Two incumbents retained their seats on the Franklin County Board of Supervisors, while two new faces will join the local governing body.

In the Blackwater District, voters chose political newcomer Ronald Mitchell over incumbent Cline Brubaker, who currently serves as the board’s chairman. He was first elected to the board in 2011.

Mitchell, 35, owns a landscaping business. He will be the youngest member of the board of supervisors. A desire to create opportunities for his daughter and all of Franklin County’s children motivated Mitchell to seek public office.

On Tuesday night Mitchell said he was ready to get started.

“The people that voted for me, I’ll try my best not to let them down and try to get this county going in the right direction that it deserves to go,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell has said the board of supervisors needs to find a way to make its two biggest projects — development of the Summit View Business Park and expansion of career and technical education offerings at the high school — work.

Incumbent Tommy Cundiff bested first-time candidate John Hinkell in the race for the Union Hall District seat. He was first elected in 2015. Cundiff, 68, hauls equipment for Boone Tractor.

Cundiff has said he plans to spend his next term bringing the board of supervisors and school board together to push the career and technical education project forward.

Lorie Smith had a decisive win in the Gills Creek District, where she faced Rick Smithers. This was the only supervisor race that did not feature an incumbent, as Bob Camicia did not seek reelection.

Smith, 57, currently serves as president of the Smith Mountain Lake Association. She has previous political experience, serving one term each on the city council and school board in her former home of Waynesboro.

Smith identified the county’s lack of growth and tax increases that may be needed to support the debt service on the Summit View Business Park as the county’s biggest challenges.

Tim Tatum, who ran unopposed, earned his second term as supervisor for the Blue Ridge District. Tatum, 54, works for the Ferrum College Police Department and is a former employee of the county sheriff’s office.

Constitutional officers

Incumbents in all three contested constitutional officer races were reelected.

Commonwealth’s Attorney A.J. Dudley defeated challenger Steve Maddy, an attorney who represents the Franklin County school division.

Dudley, 50, won a second term as the county’s top prosecutor. Over the next four years, Dudley said he wants to continue renewing the grant that allowed him to add a victim-witness coordinator to the office, working closely with narcotics officers as they continue to fight the drug epidemic and running the small office efficiently.

The race for Franklin County’s sheriff was a rematch from 2015, with the same end result four years later. Bill Overton won a third term as sheriff, defeating Riley Hodges, a former employee of the sheriff’s office who now works as a detective with the Roanoke police.

Overton, 58, has worked to change the culture of the sheriff’s office and promote professionalism. In his next term, he hopes to continue addressing compression issues with salaries to ensure employees are justly compensated for their years of service, expand forensic technology and work with the commonwealth’s attorney and judges to start an adult drug court.

Margaret Torrence, who was first elected commissioner of the revenue in 2006, will retain the role. She faced off against accountant Andy Turner.

Torrence, 64, has worked in the office for 31 years. Torrence has said she strives to be sensitive to citizens’ needs and equitably assess all taxes.

Four school board seats were also on the ballot Tuesday, but none of the races were contested. Incumbents Julie Nix and P.D. Hambrick, who hold the Blue Ridge and Union Hall seats respectively, were both reelected. Jon Atchue will represent the Gills Creek District and Arlet Greer the Blackwater District. Both were first-time candidates.

Additionally, Susan Wray was reelected as treasurer. She ran unopposed.

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Casey Fabris covers business for The Roanoke Times, where she has been a reporter since 2015. Previously, Casey covered Franklin County.

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