By MIKE WILLIAMS
Voters head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in a variety of races in both Pulaski County and Radford. Those voters, that is, who haven’t already cast ballots by either early in-person voting or by absentee ballot.
In Pulaski County and the towns of Pulaski and Dublin, several candidates are on the ballot, but most are running unopposed and already know they are winners.
Most of the focus this election season has been on two contested seats on the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors.
In Cloyd District, incumbent Adam Hall – a Republican – is being challenged by Chris Stafford, running as an independent in his first bid for elected office.
Hall was appointed to the Cloyd seat on the board following the departure of former board chairman Joe Guthrie, who resigned last January to accept a job in the administration of then newly-elected Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
The winner Tuesday between Hall and Stafford will serve the one year remaining on Guthrie’s original four-year term. The winner, if they choose, will have to run yet again in November of 2023 when all five Board of Supervisor seats will be up for election to four-year terms.
The same scenario applies in Robinson District.
Jeff Reeves, a Republican, was appointed to represent the district at the first of the year following the retirement by former supervisor Charles Bopp due to health reasons.
Reeves is being challenged by Colette Hash, running as an independent and making her first bid for elected office.
In a third Board of Supervisors race, Mike Mooney – a Republican – is unopposed in the race for Massie District Supervisor.
Mooney replaces Republican Andy McCready on the board. McCready – a former Chairman of the board – was appointed as the Massie Supervisor following the resignation of John Travis, who moved from the district.
Later, Mooney defeated McCready in a primary for the Republican Party’s nomination to run for the Massie District seat.
The winners in the three races take their seats on the board immediately.
There are no contested races in the towns of Pulaski and Dublin.
Pulaski Mayor Shannon Collins is unopposed in his bid for a second two-year term.
Pulaski Town Council members Tyler Clontz and Brooks Dawson are unopposed in their bids for new four-year terms on council.
Longtime council member Lane Penn chose not to seek re-election this time around, and his seat will be taken by newcomer, Jeremy Clark.
In Dublin, all three incumbent council members on this year’s ballot are unopposed in their bids for new four-year terms. They are Debbie Lyons, Steve Crigger and Debbie Hager.
In the only race that will appear on everyone’s ballot in Pulaski County and Radford, Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith, a Republican, is seeking a seventh term in Congress.
The Salem attorney first won election by beating longtime Congressman Rick Boucher in 2010.
Griffith is opposed by Democrat Taysha DeVaughan, 32 who lives in Big Stone Gap.
This election, due to redistricting, Pulaski County has grown from 12 precincts to 13 with Massie Precinct being split into East Massie and West Massie.
All polling places are the same as the last election, and ID is required to vote. Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Ballot drop boxes are available at all precincts and the Registrar’s Office on Election Day.
The last day to vote early in person at the Registrar’s Office is Saturday, Nov. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For Phillips, this is the first election for her as Director of Elections and General Registrar.
Prior to being named to the position in August of 2022 following the retirement of longtime registrar Kathy Webb, Phillips worked for nearly four years as Deputy Registrar.
In Radford, voters will elect a mayor, new City Council members and School Board members.
Mayor David Horton is running unopposed for re-election as mayor.
Four candidates are seeking three seats on the city’s School Board. They are Gloria Boyd, Chris Calfee, Ed Dickenson and Jane Swing. Boyd, Calfee and Dickenson have all been endorsed by the Radford Republican Party.
Seven candidates are running for four seats on the City Council.
Seth Gillespie, Kellie Artrip and Bobby Davis have all been endorsed by the city’s Republican Party.
Incumbent Jessie Foster and Chad McClanahan are Democrats while Janiele Hamden is an independent.
Another incumbent is independent write-in candidate Charley Cosmato, who has also been endorsed by the city’s Democratic Party.
Cosmato was appointed this past summer to fill in for former councilman Forrest Hite who resigned.
Prior to Hite’s resignation, former councilman Onassis Burress also gave up his seat and was replaced by former councilman Richard Harshberger. Harshberger is not seeking election.
The top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s election will win four-year terms on council. The third and forth place candidates will officially replace Hite and Burress and serve out the remaining two years of their original terms.
Another current councilmember is Naomi Huntington, whose name is on the ballot for Tuesday. However, she recently withdrew from the race.
If Huntington wins enough votes to place her as one of the top four vote getters, she will be offered a seat on the council. If she declines, then that seat will not go to the candidate receiving the fifth highest vote total, but instead will remain vacant until council appoints another individual to fill that seat on an interim basis.
Sample Ballots for Robinson District (town and county) and Cloyd District in Pulaski County: