Democrats captured all four open seats on the Roanoke City Council on Tuesday, continuing a two-decade drought for city Republicans.
With 22 of 23 precincts reporting, incumbents Joe Cobb and Vivian Sanchez-Jones held onto their seats as the top two vote-getters among nine candidates in the general election, with 12,222 and 11,605, respectively. Newcomer Peter Volosin polled third with 9,488, just 340 votes ahead of Republican Nick Hagen (9,148).
In a separate special election to fill the unexpired term of former Democratic council member Robert Jeffrey, who lost his seat after a felony conviction, Democrat Luke Priddy took 55.5% of the vote (13,749) to the 44% (10,906) pulled by Republican challenger Peg McGuire.
The only votes not yet tallied as of publication time were provisional ballots and mailed absentee ballots that were received by the vote deadline but have not been processed.
Roanoke voters haven’t elected a Republican in a local race since 2000, when Ralph Smith was elected mayor with 36% of the vote in a four-person race and Bill Carder won a seat on the council.
In some years, the Republican Party hasn’t fielded a single candidate. This year, it ran a full slate of names: Hagen, Dalton Baugess (8,198 votes) and Maynard Keller (7,869 votes) in the general election, and McGuire in the special election.
Both McGuire and Keller ran unsuccessfully in 2020, when McGuire came in fourth and Keller seventh in a field of eight candidates seeking three seats. This was also Volosin’s second attempt at joining the council; he sought but did not receive a Democratic nomination in 2020.
The field also included three independent candidates: David Bowers, a former Democratic mayor (5,895 votes); Jamaal Jackson (4,478 votes); and Preston Tyler (3,288 votes).
All seats in Roanoke are at-large.
The two new council members will join Cobb, Sanchez-Jones, Trish White-Boyd and Mayor Sherman Lea, all Democrats. The final council member, Stephanie Moon Reynolds, won election as an independent after unsuccessfully seeking the Democratic nomination.
Incumbent Bill Bestpitch is retiring and Anita Price, who was appointed this spring to fill Jeffrey’s seat on a temporary basis, did not run for the rest of the term.