HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Both Democratic candidates, incumbent Christopher Jones and Sal Romero Jr., won the two open seats on the Harrisonburg City Council on election night.
Romero received the most votes from all the city's candidates, with 6,737 votes (28.8%), while Jones was second with 6,186 votes (26.5%). Independent and former council member Carolyn Frank finished third with 4,225 votes (18.1%), independent Frank McMillan received 3,776 votes (16.2%) and Saucedo Paloma received 2,434 votes (10.4%).
By the deadline for candidates to file for the city election earlier this year, no registered Republicans filed.
The city favored Democratic candidates heavily in the Senate and House elections as well, favoring Tim Kaine by over 37% vs. Stewart and Jennifer Lewis by 33% over Ben Cline.
Along with Democratic committees of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Jones and Romero celebrated with a packed crowd at Capital Ale House in downtown Harrisonburg Tuesday night.
"Chris and I started this journey together about 7 months ago. I've been a supporter of him since the beginning and it will be very exciting," Romero said. "I'm looking forward to working with him and Deanna Reed as well."
"Excited for the opportunity to sit on city council with a Hispanic brother or sister and I'm so glad it's Sal Romero to be our top vote-getter," Jones said.
Both candidates were endorsed by Mayor Deanna Reed.
Jones says his top priorities are improving public education, hiring a sustainability coordinator and a justice planner and helping the low income population in the city.
One of the biggest issues discussed this election season was the timeline of the opening of the second Harrisonburg High School. Both Jones and Romero voiced their support for moving it up by a year.
Jones will continue to serve on the council, while Romero will take his seat replacing outgoing Ted Byrd, the council's only Republican, in January.