Brown, Parr almost finished third

Published 10:26 pm Thursday, November 6, 2014

Investigating the precinct-level results in Tuesday’s local contests yields some interesting insights into the mindset of the voters.

Still angry over a 14-percent raise for the city manager almost two years ago after council members said they wouldn’t give it, as well as a lack of school funding and other issues, voters swept three incumbents out of their seats in the midterm elections. Charles Parr lost to Don Goldberg in the Suffolk Borough, while Jeffrey Gardy lost to Tim Johnson in the Holy Neck Borough and Charles Brown lost to Leroy Bennett in the Cypress Borough.

Both incumbents who faced two challengers came within 100 votes of finishing third in the race. Parr finished only 96 votes ahead of Kerry Holmes, while Brown was only 40 ahead of Clinton Jenkins.

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Both incumbents did, in fact, finish third in some of the precincts in their boroughs. Voters in Elephant’s Fork/Westhaven and Wilroy largely snubbed Parr, as did voters in White Marsh and Nansemond River to Brown.

Bennett is a former member of the City Council from what was called the Nansemond Borough until 2012, when the city redistricted and he was drawn into Brown’s Cypress Borough.

He performed best in the precincts that used to be largely in Nansemond. His best precinct was in Nansemond River, which gave him 56 percent of the vote, compared to only 25 percent for Jenkins and 19 for Brown.

The results were proof that the redistricting process worked, Mayor Linda T. Johnson said in Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

“If this election proved anything, it proved redistricting worked in our city,” Johnson said.

The only precinct carried by any opposed City Council incumbent — Hollywood for Parr — also happened to be the only precinct carried by School Board candidate Thelma Hinton.

The two helped one another campaign leading up to Election Day and at the polls. Hinton was affected by the same redistricting process that put Bennett off the council in 2012. She lost to Mike Debranski.

Even the unopposed candidates weren’t immune to silent dissent at the ballot boxes. School Board member Enoch Copeland lost almost 3 percent of Holy Neck voters to write-in votes, as did Councilman Mike Duman in the Chuckatuck Borough. More than half of the 97 write-ins against Duman were in the King’s Fork precinct.

About 1,100 absentee votes were cast in the election, and the absentee precinct fell to the winner in every race except one notable one — the special election for School Board in the Sleepy Hole Borough, where Jim Perkinson took 45 percent of 103 absentee voters despite finishing with only 38 percent of the overall vote.

Pick up a copy of Friday’s print edition to see complete breakdowns of how all the precincts voted.