Four incumbents returned

Published 11:08 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Suffolk voters returned four incumbents to City Council on Tuesday, some by wide margins and some by relatively narrow ones.

Mayor Linda T. Johnson took about 45 percent of the vote in a field of five to win her third election in a row. She remains the city’s only directly elected mayor since it switched from an appointed position in 2008.

“I’m looking forward to working for four more years,” Johnson said. “We’re doing good, and I think the citizens said we were doing good. I’m excited.”

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Johnson’s closest competitors were Brian Bass and Kerry Holmes. Bass took about 26 percent of the vote, with Holmes taking 22 percent.

Rounding out the field were Geral D. “Bishop” Staten, with about 4.5 percent, and Charles Lee Scott Sr., with about 2 percent.

While the incumbent won the popular vote, Bass did carry several precincts, mostly in rural areas. He won in White Marsh, Whaleyville, Pittmantown, Kilby’s Mill, Holland, Lake Cohoon and Elephant’s Fork/Westhaven.

Councilman Lue Ward Jr. of the Nansemond Borough won by 252 votes over his opponent, Ben Fitzgerald III. Ward did not return multiple calls for comment on Tuesday night.

Fitzgerald won in Harbourview and Burbage Grant precincts, but lost big in Huntersville as well as in absentee voters.

In the Whaleyville Borough, Councilman Curtis R. Milteer was elected to his 10th term by 276 votes. He gathered about 35 percent of the vote, with his closest competition being downtown businessman LaTroy Brinkley.

Brinkley won big in Booker T. Washington and Southside precincts, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Milteer’s advantage in the other areas.

“I’m very grateful to the citizens of Whaleyville for giving me another opportunity to continue serving them,” Milteer said. “It has been a rewarding adventure, and I shall continue to serve them to the best of my ability.”

Milteer thanked his three opponents — Brinkley, Vanessa Harris and J. Harold Faulk — for “giving the citizens an opportunity to make a choice.”

In the Sleepy Hole Borough, incumbent Roger Fawcett won handily. He gathered 1,435 more votes than his opponent, Raymond D. Batton III, with about 61 percent of the vote, winning every precinct.

“I want to thank all of my constituents in the Sleepy Hole Borough for giving me the opportunity to come back and be their representative the next four years,” Fawcett said.

Fawcett thanked his friends and family who had supported his campaign.

“Now, it’s time to move forward, and let’s go back to work,” he said.

Three School Board incumbents were unopposed on Tuesday’s ballot. Dr. Judith Brooks-Buck, David P. Mitnick and Phyllis C. Byrum were re-elected in the Nansemond, Sleepy Hole and Whaleyville boroughs, respectively.