The Columbia, Palmyra and Rivanna Districts and absentee voters preferred Gillespie by between 10 and 12 percentage points.  Fluvanna’s most conservative district, Cunningham, went for Gillespie by a comfortable 27.5 percentage points.  Overall the county selected Gillespie by 11 percentage points, awarding him 4,477 votes to Warner’s 3,559.

All five of Fluvanna’s precincts plus the absentee voters preferred Rep. Robert Hurt over challenger Lawrence Gaughan.  Hurt’s slimmest margin of victory came in Fork Union, in which voters selected him over Gaughan by almost 20 percentage points.  His coziest margin of victory occurred in Cunningham, when voters favored him by a whopping 43 percentage points.  Fluvanna as a whole selected Hurt by 28 percentage points, with 5,107 votes to Gaughan’s 2,809.

Interestingly, Columbia’s voting percentages closely mirrored those of Fluvanna County as a whole in both the Senate and House races.  Columbia voters gave Gillespie 53.24 percent and Warner 43.38 percent of their votes, and Fluvanna County voters awarded Gillespie 53.87 percent and Warner 42.83 percent of their votes.  Likewise, Columbia voters gave Hurt 61.22 percent and Gaughan 34.50 percent of their votes, and Fluvanna County voters awarded Hurt 61.96 percent and Gaughan 34.08 percent of their votes.

Columbia’s talent at predicting Fluvanna’s preferences fell flat in the sheriff race, however, where it gave Eric Hess his slimmest margin of victory over Mark Belew – almost 4 percentage points.  Hess’s most comfortable margin of victory came from Fork Union, in which he received 70.25 percent of the vote.  Overall Fluvanna voters elected Hess with 59.49 percent, or 4,864 votes, to Belew’s 40.51 percent, or 3,312 votes. Political experts characterize that type of margin as a landslide victory.

Pleased with the election results, the chair of the Fluvanna Republican Committee, Carolyn Ley, declared in an email, “The Fluvanna Republicans did great [Tuesday] night!… It was a good night for Fluvanna and a great night for our country!”

Less enthused was Dick Koepsell, co-chair of the Fluvanna County Democrats.  “It’s not unexpected but it’s very disappointing,” he said of the Senate and House races.  “It’s not unexpected because in the 5th Congressional District we have a gerrymandered district that was designed specifically to elect a weak Republican and that’s exactly what we’ve gotten for the third time.  We have, unfortunately, politicians on both sides that have allowed this gerrymandering to become so ubiquitous, and with the help of computer programs you can design districts street by street or even house by house, so you can design districts to keep the incumbent in office, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing for these many years.”


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