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Draper beats Ward for commissioner

The incumbent commissioner of the revenue was re-elected by a wide margin in her first contested election on Tuesday.

Susan L. Draper garnered 67 percent of the vote in a race against Lue R. Ward Jr., who sits on City Council. He got about 32.6 percent of the vote.

“I’m humbled to be re-elected as the commissioner of the revenue,” Draper said by phone late Tuesday. “I had a lot of support, and I greatly appreciate that. I will continue to have a well-run office and do my best serving the citizens of the city of Suffolk.”

Ward, reached by phone Tuesday night, congratulated Draper and thanked his supporters.

“I want to thank all the people that voted for me and all the community that supported me,” he said. “I had an opportunity to run, I could run, so that’s what I did.”

Draper performed best in the Lake Cohoon precinct, where she garnered more than 89.5 percent of the vote. Ward’s best precinct was Huntersville, where he got more than 70.5 percent of the vote.

Ward also won in Burbage Grant, Hollywood, Booker T. Washington, Southside, John F. Kennedy and White Marsh.

Draper has been commissioner of the revenue since 2014, when she was promoted in accordance with state law following the retirement of Thomas Hazelwood. As she was his chief deputy, she automatically got the role until a special election in November 2015, in which she was unopposed.

Draper has been working in commissioner of the revenue offices for 16 years, starting in Chesapeake and moving to Suffolk about 12 years ago. She is a Suffolk native, graduate of Forest Glen High School and former machinist at the Newport News Shipyard. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an accounting major from Old Dominion University.

Three other constitutional officers — Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson, Treasurer Ronald Williams and Sheriff E.C. Harris — were unopposed in their re-election bids and will return to their respective offices.