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A Democratic sweep for Harrisonburg city council and school board

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Bridget Manley
Emma Phillips, Andy Kohen and Kristen Loflin, the three winners of the Harrisonburg School Board race

Democrats swept the Harrisonburg city council races Tuesday evening. Voters elected newcomers Monica Robinson and Dany Fleming, and reelected Councilman Chris Jones. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Harrisonburg’s City Council will be the first all-Democratic council in recent history.

It will also be the first majority Black city council in Harrisonburg’s history.

Councilman Chris Jones won the special election for the seat vacated by former Councilman George Hirschmann. He says that he is proud to represent a city that welcomes diversity.

CHRIS JONES: I welcome the diversity that we have in leadership in Harrisonburg, but is there something extra special as an African American? Knowing that we have a majority African American leadership in Harrisonburg? Yes. Because it lets me know that I live in a comfortable place. A place that is accepting of me as a Black man. Because there was a time when it was extremely uncomfortable for me to be here. Or men like me to be here. Or women who look like me to be here.”

Bridget Manley
Dany Fleming and Monica Robinson, two of the three winners of Tuesday night's city council race

Fleming and Robinson will fill the seats vacated by Sal Romero, who decided not to seek a second term, and by Jones. Jones placed third in the city’s first primary in June, but was the top vote getter in Tuesday nights election.

Voters also reelected Andy Kohen and Kristen Loflin to the Harrisonburg School Board, as well as newcomer Emma Phillips. Current board member Obie Hill lost his reelection bid for school board.

Loflin, Kohen and Phillips were grateful to city voters, who they say understood their message of compassion and truthfulness.

KRISTEN LOFLIN: I was really proud of our city. It means security and safety for our kids and our teachers, and that’s really important.

Bridget Manley graduated with a degree in Mass Communications from Frostburg State University, and has spent most of her adult life working as a morning show producer and reporter for WCBC Radio in Cumberland, MD and WNAV in Annapolis, MD. She moved to Harrisonburg seven years ago and is also a reporter for The Harrisonburg Citizen. When she’s not reporting the news Bridget is the Manager of Operations for Rivercrest Farm and Event Center in Shenandoah, VA, and she also hosts a podcast that shares parenting stories called Birds In A Tree.