Rocky Mount Town Council incumbents Mark Newbill and Billie Stockton retained their seats, while Tyler Lee was elected as a newcomer to council following Tuesday’s election, according to final but unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections
Lee, who earned 25.66% of the vote, called his election a birthday gift — he turned 28 on May 15.
“I am very humbled and blessed to receive such an awesome birthday gift from the community,” Lee said. “I have met so many wonderful people that call Rocky Mount home in the last six months … I hope to serve the town with pride and strength to grow all aspects.”
Lee, a Ferrum College graduate, said his first order of business is to talk with current and past council members and seek their guidance. Beyond that, he plans to focus on bringing businesses to the town and showcasing what the town can offer.
Serving the Town of Rocky Mount for more than two decades, as past mayor and a council member Newbill earned 23.96% of vote. He said he will turn his focus to rebounding the town from the coronavirus crisis, and attracting new business.
Stockton, who has served on council since 2012 — and as vice mayor since 2018 — earned 30.52% of the vote. He said he is grateful to the citizens of Rocky Mount for their continued support. He plans to work on affordable housing, recruitment of new business and keeping current businesses, as well as continued revitalization of the town during his next term.
David Clements, who was defeated, earned 19.01% of the vote.
About 34% of voters cast their ballots absentee in Rocky Mount, a measure that had been encouraged by Gov. Ralph Northam because of COVID-19 concerns. Out of 1,173 votes cast, 408 were absentee with the remaining 765 cast in person at the two precincts in town. In Boones Mill, exactly half of the 78 votes cast were via absentee.
In total, 38% of Rocky Mount’s 3,063 registered voters cast ballots. In Boones Mill, the votes cast was 44% of the town’s 177 registered voters.
Eames, who could not be reached for comment, garnered 33.3% of the vote in Boones Mill, while Chrisman took 16.6% and Fisher took 23.08%.
In Boones Mill, town council incumbents Keith Chrisman Jr., Sarah Eames and Dale Fisher won reelection, while challengers Patricia Hogan and T.C. “Christy” Hogan were defeated at the polls Tuesday.
Chrisman said because Boones Mill is so small, there are few people who want to be on council and he is grateful to continue to work with the council members he has for the last few years.
“We have a small town and there are very few people who want to work together like we do to try to make things good for the town, and we’re going to continue to do so,” Chrisman said.
Fisher said he appreciates all the voters and is glad council won’t see any new faces this term.
“I’m tickled that everyone got back on there,” Fisher said. “We have a good council now and I’ve known Mr. (Victor) Conner for years and I think he’ll do a good job for us.”
Victor Conner, who ran unopposed for the mayor’s seat, will succeed outgoing Mayor Ben Flora in July.
“We’ll miss Ben Flora for sure, he’s done a lot of great work and he’s to be congratulated for that,” Fisher said. “He has dedicated a lot of free time to the town.”
Conner said he was approached about running for mayor by friends and neighbors. When Flora chose not seek reelection, he decided to run.
“It was nice to see I got 100% of the vote and there were no write-ins or anything,” Conner said.
He added he feels like the town has a lot to offer and he looks forward to serving its citizens. Conner said getting citizens involved is a top priority for him.
“Community input is so important,” Conner said.