Suffolk votes

Published 1:52 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Casting a vote: Voter Shirley Spruell, left, checks in to cast her ballot at John F. Kennedy Middle School on Tuesday. Suffolk voters chose City Council and School Board representatives in four boroughs.

Suffolk voters returned three incumbents to City Council and elected car dealership owner Mike Duman to fill an open seat in the Chuckatuck borough.

One-term incumbents Charles Parr and Jeffrey Gardy won re-election to the Suffolk and Holy Neck seats, respectively. Charles Brown won re-election to a fifth term in the Cypress borough seat by the largest margin of any of the City Council candidates.

Gardy’s win was the narrowest of the four races. His victory over former Botetourt County supervisor Jennings “J.B.” Varney came by only 128 votes, according to preliminary results.

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The election marked the first time Holy Neck voters had returned their City Council representative for a second term — a phenomenon previously known as the “Holy Neck curse.”

“I think we’ve banished the curse,” said Gardy, who preliminary results showed won 1,580 to 1,452. “We can only look forward to the future.”

Speaking by phone from Parr’s victory party, Gardy added he was “ecstatic” and “overwhelmed,” and said Varney “ran a very good race.”

Parr’s win came by a margin of 371 votes over former planning commissioner Alvin Copeland.

“I think the folks in Suffolk borough are appreciative of the four and a half years of effective, efficient government,” Parr said by phone while at his victory party. Parr amassed 1,254 votes to Copeland’s 883. “We’re going to continue the next four years in the same vein.”

Brown’s win over retired teacher William Newsome came by a margin of more than three to one. He gathered 1,860 votes from Cypress voters, compared to Newsome’s 597.

Duman’s win for the Chuckatuck seat over retired health care executive M. Caroline Martin came by only 173 votes — 2,004 to 1,831.

The Chuckatuck seat was left up for grabs by the retirement of Councilman Joe Barlow after more than five years of service.

Mayor Linda T. Johnson, who also attended Parr’s victory party, said she was pleased at the re-election of her colleagues.

“I’m very pleased,” she said. “I look forward to working with Mr. Duman, and I think we’re going to be moving the city forward.”