Voter survey results

Results pdf

You can download the vote counts and percentages (without the comments) in pdf format by clicking here.

We asked who you’d be voting for Nov. 8 — for sheriff, supervisor, school board, Virginia House of Delegates and the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District board — and why. The answers — and comments — were interesting, but we should first add a disclaimer:

Online polls are unscientific, informal, prone to cheating and – in a rural county such as Rappahannock – at best represent only the fraction of the population who have internet access. We received, in four and a half days, twice as many responses as we did for our last survey, which was online for a week, but still: the total number of people who took the survey was 104.

That said, most of the six contested races appearing on Rappahannock County voters’ ballots this Nov. 8 appear to be fairly close, according the results of our survey, which was posted from last Friday morning (Oct. 28) through noon Tuesday (Nov. 1) here on RappNews.com.

The exception appears to be the race for sheriff, led by an excessively large margin by incumbent Connie C. Smith. In the race for the new 18th district seat in the House of Delegates – a district that many say will always favor the Republican candidate – Republican Michael Webert’s lead was not a commanding one – but Rappahannock is the smallest part of a district that spans parts of Fauquier, Warren and Culpeper counties.

Not surprisingly, potential voters from the Hampton district (which contains the county seat of Washington) were most active in the poll.

We asked for answers only in the contested races on the Nov. 8 ballot in Rappahannock. Poll vote percentages and selected comments from participants are included below. For the actual vote counts (but not the comments included below), you can download a PDF of the survey results.

Sheriff’s Race

Connie C. Smith, the incumbent: 75%

Anthony “Andy” Berry Sr., the challenger: 15.38%

Undecided: 9.62%

Comments:

“I am very proud of the job the sheriff is doing. I listened to the debate, and nothing Mr. Berry said would make me change my mind.”

“We need change in this county. Connie may be nice and have a warm heart, but that doesn’t enforce the law.”

“She was very impressive at your candidates’ forum. Remembering her as a candidate four years ago, she has used her first term to become both a beter candidate and a better sheriff.”

“Sheriff Smith has been one of the best and one of the most fair Sheriffs we have had in my 60 years here in Rappahannock.”

“Connie’s lack of response to public inquiries. She has also not returned phone calls.”

“[Smith is] very committed to Rappahannock County, friendly, great with young people, hardworking. I like her new projects: the garden for inmates and trustee labor use for county projects.”

Supervisor, Hampton

Bryant Lee, the incumbent: 42.59%

Roger Cordani, the challenger: 35.19%

Haven’t decided: 22.22%

Comments:

“NEED A BIG CHANGE.” (chose Cordani).

“Cordani is bad news – if we ever get a developers candidate it will be him. I am in strong disagreement with his tax complaints.”

“Cordani will work on keeping our taxes low by diligently analyzing expenses and eliminating waste. Bryant has been on the BOS so long, he has lost his edge. We need fresh ideas and fresh people.”

“[Lee is a] proven resource, always objective and helpful, approaches challenges apolitically and I appreciate that, a trusted and dedicated servant for many years.”

“Cordani is totally against the schools. All he is interested in his himself.”  

School board, Jackson

Ron Makela: 46.67%

Amy Hitt: 36.67%

Haven’t decided: 16.67%

Comments:

“I’ve known both of these fine people for years. My vote goes to Amy Hitt because she’s the one who seems to be always there at the school giving countless hours of her time, trying to make a difference. No doubt she will work just as hard as a school board member.”

“I prefer Ron, his opponent’s reputation for upsetting everything she has participated in steers me away.”

School board, Wakefield

Chris Ubben, the challenger: 42.86%

Rosa Crocker, the incumbent: 17.86%

Haven’t decided: 39.29%

Comments:

“We spend too much money on schools, not certain what their views on this are.”

School board, Hampton

Steven Howell: 50%

John Lesinski: 34.62%

Haven’t decided: 15.38%

Comments:

“Steve has kids in the school, is a coach, great leader, common sense, and stands for excelence in the school system. He will back teachers, administration, students and parents alike. He will interact with other board members well, in a professional manner.”

“Wow, we are fortunate to have a candidate as involved, as committed, articulate and up on the issues as John Lesinski. I expect him to make a difference on the Board.”

“Steve has three young children who will grow up and be educated in the county. he will be the most dedicated to the school system and better serve the children of this county!”

“[Lesinski has] clear leadership skills, knowledge of the school system, and respect for the role of the school board.”

“Steven Howell has children in the school system, so he is more in tune with the needs. He appears to be running to help and improve the schools. John Lesinski is ‘into’ politics . . .”

Soil and Water Conservation District

(Two open seats)

Monira Rifaat, incumbent: 33.76%

Evelyn Kerr, candidate: 22.93%

John Genho, incumbent: 19.11%

Haven’t decided: 24.2%

Comments:

“Wasn’t impressed with Evelyn Kerr.”

“[Kerr has] excellent credentials, knowledge, desire to achieve results and people skills. Honest and hard working with a dedication to environment while having common sense. A no nonsense attitude that delivers well thought out decisions. Someone you can trust to always be there when the going gets tough.”

“Monira is is brilliant and analytical – plus she works hard and knows what she’s doing. I have not decided about the other two candidates.”

[About Genho and Rifaat]: “I believe both are qualified for the board.”

“I have never seen this John person, don’t know who he is. I think Evelyn cares deeply about the environment.”

“Monira has experience and is smart, and extremely dedicated to any task she takes on. She also has a strong conservation record.”

House of Delegates, 18th District

Michael Webert, the Republican: 48.08%

Bob Zwick, the Democrat: 37.5%

Haven’t decided: 14.42%

Comments:

“Michael Webert is too right-wing. The Democrats dropped the ball on this one – and are just assuming the Republican will win in this gerrymandering district.”

“The Democrats of Rappahannock have wandered too long alone in the wilderness.”

“[Webert is] a ‘homegrown Conservative’ very much in touch with the agricultural aspects of our District.”

“Republicans have lost their way. Webert may be a good candidate, but he is associated with a crazy fringe in American society.”

“After the experiences with Obama and his crowd, I will vote for a snake before I ever vote Democrat again.”

“I doubt I will ever vote Republican again. They’re more interested in their own self-interest and the welfare of their rich buddies than in helping the majority of people in this country. Supply-side economics is a joke, and the government has an important place in keeping this country strong and its citizens secure economically.”

“Webert is a rural man, so he will represent the interests of Rappahannock County better.”

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Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 537 Articles
Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.

2 Comments

  1. Rappahannock News: Just because you have a technology doesn’t mean you should use it. In fact, I’ll give you some reasons from your own article why publishing this article is bad journalism: “Online polls are unscientific, informal, prone to cheating and – in a rural county such as Rappahannock – at best represent only the fraction of the population who have internet access.” Next year, why don’t you try to conduct a scientific poll. That would really be useful. This article was less than useful.

  2. I personally know how much time and effort Amy Hitt puts in for the kids at Rappahannock County. People can say what they would like about her “upsetting everything she is involved with” but I know for a fact she only has the best intrest for the kids in mind. How many events and fund raisers do you see her at? How many countless hours has she put into raising money for athletics, she has 2 boys in the school system, it is obvious she will give 100% to do what is best for the students and the school!

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