Norton School Board member Joe Stallard lost his bid for re-election Tuesday, but nothing changed on city council as three incumbents were returned to office.
Otherwise, the big election news Tuesday night was on the national level, but there were no surprises for Southwest Virginia voters resulting from the congressional races.
Winning three city school board seats were incumbents Cody McElroy, 774 votes, and Carol Caruso, 729 votes. Challenger James Campbell was elected with 679 votes. Stallard, the incumbent, trailed with 465 votes.
In the race for three city council seats, Mayor William Mays received 673 votes, Vice Mayor Joe Fawbush received 800 votes and incumbent Dee Belcher won 581 votes. Challenger G. Scott Addison Jr. trailed closely with 561 votes.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine easily defeated Republican challenger Corey Stewart. In the Ninth Congressional District, incumbent Republican Rep. Morgan Griffith scored a strong win in his second challenge by Democrat Anthony Flaccavento.
However, come January 2019, Griffith will find himself in the minority for the first time since his 2010 election to the House of Representatives seat he took from veteran Democrat Rick Boucher.
Statewide, Kaine received more than 1.9 million votes, or just short of 57 percent, while Stewart received more than 1.37 million votes, roughly 41 percent.
In Wise County, the numbers went the other way, in a big way. Stewart received 7,991 votes, or nearly 73 percent, while Kaine got 2,858 votes, or nearly 26.1 percent.
Individual Wise County precincts all favored Stewart by similar margins. And in Norton, Stewart got 672 votes, nearly 61.2 percent, while Kaine received 408 votes, 37.1 percent.
Across the Ninth District, Griffith received nearly 160,900 votes, or about 65.2 percent of the total, while Flaccavento received nearly 85,600 votes, or nearly 34.7 percent.
Griffith’s victory margin in Wise County surpassed the overall result. Griffith got 8,022 votes, or roughly 73 percent. Flaccavento got 2,953 votes, almost 26.9 percent.
All Wise County precincts strongly favored Griffith.
In Norton, Griffith got 684 votes, 62 percent, while Flaccavento got 416 votes, 37.7 percent.
Griffith was elected to Congress in 2010 after serving for many years as a Virginia General Assembly member and as a party leader — both in the majority and in the minority.
He will have to once again become accustomed to party minority status, as voters nationwide shifted the House of Representatives back to a Democratic majority of 222 seats to 199 for Republicans.
Virginia voters also approved two amendments to the state constitution.
One question asked whether localities should be able to offer a real estate tax exemption for flood-prone property. It received more than 2.29 million affirmative votes to nearly 950,600 no votes. In Wise County, more than 8,400 voters said yes while almost 2,200 said no.
The other question asked whether an existing real estate tax exemption for surviving spouses of veterans who had a 100 percent service-connected disability should expand to allow the surviving spouse to move to a different home. It received nearly 2.74 million yes votes to roughly 507,500 no votes. Wise Countians cast more than 23,300 votes in favor compared to more than 5,200 votes against it.