New governor elected

Published 11:51 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Suffolk contributed heavily to Terry McAuliffe’s coming trip to the governor’s mansion.

The Democrat won 54 percent of Suffolk voters, compared to 41.3 percent for his Republican foe, Ken Cuccinelli.

The margin was smaller statewide and was closer than many people expected.

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McAuliffe’s fellow Democrats also carried Suffolk. Ralph Northam had an 18 percentage point lead over E.W. Jackson for the lieutenant governor’s race, with most precincts reporting, and Mark Herring took 54 percent of Suffolk’s votes over Republican Mark Obenshain for the attorney general’s race.

It was a smooth Election Day in Suffolk, Voter Registrar Susan Saunders said, although turnout was low. A total of 24,139 votes were cast in Suffolk for the governor’s race.

“We’ve not had an issue with long lines at all,” she said.

Susan Saunders said the city’s precinct workers encountered few problems throughout the day.

“We’ll have the occasional person that needs to be directed to the current precinct and the occasional voter who needs to update their information,” she said.

One potential problem did arise when crews working in the vicinity of Freeney Avenue hit a gas line and started a leak. Drivers — including those trying to reach the polling location at East Suffolk Recreation Center — were detoured.

However, Saunders said the city handled the detours well and had police officers in place to direct voters.

“We actually had an electoral board member go there and say, ‘I would like to vote,’ and he was directed right to the parking lot,” Saunders said, noting the board member was sent specifically to test the process.

Residents who were evacuated from their homes nearby were taken to the recreation center but were kept in another part of it, away from the polls, Saunders said.