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Incumbents retain seats in Carroll

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Fancy Gap District school board race decided by 3 votes, Berrier plans to request recount

Staff Reports

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HILLSVILLE – Three votes were all that separated the winner and runner-up for the Fancy Gap District school board seat in Carroll County in Tuesday’s election.

Candidate Phillip Berrier, who lost to incumbent Joey Haynes 501-498, said he plans to ask for a recount of ballots.

If the decision stands, Haynes will be one of three incumbents who fended off challengers in Carroll on Nov. 7. Tom Littrell was re-elected to the Carroll County Board of Supervisors and Sandy Hendrick won his race for Carroll County School Board.

Three other candidates on the Carroll ballot were unopposed.

Carroll County Registrar Kimberly Cloud reported Wednesday morning that, after counting the provisional ballots, the count showed a gap of only three votes between Haynes and Berrier, who lead the pack in a four-way race.

According to Virginia Election Code 24.2-800, if the difference between the numbers of votes cast for the two candidates in a single race is not more than one percent, the candidate with the lower number of votes can ask for a re-count.

Since the total number of votes cast in the Fancy Gap race is 999 and the difference in votes between the two candidates is three, Berrier has the right to a re-count.

Contacted by The Gazette on Wednesday, Berrier said, “I talked with some of the people who supported me in this, and they asked that we have a re-count. So I will ask for it.”

A candidate has 10 days from the date of an election to formally ask for a recount.

Haynes and Berrier each received about 35 percent of the vote. Of the two other candidates in the Fancy Gap school board race, Gina Hall received 233 votes (16 percent) and Patricia Sebens received 200 (14 percent).

In the Pipers Gap District, incumbent supervisor Tom Littrell (R) defeated independent challenger Phillip Boatman by 1,167 votes (73 percent) to 432 (27 percent).

Littrell has served on the board for 10 years, including stints as chairman and vice chairman.

In the Laurel Fork District school board race, incumbent Sandy Hendrick won a relatively close race against Virgil Hall, who he defeated 918 votes (53 percent) to 816 (47 percent).

All other Carroll candidates were unopposed, including two new faces that will join the board of supervisors.

Phillip R. McCraw won the Fancy Gap seat on the board of supervisors with 1,168 votes (91 percent). In June, he defeated two opponents to win the Republican primary.

(McCraw is not to be confused with the current Fancy Gap supervisor, Phil D. McCraw, who is not running for reelection due to his declining health.)

Phillip McCraw is a lifelong resident of Cana who worked for Kerns Bakery and in the cattle industry, and retired from Sara Lee.

He said his goals for the county include looking into the comprehensive plan, the subdivision ordinance and addressing the trucks and their accessibly from Interstate 77 to U.S. 52.

Joe Neil Webb won the Laurel Fork seat on the board of supervisors, with 1,543 votes (98 percent). In June, he defeated incumbent Joshua Hendrick for the nomination in the Republican primary.

Webb is a lifelong resident of Carroll who teaches machine technology at Wytheville Community College and works as a machinist at Fielder Electric Motor Repair in Galax.

Webb’s goals include working on the county’s financial situation, improving the economy and providing opportunities to bring government back to the people. He also wants to keep agriculture, public schools and emergency services strong in the county.

Brian Spencer was re-elected to the Pipers Gap District seat on the school board, with 1,387 votes (98 percent).

All those elected to the board of supervisors are Republicans. There were no Democratic candidates in any Carroll races this year.

All school board candidates are independent.

Cloud said that 43 percent of registered voters participated in Tuesday’s election, compared to 70 percent in last November’s presidential election.