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SW Virginia voters to go to polls today amid pandemic

Mike Still • May 19, 2020 at 8:00 AM

WISE — Many localities in far Southwest Virginia will see another first Tuesday — their first election in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Already delayed by two weeks by Gov. Ralph Northam due to health concerns surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the May 19 local elections will poll workers wearing protective masks, voters staying at least six feet apart and plenty of absentee ballots to be counted.

Northam, throughout April and early May, had advised voters in the May election to take advantage of absentee balloting by requesting ballots under state guidelines for allowing them for disability.

Wise County General Registrar Allison Robbins said on Monday that poll workers in five county localities will be equipped with personal protective equipment when the polls open at 6 a.m. until closing at 7 p.m.

In Wise County, five towns have mayoral and/or council races on their ballots.

According to Virginia Department of Elections charts, in a seven-way race for three council seats, seven newcomers are on the ballot: Eddie R. Golloway, Johnny Lee Chandler, Sharon L. Hatfield, Jackie L. Johnson, Chris A. Williams, Gary W. Williams, Sr. and Shawn E. Riley.

In Coeburn, incumbent council member Jeffrey G. “Jeff” Kiser faces challengers Roger D. Sartin, Robert T. Barnette, Joe B. Still and Carles E. Collins for three open council seats.

Pound voters have mayoral and council races. Stacey A. Carson is unchallenged to replace mayor George Dean. Five challengers are running for three open council seats: Clifton D. Cauthorne, George R. “James” Micha, Glenn M. Cantrell, Hollis E. “Eddie” Bevins, Jr. and Marley M. Green.

St. Paul voters also have a mayoral and town council race on their ballot. Incumbent Mayor H. Kyle Fletcher faces challenger Ken R. Holbrook. For three council seats, J. Tim Boardwine, Harry L. Kelly and Josh S. Sawyers face Samuel M. “Matt” Jordan.

In Wise, incumbent council member Jeffery W. Dotson and Ben N. Conway are unopposed on the ballot for two open council seats.

Scott County has three town elections — one of which has no declared, qualified candidates. Clinchport’s ballot includes seven open offices: mayor, five council seats and town recorder.

Dungannon incumbent Mayor Debra B. Horne is unopposed on Tuesday’s ballot. Five candidates are unopposed for five council seats: incumbents Nina L. Begley, James M. Lane, George E. Hensley and Kristi Summey Farmer, and Tarese A. Kramer.

Gate City Mayor Frances S. Perry is challenged by Bob R. Richards. Three incumbent council members — Ronald W. Kimble, Wallace W. Ross, Jr and Allan “Cotton” Roberts — face challenger Tyler W. Kilgore for three open council seats.

In Lee County, St, Charles has the only town election in the county — mayor, with no qualified candidate on the ballot, and six town council seats with no qualified candidates listed.

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