Newcomers elected to Galax, Hillsville councils

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HILLSVILLE — A new member will join Hillsville Town Council in July, after winning a seat in Tuesday's municipal election.

In the only contested race, Billy Walls Sr. bested incumbent Frieda Jessup to become the Sulphur Springs Ward representative on town council.

Walls got 59 votes, or 56 percent of all ballots cast, compared to the 45 votes that went to Jessup, according to unofficial results from the Carroll County Voter Registrar's Office.

Jessup had been appointed in 2008 to fill the unexpired term of her predecessor, Bill Tate, who had been elected mayor that year.

After the votes were counted, Walls noted that he's been running for a seat on town council for 14 years.

"I'm still trying to sink it in," he said Wednesday. "Been a long time trying to get there, but we did make it — that's the main thing."

When Walls takes office in July, he said his first task is to follow up on his campaign promise to contact state and federal legislators to ask them to help Hillsville with job creation.

He hopes the clout of 9th District Rep. Rick Boucher and General Assembly Minority Leader Del. Ward Armstrong will help bring industry to Hillsville.

"And then a little later on, we'll work on trying to get a park for the children," Walls said.

Walls thanked all the voters for their support.

In other election results for Hillsville:

• running for re-election unopposed on the ballot, Bill Tate got 162 votes.

However, a significant amount of write-in votes were cast in the mayor's election, and all 20 of them went for Greg Bolen, according to the voter registrar office. Bolen received 20 write-in votes in all.

Most of the write-in ballots, 15, came from the Sulphur Springs Ward.

Walls said he knew about the write-in effort, and he said this was to get some competition in the election.

• Greg Yonce ran unopposed for re-election for the Laurel Fork Ward seat on town council, and he received 48 votes.

Crouse joins council in Galax

Newcomer Margaret “Margo” Crouse, who owns Margo's Interior Decorating shop in downtown Galax and is an active member on the Twin County Chamber of Commerce and the Galax Downtown Association, received 293 votes — or 20.4 percent of the total votes cast in Tuesday's election.

It was enough to replace Derrick Davis, who is completing his first term, on Galax City Council.

There were five people running for four open seats on council — four incumbents and Crouse. Davis received the lowest number of votes, 193, or 13.4 percent, meaning he did not retain a seat on council.

“I wasn't sure that it was going to happen,” said Crouse on Wednesday. “I feel blessed that I will be able to work and serve all the residents of Galax. I want to say thanks to those who gave me support.”

Davis will step down when his term expires on June 30, and Crouse will take his place starting July 1.

The three other incumbents — John Garner, Willie Greene and C.M. Mitchell — all held onto their seats.

Mitchell, who has been on council since 1986 and mayor since 1992, took the most votes, 22.7 percent, or a total of 327.

Greene, who has served on city council for 16 years and the past several years as vice mayor, came in second with only one vote less than Mitchell. Garner, also completing his first term, took 20.54 percent, or 295 votes.

The positions of mayor and vice mayor will be appointed by Galax City Council from among its membership.

The terms for Garner, Mitchell, Greene and Crouse will expire in 2014.