School Board incumbents fought off challengers to retain their seats in Tuesday’s election. Columbia Representative Camilla Washington held off a write-in campaign by Claudia Thomas to retain her seat.

“I want to take the opportunity to thank all my supporters for the past four years who voted for me to provide service to them for the next four years,” Washington said. “I’ll continue to work hard with the community and the school division staff to provide the best quality education for the students in our county.”

Cunningham District School Board member Charles Rittenhouse retained his seat against opponent William “Bill” Hughes. The unofficial vote count was Rittenhouse 820; Hughes 703.

“The people of Cunningham are not as gullible as the rest of the county thinks they are,” Rittenhouse said. “They want someone who’ll be straightforward with them. If someone comes to me with a problem, I’ll get to the bottom of it. I try to be accountable to the people.”

School Board member Carol Tracy Carr ran unopposed for the Rivanna seat. Incumbent Board of Supervisor Don Weaver representing Cunningham also ran unopposed. Voters re-elected them both.

Earlier in the day, the scene outside the Kents Store ARC building where residents in the Columbia District voted was like a carnival. Candidates and parties pitched tents and gave out food and hot drinks. Voter Mark Youhess stuck around for more than three hours after he cast his vote.

“I know a lot of people here,” Youhess said. “I like to chat and socialize. It’s like a social gathering. I t’s like this every election.”

However precinct chairman Daniel Graff said he noticed a lot more voters and activity.

“We have more people pressing the flesh than even in a federal election, “Graff said. “There’s a lot of interest.”

All Columbia candidates showed up before the sun Tuesday morning to plant signs and greet the first voters.

Franklin, who said she visited more than 800 homes in her district, didn’t stop long enough to talk because she greeted each person who walked past her to the front doors of ARC. During a short break, Franklin said all the effort was worth it.

“Whatever happens, it’s been a great experience,” she said.

Delegate Rob Bell ran unopposed in the 58th District and won. In the 65th District Incumbent Lee Ware (R) fought off challenger William Quarles (D) to retain his seat.

Final vote tallies will be available in the next issue of the Fluvanna Review.



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