Although Democrats were rejoicing at picking up the state House and Senate on Nov. 5, Chesterfield County Republicans won a number of what some thought would be close races while knocking off incumbent Democrat Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Miles.
Miles, who last year was narrowly elected to finish the remaining year of longtime former Commonwealth’s Attorney Billy Davenport’s term, lost 54 to 46 percent to Stacey Davenport. She is not related to Billy but may have benefitted from name ID. Miles had instituted some criminal justice reforms but also had reportedly ruffled the feathers of the county police chief Jeffrey Katz and sheriff Karl Leonard, the latter who dispatched lightly-funded independent, Rahn Kersey, 69 to 31 percent.
Miles would not comment on why he lost, but Davenport had some ideas. “I think people were more aware of the race and the issues involved this year than they were during the special election last year,” she said. “Also, and more importantly, I believe the rift created between Mr. Miles and law enforcement did play a big role in my victory. I had large numbers of voters telling me that issue was the top issue for them in the election. I also think, based on looking at the outcome in the other races on the local ballot, that being a woman helped me.”
Longnaker over Jackson
In the race for county treasurer, Republican Rebecca Longnaker defeated Democrat Michael Jackson, 55 to 45 percent. Longnaker replaces Carey Adams, who did not run after being appointed in January 2017 to replace Richard Cordle.
Hughes over McPeters
Democrat Jenefer Hughes was re-elected as commissioner of the revenue by 3 percent over Tim McPeters, 51 to 48 percent.
Chase, Hashmi, Morrissey
Although Democrats picked up two seats and won the state Senate 21-19 and look to have a 55-45 advantage in the state House after picking up six seats, they were unable to topple incumbent Amanda Chase in Senate District 11, which includes most of Chesterfield County, along with all of Amelia County and Colonial Heights. Chase defeated Democrat Amanda Pohl, 55 to 45 percent.
Incumbent Republican state Sen. Glen Sturtevant won the North Chesterfield portion of District 10 by 3 percentage points, 51 to 48, and Powhatan, 77-23, but was hammered in the Richmond portion, 75-25, to lose by 8 percent overall to Democrat Ghazala Hashmi. The college teacher who emigrated from India as a child will become the first Muslim in the state Senate.
In Senate District 16, former state delegate Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, easily defeated independent Waylin Ross, 64 to 34 percent. Morrissey won Eastern Chesterfield 56-44 but swamped Ross in Petersburg and Richmond, where he won 81 and 72 percent of the vote, respectively. He will replace incumbent Rosalyn Dance, whom he defeated in the Democratic primary.
Cox, Coyner, McQuinn
House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, defeated Democrat Sheila Bynum-Coleman, 51.7 to 47 percent, in a reshaped House District 66 that added voters in Matoaca and North Chesterfield. Cox announced last week that he will not run for a leadership position when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.
In House District 62, Current Bermuda District school board member Carrie Coyner was able to parlay voters’ familiarity with her into a 10-point win over Democrat Lindsey Dougherty, 55 to 45 percent. “I gave away thousands of hugs standing at the polls, and it made me so thankful to be a part of this amazing community,” Coyner said. In a Facebook post she said she wore out six pairs of shoes while campaigning door-to-door. Chase called Coyner “one of the hardest-working people running for office.” Coyner was able to expand on the 3.5-percent margin of victory that longtime Del. Riley Ingram had in 2017 when he defeated Bynum-Coleman. Ingram did not run for re-election and is retiring.
In state House District 70, which includes the Ampthill and Bellwood areas, incumbent Democrat Dolores McQuinn was re-elected without a challenge in the primary and general elections.
Carroll, Haley, Holland, Ingle, Winslow
In Chesterfield Board of Supervisors races, Republican Jim Ingle defeated Murti Khan, 56 to 44 percent; Republican Kevin Carroll defeated Shajuan Mason, 63 to 37 percent; and Democrat incumbent Jim Holland topped Tammy Ridout, 62 to 38 percent. In Midlothian, Republican incumbent Leslie Haley defeated Democrat challenger Javaid Siddiqi, 55 to 45 percent, and in Clover Hill, Republican incumbent Chris Winslow defeated Debra Gardner, 51 to 49 percent.
Bailey, Coker, Harter, Haines, Heffron
School board races saw Republicans Ann Coker, Ryan Harter and Debbie Bailey win with 61, 61 and 51 percent of the vote, respectively, over Will Ares, Denisha Potts and Shedrick McCall. In other races, Democrat-endorsed candidates Dot Heffron and Kathryn Haines won in Clover Hill and Midlothian. Heffron won with 45 percent against Republican-endorsed J.E. Smith, 42, and Arika Phillips, 12, while Haines defeated the GOP’s Patrick Regan, 55 to 45 percent.
County voters elected two directors for the James River Soil and Water Conservation District. Laura Lee Thompson and Carey Lynn Allen won with 26 and 25 percent of the vote, respectively, over Jay Whay Jr., 20, Marni Palafian, 19, and Margie Davis, 9. w