Martinsville voters appear to have voted in two challengers who oppose the city giving up its charter, giving the city a new council with an anti-reversion majority.
Incumbents Jennifer Bowles and Danny Turner had supported reversion; challengers L.C. Jones and Aaron Rawls opposed it.
With seven of nine precincts reporting, Jones led the balloting with 1,699 votes, followed by Rawls with 1,651. Bowles was just behind with 1,602 votes and Turner trailed with 1,098 votes.
The two precincts yet to be counted are the absentee votes and any mail ballots postmarked on or before Election Day and received by noon on Monday. Depending on how many of those votes there are, and who they are for, that means there’s a chance Bowles could yet pull ahead.
The previous council had a 4-1 majority in favor of reversion. If the results stand, Martinsville will now have a 3-2 majority against reversion. Under reversion, Martinsville would give up its city charter and become a town within Henry County. Advocates say that would save the city money; opponents say it would diminish Martinsville’s stature. The General Assembly has mandated a referendum in Martinsville before reversion can happen.