The three incumbents running to keep their seats on Newport News City Council won re-election Tuesday.
Of the three races, the one in the Central District was closest, with Councilwoman Pat Woodbury defeating Cleon Long by 75 votes, according to complete, unofficial election results posted by the Virginia Department of Elections.
The department reported:
- South District Councilwoman and Vice Mayor Tina Vick received 2,205 votes, or 50.9%. Latonya Wallace received 1,020 votes, or 23.6%; Hakima Muhammad 601 votes, or 13.9%; and Iva Schroyer 502 votes, or 11.6%.
- Woodbury received 3,601 votes, or 50.5%, and Cleon Long received 3,526 votes, or 49.5%.
- North District Councilman Marcellus Harris received 2,498 votes, or 71%, and Rob Coleman received 1,019 votes, or 29%.
Newport News races
Results from the 2020 Virginia May Town Elections
Newport News City Council Central District Seat A
Newport News City Council North District Seat A
Newport News City Council South District Seat A
Newport News Member School Board Central District
The margin reported in the Central District is not small enough for Long to request a recount
Virginia’s guide to recounts states, “Only an apparent losing candidate can ask for a recount, and only if the difference between the apparent winning candidate and that apparent losing candidate is not more than one percent (1%) of the total votes cast for those two candidates.”
The unofficial results show a difference of 1.05%. Voters cast 7,165 ballots — there were 38 write-in votes — in that race, so the difference in votes would need to be 71 or fewer to allow for a potential recount.
Woodbury was running for her fourth term on the council, and Long was running his first City Council campaign. Woodbury’s last bid for reelection was similarly close — she won against Mike Mullin, now a state delegate, with 53% of votes.
Vick said she was excited by the results available Tuesday night and said the vote showed residents were pleased with her work on the council, including bringing housing, development and other resources into the South District. Continuing that progress is one of her main focuses ahead.
Despite the challenges of campaigning in a pandemic, Vick said she felt love from voters on election day. “We couldn’t hug … but people would come over and say, ‘we got you, girl.’” She commended everyone who came out to vote or cast an absentee ballot along with the staff who organized the election.
In the North District, Harris won by a margin of 1,479 votes. This is the second time he and Coleman faced off for a City Council seat. In 2016, Harris unseated the incumbent Coleman with 53% of votes. Harris could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
The registrar sent out more about 6,000 absentee ballots for this election, far outpacing the amount requested for the last two local May elections. In total, voters in Newport News cast 4,460 absentee votes and 10,589 in-person votes in City Council races. Total turnout was 15,049, according to the department of elections.
The last set of local elections that did not include a statewide race occurred in May 2016, and City Council candidates drew 11,856 votes. The May 2018 citywide Mayoral election in Newport News drew 16,902 votes.
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