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Joe McNamara beat RoxAnne Christley in Windsor Hills, but there was a tie in the Hollins contest.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The Hollins magisterial district remains without a Republican nominee in the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors race following a tie at Saturday’s firehouse primary between candidates Al Bedrosian and Mike Bailey.
On the other side of the county, in Windsor Hills, former supervisor Joe McNamara defeated RoxAnne Christley by a five-vote margin. McNamara will face the man who went on to unseat him in 2009, current supervisor and Independent Ed Elswick.
Scattered showers throughout the day left voters dodging downpours as they parked and got in line at either the Hollins branch library or Brambleton Center . Lines at both locations had already formed by 10 a.m., when the doors opened.
In all, more than 1,350 people turned out to vote, according to numbers provided by David Suetterlein , chairman of the Roanoke County Republican Committee.
Suetterlein said 292 people cast their vote for McNamara in the Windsor Hills race. Christley received 287 votes. He confirmed the Hollins race tied with 389 votes for both candidates .
“The rules dictate that if there’s a tie, the nomination will be decided by lot,” he said. “It will be decided completely at random.”
Suetterlein said the party’s executive committee will decide during the weekend exactly when and how the drawing will occur. The event will be open to the public, he said.
Mike Bailey said he was collecting campaign signs when he got a call from the primary organizers.
“They said, ‘Mike, you need to come back to the library,’ ” he said. “I knew then that it must have been a tie.”
Bailey said he was not comfortable with a random drawing to decide whether he or Bedrosian would receive their party’s nomination.
“You’re talking about the future of the county being determined by chance,” he said. “Welcome to leadership. Sometimes you have to make a decision and go with it. I would just be comfortable knowing that an actual decision was made.”
Bedrosian was unavailable for comment. Multiple attempts to reach him by phone were unsuccessful.
More than 110 people had already cast their votes at the Hollins library by 11 a.m. By then, both candidates were working the line of voters, taking every opportunity for last-minute campaigning.
Pat Hammond, a retired Northside High School teacher, said she cast her vote for Bailey because of his experience as a businessman.
“His views seem to be more moderate and not extreme,” Hammond said. “That means a lot to me.”
Another voter, Marilyn James, said she came out with her husband, Dick, to vote for Bedrosian.
“Al came to our door with his family, and we were very impressed with that,” James said. “It meant a lot, and he’s a very good communicator.”
She said she felt worried about a lot of issues in the county, but her primary concern was getting lower taxes.
Coming off his win in the Windsor Hills District, McNamara, who had established himself as a middle-of-the-road conservative with a familiarity with budgets, described his victory over Christley as razor-thin.
“I’m just really thankful for the folks of Windsor Hills who came out to vote and exercise democracy today,” he said. “I’m also thankful for the Christley camp for having so much passion.”
Speaking by phone after her defeat, Christley said people should expect to see her name again.
“I am not finished,” she said. “I will not cower away in a closet. You will see me at board of supervisors meetings, and I will hold people accountable.”
When approached by The Roanoke Times as they left the voting booth in Windsor Hills, nearly every Christley supporter complimented their candidate’s vigorous boots-on-the-ground campaign.
One woman, Carrie Baldacci, said she almost never votes in primary races.
“There’s only one reason I’m here, and it’s because that woman worked harder than anyone I’ve seen,” Baldacci said.
Baldacci added that Christley showed up on her doorstep once, wrote her a long letter, and called her house twice.
“Obviously it resonated, because I only lost by five votes,” Christley said of her effort.
According to data provided by the Virginia State Board of Elections , 727 people turned out to vote in the 2009 Windsor Hills primary, when McNamara, the incumbent then, was defeated by Elswick for the GOP nomination. That race was decided by a 17-vote margin, including provisional ballots.
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