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Duffy wins Ward 3; Frye leads in Ward 4, but race too close to call

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

UPDATE: Frye declared the winner in Fredericksburg’s Ward 4

Challenger Charlie “Chuck” Frye Jr. was leading by 18 votes in the Ward 4 race when polls closed Tuesday night in a City Council contest Fredericksburg’s voter registrar said was too close to call.

A canvas was to be conducted starting at 9:30 this morning before results of that race would be official, Registrar Juanita Pitchford said.

Walker–Grant Assistant Principal Tim Duffy won in the other contested council race in the city.

He received 371 votes to Richard Friesner’s 151 votes in Ward 3, according to Tuesday’s unofficial results.

Duffy will succeed Councilman Fred Howe.

If Tuesday’s results hold, the council will have two political newcomers in Frye and Duffy when the next council is seated on July 1.

Duffy said Tuesday that he is an educator because he loves to learn and looks forward to learning more about city government.

He commended Friesner for his commitment to public service. Duffy said he was surprised by his margin of victory but attributed it to the relationships built over 30 years in Fredericksburg.

All four ward seats for both the City Council and School Board were on Tuesday’s ballot but only the council seats for wards 3 and 4 were contested.

All four current School Board members were re-elected. They are Elizabeth R. Rehm, Ward 1; Barbara A. Miller–Richards, Ward 2; Jannan W. Holmes, Ward 3; and Malvina Rollins Kay, Ward 4.

Ward 1 Councilman Brad Ellis ran unopposed for the seat he’s held since 2008. He garnered 140 votes.

Billy Withers is returning to the council in Ward 2 after an eight-year absence. He received 299 votes in his uncontested race. Withers will succeed George Solley.

Though voter turnout citywide was low on Tuesday, Ward 4 had double the turnout it had in 2010 when Bea Paolucci was elected.

She won four years ago as a write-in candidate in a three-way contest that garnered 302 total votes. She received 45 percent of the vote to succeed Councilman Hashmel Turner.

With Turner’s departure, it was the first time the Fredericksburg City Council had no minority representation on the dais in 44 years.

Most of that stretch was because of the tenure of former Mayor Lawrence Davies, who was first elected in 1966. He had endorsed Paolucci.

If Frye’s election becomes official, he would return that diversity to the dais.

When the polls closed on Tuesday, Frye had 318 votes to Paolucci’s 300, including absentee ballots. However, those results were unofficial, Pitchford stressed.

Paolucci carried the VFW Post 3103 precinct by a vote of 99 to 39. Frye carried the New City Fellowship Church precinct with 267 votes to 177. Frye had 12 absentee votes and Paolucci 24, Pitchford said.

“I’m very excited,” Frye said after hearing the ward vote total.

“The city has won,” he added, but refused to elaborate.

Paolucci did not respond to an attempt to get a comment from her.

Turner had filed to seek re-election but withdrew from the race to avoid another three-way contest and threw his support behind Frye.

Davies, Turner and Frye all live in the Mayfield community.

Tuesday night, Frye, 35, offered a word of encouragement for youth.

“Any kid in Fredericksburg, don’t believe what anyone tells you that you can or cannot do. You can do anything you put your mind to,” he said.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972

pgould@freelancestar.com

 

FREDERICKSBURG ELECTION RESULTS

All results are unofficial.

WARD 1:

Brad Ellis: 140

WARD 2:

William C. ‘Billy’ Withers: 299

WARD 3:

Tim P. Duffy: 371

Richard K. Friesner: 151

WARD 4 TOTAL:

Charlie L ‘Chuck’ Frye Jr: 318

Beatrice R. ‘Bea’ Paolucci: 300

New City Fellowship Church Precinct:

Frye: 267

Paolucci: 177

VFW Post 3103 Precinct:

Frye: 39

Paolucci: 99

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