Fluvanna splits ticket on Election Day

Wallops proposed meals tax

By Christina Dimeo, Editor

Fluvanna split its ticket on Election Day (Nov. 6), going for Democrat Tim Kaine for U.S. Senate and Republican Denver Riggleman for U.S. House of Representatives for the 5th District.

Sen. Tim Kaine

In doing so, Fluvanna accurately represented the election outcomes in Virginia. Kaine and Riggleman won their races, and the amendments Fluvanna approved succeeded statewide.

Kaine took 5,976 Fluvanna votes (49.8 percent) while Republican candidate Corey Stewart took 5,789 votes (48.3 percent). Libertarian Matt Waters took 217 votes (1.8 percent).

Statewide Kaine received 57.0 percent of the vote, Stewart received 41.0 percent, and Waters received 1.8 percent.

Riggleman carried the county, earning 6,168 Fluvanna votes (51.5 percent), while Democratic candidate Leslie Cockburn earned 5,785 votes (48.3 percent).

Riggleman took 53.3 percent of the vote overall in the 5th District, and Cockburn took 46.7 percent.

Congressman Denver Riggleman

Voters flatly rejected Fluvanna County’s proposed 4 percent meals tax: 8,329 voters opposed the tax (71.0 percent), while 3,404 voters supported the tax (29.0 percent).

The two Virginia Constitutional amendments, on the other hand, won approval in Fluvanna with little difficulty.

Spouses of veterans who had a 100 percent service-connected, permanent and total disability will now be allowed to move their primary residence without losing their home’s tax-exempt status. Fluvanna approved this amendment with 9,667 votes (81.9 percent), while 2,140 voters (18.1 percent) disagreed. Statewide the amendment passed by a margin of 84.4 to 15.6 percent.

Counties, cities and towns will now be authorized to provide a partial tax exemption for real property that is subject to recurrent flooding, if flooding resiliency improvements have been made on the property. This amendment passed in Fluvanna with 7,609 votes (64.8 percent) while 4,138 voters (35.2 percent) disagreed. The amendment succeeded statewide by a margin of 70.8 percent to 29.3 percent.

Breakdown by districts

This year absentee ballots decidedly backed Democrat candidates. Absentee ballots – considered Fluvanna’s sixth precinct – are not tallied as quickly as the ballots from the five physical precincts. When they lean as strongly in one direction as they did this year, it can make a big difference. On election night it appeared Stewart had won in Fluvanna. Once the absentee ballots were added to the totals, Kaine carried the county.

Absentee voters preferred Kaine to Stewart by a margin of 59.0 to 40.2 percent, and Cockburn to Riggleman by 57.0 to 43.0 percent. Absentee voters were also a bit softer on their rejection of the meals tax, with 31.2 percent in favor and 68.8 percent opposed.

Fork Union, Palmyra, Rivanna and Columbia Districts were remarkably consistent on the meals tax, opposing it by about 29 to 71 percent.

Cunningham continued its tradition of being the most conservative district in Fluvanna County. It favored Stewart over Kaine by 58.4 to 39.6 percent, and Riggleman over Cockburn by 61.6 to 38.2 percent. Cunningham also voted down the meals tax more strongly than the other precincts – by a vote of 26.9 to 73.1 percent.

Palmyra arguably edged Rivanna for most liberal district this year. Palmyra favored Kaine over Stewart by 52.9 to 44.7 percent and Cockburn over Riggleman by 51.9 to 47.9 percent. Rivanna favored Kaine over Stewart by 52.9 to 45.0 percent and Cockburn over Riggleman by 50.7 to 49.2 percent.

Columbia went for Republicans, with Stewart beating Kaine by 50.7 to 47.1 percent and Riggleman beating Cockburn 54.2 to 45.6 percent.

Fork Union, like Fluvanna as a whole, split its ticket. Kaine prevailed over Stewart by 49.9 to 48.6 percent, but Riggleman defeated Cockburn by 50.7 to 48.9 percent.

Voter turnout was higher this year than in previous midterm elections. Of the 18,543 registered Fluvanna voters, 12,029 (64.9 percent) cast a ballot. In the 2014 midterms, by contrast, 49.5 percent voted, and 57.7 percent voted in the 2010 midterms.

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