After running an errand late one morning in August, Brenda Diaz-Castro was biking back downtown along South Main Street. Just after she crossed Port Republic Road heading north toward JMU, a car drifted into the bike lane she was in and sideswiped her.
In a city with a growing Latino population, there has never been a Latino voice on city council. That will change in January when Sal Romero is sworn in. And Romero also could become Harrisonburg’s first Latino mayor.
The statewide election storyline of large turnouts and good results for Democrats was mirrored in Harrisonburg last night, with Democrats Sal Romero and Chris Jones comfortably elected to city council in a five-way race against three Independents running on often-diverging platforms.
Ben Cline will move from the Virginia House of Delegates to the U.S. House of Representatives with about a 20-point win over Democrat Jennifer Lewis in the 6th District on Tuesday night.
Democrats Sal Romero and Chris Jones have won what ended up being a lopsided victory in the five-candidate race for Harrisonburg City Council. Romero finished first with 6,737 votes, while Jones, the only incumbent in the race, came in second with 6,186 votes, according to unofficial Tuesday night returns sent in to the city registrar’s office.
By the time the polls opened at 6 a.m. on Election Day, Pat Haden had already been on the job for over an hour. As a Chief Officer of Election, Haden’s day had started in the wee hours of the morning as she prepared to be at the JMU’s Convo Center at 5 a.m. There would be a flurry of activity in that hour before the first voter could arrive. 2018 will mark the seventh general election Haden has worked in Harrisonburg.
Carlos Ramos unfolded the green piece of paper he’d pulled from his wallet and waved it before the small crowd that had gathered at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. It was his property tax bill that just came from the city. He’s paid it for years, and on Monday, held it up as a sort of Harrisonburg membership card.
Candidates frequently use the old cliché: The only poll that matters is on Election Day. Voters will reveal those results of that all-important poll tomorrow. In the meantime, here are the main plots and subplots to pay attention to as vote tallies start rolling in Tuesday evening.