Elections Results: Byrd and Chenault Elected to City Council

Jeremiah Knupp -- November 2nd, 2010

The unofficial results of today’s elections in Harrisonburg, with the State Board of Elections reporting 100 percent of the city precincts, show Ted Byrd and Charlie Chenault as the two winners of the City Council election.

In the west school board district Polly Fravel defeated Scott Baxter.

Voter turn-out in the city was 32 percent.

At the time of this post, the Associated Press reported that Bob Goodlatte would retain his seat.

This post will be updated as more information comes in from the House of Representatives race and the state referendum items.

November 3rd Update: At 8:30 this morning the Virginia State Board of Elections finally reported all precincts for the Sixth District race. In no surprise Bob Goodlatte will return to the House, now a Republican controlled one, for a tenth term. He garnered 76 percent of the vote throughout the district, but only managed to claim 60 percent of the vote in Harrisonburg. 

With less than half a percent of precincts still out statewide, in an outcome predicted last night, all three referendum items will be added to the state constitution. Questions 1 and 2 passed by a large margin, while Question 3 concerning an increase in the state’s Revenue Stabilization Fund, squeaked by, passing by only 50,000 votes.

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49 Responses to “Elections Results: Byrd and Chenault Elected to City Council”

  1. Don Kidd says:

    Congratulations to all. Thank you all for running campaigns on YOUR merits. The City would have won no matter who prevailed.

  2. Ross says:

    Congratulations to all the winners, in all the races!

  3. Deb SF says:

    Congrats to Charlie and Ted! Kudos to Sal for running a great campaign first time out, and Polly Fravel for winning a seat on school board. My son got to vote for his K-5 Keister music teacher for office. Way cool!

  4. Renee says:

    Congrats to the winners! I thought we had several good candidates in the city council race.

    Huh, something’s wrong with the SBE site. It’s now showing Chenault with 0 votes but 100% reporting… glad I came to hburgnews for the results first!

    • That was weird. It’s back up now. It’s showing that Charlie finished with 2,288 — second, behind Ted, who got 2,558.

      Vanke did better than I would have thought: 26 percent in the city, 13 percent district-wide (two points ahead of Bain).

      • Renee says:

        Yes, Vanke did do surprisingly well in Harrisonburg. Glad to see Charlie’s results are back up!

        It’s interesting how close the race was considering it was split 6 ways and you could vote for two. No one ran away with it. The standard deviation looks very low!

  5. Lindsay says:

    It was hard to choose among city council candidates, and that’s a good problem to have. Congrats to the winners. Thanks to the whole group for running and for caring about our city.

  6. Emmy says:

    Congrats to the winners and to those brave enough to be willing to run!

  7. Brooke says:

    Congratulations to all the winners, and all the candidates for running a good race!

  8. John Elledge says:

    Republicans 1, 2, and 3. Even in the City of Harrisonburg. Interesting. And, I congratulate Republican Charlie Chenault for refusing to play the game of the de facto party bosses.

    • Gene Hart says:

      Interesting post-election spin. I understood that Mr. Chenault was an independent candidate; I expect many Harrisonburg voters thought the same.

      • JGFitzgerald says:

        Hey, if I had won, would that have made me a Republican? Or if I had made, say, the top five?

        • John Elledge says:

          Sorry Joe, can’t stretch it that far.

          • Bazrik says:

            …but you admit that was a stretch. Lots of gloating going on today, and lots of over-defense from Democrats. The division goes way back past the Obama election 2 years ago. Hope we can step out of our camps a little as a nation soon.

          • JGFitzgerald says:

            Bazrik: The change will come when enough of us realize that the third party, often expected on the far right or far left, forms in the middle. It’s a question of whether the Chamber Pubs or the moderate Dems blink first.

          • Not as long as the Democrats push diversity as a mantra, aligning each American into their own hyphenated group, Bazrik.

          • Bazrik says:

            Sorry, but what the heck are you talking about Briggman? “Diversity” is our biggest problem? Jeesh, get over it.

          • How do you project a unified country, when was political arm emphasizes diversity?

          • Bazrik says:

            Wow, you’re actually stating that a country can’t be “diverse” and “unified” at the same time. That’s actually kind of amazing. Those aren’t antonyms, sir, and that’s one of the most disturbing aspects of your point of view. In your eyes, it seems that, for a nation to be “unified”, it must also be homogeneous. That’s just ridiculous, and a little bit scary.

