Lenherr wins treasurer’s race

Lenherr wins treasurer’s race

By Heather Michon, correspondent

Longtime Fluvanna County Treasurer Linda H. Lenherr defeated two rivals Tuesday night (Nov. 5), holding onto the seat she first won nearly four decades ago.

Tristana Treadway, the clerk of the Fluvanna County Circuit Court, said the final unofficial tallies had Lenherr with 3,004 votes, challenger Kim Oliver-Hyland with 2,456 votes and challenger Ben Hudson with 2,483 votes.

Lenherr was not initially expected to run for another term, but announced her re-election bid in late May, almost a month after Hudson, a Fluvanna County High School teacher and local NAACP president, announced his candidacy. Oliver-Hyland announced her own campaign in mid-June.

At a candidate’s forum in early September, Hudson and Oliver-Hyland stressed the need for new ideas and new approaches in the treasurer’s office. Hudson said his first objective was to “bring about a greater transparency in the office,” while Oliver-Hyland argued the need for staff training and certification, a thorough review of current procedures, and to increase the collection rate of delinquent taxes.

Lenherr pushed back against the implied criticism of her tenure and focused on her experience and her close ties to the community. “I enjoy my job because I enjoy serving the people of Fluvanna County,” she said, describing herself as “a working treasurer” with an open-door policy and a desire to help delinquent and down-on-their-luck taxpayers come up with plans to meet their obligations.

In recent weeks, Lenherr and Oliver-Hyland have sparred on social media over delinquent tax collections and other issues, while Hudson stayed mostly out of the fray.

In the end, Lenherr was able to hold onto her post.

 Uncontested races in Fluvanna

Most county-level races were uncontested. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey Haislip, Sheriff Eric Hess and Commissioner of the Revenue Andrew “Mel” Sheridan will remain in their current posts.

The Board of Supervisors is also unchanged, with Mozell Booker (Fork Union) and Patricia Eager (Palmyra) running unopposed for additional four-year terms.

James Kelley will join the Fluvanna County School Board, replacing outgoing Palmyra District member Brenda Pace. Perrie Johnson will serve another term representing the Fork Union District.

Senate and delegate races

Fluvanna’s representation in the General Assembly came out unchanged, with  incumbent Senators Mark Peake (R-22nd Dist.)  and Creigh Deeds (D-25th Dist.) and Delegates Rob Bell (R-58th Dist.) and Lee Ware (R-65th Dist.) all winning re-election.

Peake won 19,371 votes in total, with 4,622 in Fluvanna. Opponent Dakota Claytor won 11,125 votes, with 3,576 in Fluvanna.

Deeds received 35,642 votes in the district, with just five from Fluvanna. Challenger Elliot Harding got 17,112 votes total, with 10 from Fluvanna.

Rob Bell received 15,647 votes district-wide, with 3,680 in Fluvanna. Challenger Elizabeth Alcorn won 8,990, with 2,367 in Fluvanna.

Lee Ware received 18,720 votes in total, with 1,192 in Fluvanna. Challenger Michael Asip won 9,211 votes, with 1,014 in Fluvanna

This will be Peake’s first full four-year term. In 2017, he defeated former Fluvanna County Sheriff Ryant Washington in a special election for the seat vacated by Tom Garrett.

Alcorn may not have defeated Bell, but she changed the law in Fluvanna.

Earlier this year, she challenged a county ordinance that restricted the political lawn signs to no more than 60 days before an election. Alcorn argued that this violated her First Amendment rights by preventing her from building name recognition. In late August, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to remove the 60-day limit and allow signs to be put up “a reasonable time” before an election.

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