.7 percent (8,963) of the vote to Northam’s 27.3 percent (3,406)— similar percentages to how Botetourt favored Donald Trump in last fall’s presidential election.  Gillespie actually fared better in Botetourt than Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the 2013 gubernatorial election when that Republican candidate received 65 percent of the Botetourt vote.

Justin Fairfax will be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor. The Democrat outpolled Republican Jill Vogel with 52.7 percent of the vote statewide.

Vogel actually did better in Botetourt than Gillespie. She received 75 percent of the vote compared to Fairfax’s 25 percent.

Mark Herring was elected to another term as Virginia’s attorney general, defeating Republican challenger John Adams.

Herring, a Democrat, received just over 53 percent of the vote statewide to Adams’ 46.7 percent. As in the other statewide races, Botetourt voters heavily favored the Republican candidate giving Adams nearly 65 percent of the vote and Herring just over 35 percent.

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