            Don’t get me wrong – “diversity” and its celebration can certainly be bastardized as a concept, and used as an empty buzzword for political grandstanding. But the same can be said for the railing against “diversity” that I see a lot of ultra-conservatives doing. You know, that chest-pounding rallying cry for an America that “was” before all this PC stuff and “diversity” came along. Well, that rhetoric is just as empty, as that America was never as nice for all types of people as we’d like to imagine.

          • What I said was that when one political party EMPHASIZES diversity and what we don’t have in common, as the Democrat Party commonly does, we will likely never be a unified country.

            Seems like a fairly simple concept to me.

            Kind of like why I prefer to shop Home Depot because I don’t have to look past the Spanish written on signage to read English.

          • Bazrik says:

            Interesting and refreshing coming from you. Thanks for sharing some of your past, I appreciate the perspective.

        • Bazrik says:

          Well, we’re bound to disagree here because of the fundamental differences we have regarding what “diversity” means. So I guess you’re right – it is a simple concept. You simply think I don’t get it, and I think the same about you.

          You see diversity as emphasizing “what we don’t have in common” – something you DIDN’T say in your original comment, by the way. So, from the start, you see diversity as inherently negative – it’s a laundry list of all the things in which people don’t connect.

          I view diversity as an opportunity. The very definition of the word is positive – “variety”. Meaning more choices, not less. A greater number of possibilities, not less. It’s kind of what this country is built on, you know. Lots of different people coming to one place to create a tapestry of… oh never mind, you hate that concept.

          Again, a political party can carry this too far – as I fully admit some Democrats have – in that diversity can be “celebrated” to the point that it’s silly. But I think that’s the minority of cases.

          …and, people can take the issue of diversity too far the OTHER way, to where they’re complaining about signs being written in two languages. Gasp! By the way, I have to ask – is it really that hard “looking past” the Spanish on a sign? Does it cause that much mental fatigue? …seems like a fairly simple concept to me.

          • Yes, I think the term “diversity” has a negative connotation to it, but I don’t think people of different ethnic groups are negative at all. I grew up in Arlington County with all kinds of ethnic groups…and while we had different occasions to celebrate their different traditions, etc., we immersed them, at that time, into our culture and languages in the schools.

            That’s not done, even in Arlington today. There’s no pressure being applied for those from other cultures/countries to fully assimilate into “American Culture”…so we’re left with a bunch of different peoples, from a bunch or different cultures/countries — lacking unity.

            Bazrik, we’re not in Mexico, the Mexicans are here…look at the NAFTA requirements for packaging…most packing now had English, French, and Spanish…all in 2-point type.


          • In short, multiculturalism fails…Germany’s already recognized that…

          • Bazrik says:

            No, not enough. I know you’re used to seizing the last word – and have at it if that’s what you’re about – but this has to be recognized.

            I was actually agreeing with you halfway through your comment!

            All your points about lacking unity, and no pressure to “assimilate” – great word! …means to blend, while still keeping traits of original parts! – into a main culture.

            …then your comment turned. In a big way.

            “In short, multiculturalism fails…Germany’s already recognized that”

            Well then maybe that’s the country for you, my friend. If your goal is one culture with no identifiable parts, sub-sections… i.e., if you’re going after the color “gray” instead of a patchwork that interweaves – maybe you need a more militant state where language, choice of religion, etc. is taken out of the hands of the people. This country might be a little too wide open for you.

          • Not at all…in fact, our country has been welcoming of LEGAL immigrants and we’ve assimiloated them into society.

            I’m not exactly sure what you’re looking for, or how old you are, but this actually worked in our country until the late 70s or mid 80s…now, diversity means separate, no unity.

        • Bazrik says:

          Nope. So, like I said – massive difference of opinion, – and I’m as old as you, I believe (not quite sure). …so let me get this straight – our country’s views on diversity was “working well” in the 1950’s?? I don’t know what YOU’RE looking for, but maybe it’s revisionist history. Ever ask someone who’s non-white what it was like to live in the 50’s or even 60’s? :)

          Anyway, I think we’ve beat up the rest of the readers with our debate. You’re certainly engaging, I’ll give you that – but your opinions consistently tend to suggest that everyone else is less informed than you, for what it’s worth.

          • No, Bazrik. I don’t think you’re less-informed than I am, you’ve simply had life experiences which were simply diverse from mine.

            My opinions tend to be derived via where I’ve lived and my life experiences. Having lived in around military families for most of my life — except that time during which I’ve lived here — I’ve never judged people by the color of their skin…they simply were people to me.

    • Coffman’s a RINO, John…anyone knowing anything about City politics knows that.

      Odd that, you’re now claiming Charlie as a Republican.

