Incumbent Rappahannock County Supervisor Chris Parrish, who represents the Stonewall-Hawthorne district, handily defeated a heated last-minute write-in campaign from challenger David Konick, in doing so capturing his third term in office.
Meanwhile, in a stunning victory some might see as an upset, political newcomer Christine Smith of Sperryville unseated incumbent Piedmont District Supervisor Mike Biniek, who like Parrish was seeking his third terms in office.
Unofficial results, including all absentee ballots, handed Smith 360 votes (53.49 percent) to Biniek’s 307 (45.62 percent).
Parrish, for his win, garnered 360 votes (61.02 percent) to Konick’s 230 (38.98 percent), including all absentee ballots.
Asked for his reaction Tuesday night, Parrish told the Rappahannock News from his Viewtown home: “I appreciate the competition and it keeps me on my toes.”
While the Parrish-Konick contest was short lived, it wasn’t without controversy. The latter, an outspoken lawyer and no stranger to county government, claimed the residents he spoke to in the district were “a little agitated” by Parrish’s lack of leadership, and for his opponent to suggest otherwise was “sunshine and lollipop talk.”
Konick accused Parrish and his fellow supervisors of “flailing about,” especially since former Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy retired in 2016.
Parrish, who had been visibly agitated by Konick’s campaign accusations, particularly on taxes and budgetary matters, charged that his write-in opponent was peddling “twisted figures.”
Smith, who made it known from the start that she had much respect for Biniek, pledged that were she to be elected she would be competent and well prepared for meetings, something she said was lacking in her opponent.
In the Rappahannock County School Board races, both candidates were unopposed.
Incumbent Larry Grove, who was first elected to the board in 2013 representing the Stonewall-Hawthorne district, received 473 votes, while Rachel Bynum, a Sperryville farmer and parent of two RCES students, received 554 votes.
Bynum will now assume the Piedmont district seat of vice chair Aline Johnson, who decided this summer that her 18th year on the board would be her final year.
In Virginia’s House of Delegates race for the 18 District, which includes all of Rappahannock County, incumbent Republican Delegate Michael Webert was declared the winner.
With 81 percent of the district’s precincts reporting, Webert had garnered 13,586 votes (58.80 percent) to Democrat Tristan Shields’ 8,229 votes (35.62 percent). Green Party candidate Will King captured 1,260 votes (5.45 percent).
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Rappahannock County gave Webert 1,802 votes (55.29 percent), Shields’ 1,277 (39.18 percent) votes, and King’s 177 (5.43 percent).
In a profile that appeared in this newspaper earlier this month, Webert pledged to address the growing opioid epidemic in the state, including Rappahannock County. He pointed out that three people die every day in the state for opioid overdoses.
Webert, a farmer, said he will continue to lead common-sense efforts to preserve the land and the environment, fund underfunded schools, and vote against tax increases.