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Dems gain Stafford seat

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Though Stafford County voters backed the GOP’s statewide ticket, a 28-year-old Democrat narrowly knocked out a Republican incumbent for the Garrisonville District’s Board of Supervisors seat.

Laura Sellers won with just 51 votes over Ty Schieber, who has held the seat for two years since being appointed mid-term.

Sellers, who lost a supervisors race four years ago in a run against now-Del. Mark Dudenhefer, is the only Democrat to win locally. She will join five Republicans and one independent on the Board of Supervisors in the new year.

On Tuesday, Stafford voters also chose School Board member Meg Bohmke, incumbent Paul Milde and unopposed incumbent Gary Snellings, all Republicans, for supervisor posts.

“I think people got out to vote, and they knew it was time,” Sellers said over the phone while celebrating with family and the Stafford Democratic Committee at Smoke Pit Cafe. “We had a lot of young support. We had a lot of young people coming to the polls. We had a lot of excitement.”

She campaigned on increasing the retail base and developing a General Services Administration-certified firing range.

With Sellers’ margin of victory at just over 1 percent of the total votes cast, Schieber, 58, could request a recount. He did not immediately return a phone call.

Stafford saw a high turnout this year, with 45 percent of registered voters—or nearly 34,000 people—casting ballots. All votes are unofficial until certified.

Bohmke, 54, the current School Board member in the Falmouth District, easily won the corresponding seat on the Board of Supervisors in a three-way race. Bohmke, a Republican, received 43 percent of the vote.

Independent Robert Belman, 56, the first to announce his candidacy this year and a former School Board member, received 30 percent. Democrat Valerie Setzer, 63, a political newcomer who entered the race in September, won 26 percent.

“It’s very exciting, I feel honored that the people of Falmouth want me to represent them again. But the real work begins now,” Bohmke said. Transportation, development and education were key issues for voters, she said.

Two-term incumbent Milde faced little opposition this year from Democrat Mara Sealock, 21, but the margin of his win was closer than expected. Milde received 55 percent of the vote, while Sealock received 45 percent—and won one of the district’s three precincts.

Milde, 46, said that was as good of a margin as he’s ever received.

“I’m very happy that a majority of the voters in Aquia picked me for a third time in a row,” said Milde, who campaigned on fiscal conservatism and open space preservation.

Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975


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