      Perhaps you might expound on your statement that he was refusing to play the game of the de facto party bosses? I’m sure we’d all like to read what you mean.

      Let’s get them out as bosses, John…they’ve already screwed you twice.

      • John Elledge says:

        Never have I denied Charlie as a Republican, Dave. He just never could pass the purity tests of the puppeteers.

  9. Charles Chenault says:

    Dear Gene et al,
    I ran as an independent because I am independent. I respect Democrats and Republicans, but I am not one. Over the years, many local politicians have accused me of leaning to the Democratic side, which was never an issue for me. That is exactly the point – I vote the issue for what is best for all citizens of Harrisonburg. I will continue as an independent until my independence is laid to rest at Woodbine Cemetery. If it helps, I will request that “independent” appear on my grave stone. My run as an independent was a conscious, well thought out (at least in my mind) response as to who I wanted to serve. Simply put, I serve no one else and no other entity. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but don’t sell me any shorter than I already am.

    • Congrats, again, Charlie!

    • John Elledge says:

      I wasn’t selling you short, Charlie, I meant everything I said as a compliment to you.

      • Gene Hart says:

        Charlie, I couldn’t resist tweaking our dear friend John. I know that both parties would be proud to have you (and I respect that neither of us does). Congrats on your return to council!

        • Dany Fleming says:

          At this local level, I think party affiliation is actually not very helpful in separating candidates and probably even gets in the way of having specific issue discussions.

          Party affiliation may be the main organizing tool for state-wide elections and addressing state-connected issues. I imagine the state party apparatus likes the idea of tying people to their party.

          However, when it comes to our very local issues, I think most decisions are made on the merits of the issue, as that person sees them; I don’t think some state party platform is what guides our local officials. I don’t doubt that a “Republican” could vote to raise local taxes to fill a local need and a “Democrat” might vote to make cuts in a social safety net program to make budget. Most local officials, I think, understand that their decisions can have a very real effect on the person living right next door to them.

          We’re certainly better off asking officials to make up their own minds based on how they view a specific issue and not because it fits within their state/national party platform. I bet we’d force ourselves to understand local candidate positions better if they all had no party letter by their name.

          • Dany; I guess you missed the local 2009 Delegate elections wherein state and local Republican Party officials made certain that their most compliant local candidate was given every advantage to prevail. The result being that you never say the most qualified Republican in that Delegate race. And the interests of our locality were never a concern of the Republican Party.

  10. seth says:

    as a point of order, i think that when he said “At this local level,” he probably meant at this local level.

    • Dany Fleming says:

      Party trumped locality in that process, Bubby. That was a pretty good example of the value (or lack of) of the local party in decision-making and policy setting. The local parties are just an organizing vehicle for state-wide folks – which, no doubt, is important and has value. However, I still don’t think party affiliation and how someone decides on strictly local issues is always very connected. Being a loyal party member has a big impact on your ability to move up the political ladder, though.

      BTW, Bubby (whoever you are) I generally like your posts. You seem to be the John Stewart of hburgnews.

    • Bazrik says:

      Now that was funny, Seth.

  11. Randall See says:

    RINO is such a boring term, used by those who expect a purity and unanimity of opinion that has never existed and never will. It’s disappointing that this mentality is far more common in the Republican than Democratic Party. There is something paranoid about people who are convinced that others pretend to be members of a political party but secretly hold unorthodox views rather than simply recognizing that in a big two party system both parties will contain millions of people with different shades of opinion on all sorts of issues.

  12. Dave Briggman says:

    Where’s the “Like” button for Bubby’s posting?

    • Christa says:

      I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Bubby not too long ago. I would love to sit and talk with him in the near future.

  13. Hey Bubby, we need candidates to run for 26th District Delegate and 20th District Senator…and Districts 2, 4, and 5 in the County for both the Board of Supervisors and the School Board…interested?

    • I’m far too fiscally conservative and socially liberal to be elected. The development community hate me for refusing to concede to their demand that the County grant them special privilege, and I will never kiss the ring of Dean Welty or any who seek to legislate morality.

      Besides, I’ve learned how things work: I make a fortune, await a call from Mark Obenshain and let him arrange my elected office. If I keep my mouth shut and do what I’m told for 5 or 6 years I’ll be running a state agency; hopefully the ABC!

  14. Dany Fleming says:

    Don’t be silly…no one with Hussein as a middle name has a shot at elected office in the US.

  15. …yeah, it’ll never happen. Ever.

  16. I always find the people declaring others to be “RINO”s to be somewhat hilarious, given that Abraham Lincoln is probably turning over in his grave every time one of these folks engages in this conduct.

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