Gooden, Workman, and Fulginiti victorious in Elkton, two council seats still undecided

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 7:33 PM EST
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ELKTON, Va. (WHSV) - Votes were still being counted in the town of Elkton on Wednesday, but the town’s mayoral race has been decided as have two of its four open council seats. Incumbent Mayor Josh Gooden received 56% of the votes to defeat challenger Wayne Printz and will serve a third term as Elkton’s Mayor.

In addition to the race for mayor, the town had a crowded council ballot with three full four-year seats open. Two of those seats have been locked up by incumbent councilman Phillip ‘Rick’ Workman and newcomer Virginia Fulginiti who will join Gooden on the new town council in January.

WHSV caught up with the three winning candidates on Wednesday.

“It was just really great to see that the residents of Elkton showed up and really wanted to go back to the stability for the town of Elkton and bringing the town back to a more positive council,” said Gooden.

Back in June, Elkton’s town council voted to fire town manager Greg Lunsford against the wishes of Gooden, Workman, and others in the town. Workman said he believes that was a big factor in how residents voted.

“Josh had set a path that was totally positive and it shows you that the people of Elkton wanted to go back to that path that starting on June 20 we had kind of deviated from. So we want to get back to that path and the people sent a message,” said Workman.

Of the votes that had been tallied as of Wednesday, Workman received by far the most of any Elkton candidate with 727. He said he thinks this is because his leadership style and his previous work on the council were appealing to voters.

“I lead by example, I did it in my army career, I did it when I was on the council previously and that’s the way I live. Positive, lead by example, and my only agenda is Elkton, I don’t have an agenda I’m not a politician,” he said.

Unlike Gooden and Workman, Virginia Fulginiti had never run for public office before. She has a background in education and currently works as an administrative assistant at James Madison University. She said that she decided to run after being encouraged by her fellow neighbors.

“I’ve heard so many people show frustration with the current council members and they want a change. I wanted to be a part of that change and the people spoke and voted me in so hopefully I’ll be able to give them that change that they’re wanting,” said Fulginiti.

All three candidates ran on a slogan of moving Elkton forward and when the new council is sworn in in January they’ll be ready to get to work.

“First priority of course will be hiring a town manager and at least advertising for a town manager and then moving into focusing on some plans for updating some infrastructure that have been long ignored for several decades,” said Gooden.

Gooden said that he also hopes to continue to working to support the town’s local businesses and attract more new businesses to the downtown area. He and Workman also both hope to build a pavilion to hold events on a downtown property the town purchased earlier this year.

“It would bring in so much entertainment and monthly events that would bring people to town and make people from Massanutten turn left and come down here,” said Workman.

Fulginiti said she hopes to address frustrations that Elkton residents have with the current council and show that the town once again has a unified council.

“I want to get rid of the negativity and the animosity that has been created between the current town council members and the citizens of Elkton,” she said.

Workman said another one of the new town council’s priorities should be addressing issues at the Elkton Area Community Center.

“We have an interim director right now and we have some things pending but when this is all over with we need to get a director and we need to start over and have a reopen house and set new policies and procedures,” he said.

Workman also pitched the idea of holding a town hall event with the new council to hear concerns and ideas from town residents.

The town’s final full-term council seat is still undecided. It’s down to incumbent Randell Snow, former council member Margaretta Isom, and write-in candidate and Elkton Brewing Co. owner Aaron Napotnik.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 452 write-in votes for the seat but it is unclear how many were for Napotnik. Isom had received 388 votes and Snow had received 354.

There is also a special election for the final two years of an unexpired council term between candidates Rachel Michael and Nick Campbell. As of Wednesday, that race was still far too close to call with Michael up by just a single vote.