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Harrisonburg City Council Early Results

Calvin Pynn

Democratic Mayor Deanna Reed, newcomer Laura Dent, and Independent incumbent George Hirschmann appear to have won the election for Harrisonburg City Council. However, like most other races in the 2020 election, the results probably won’t be final until later this week. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Credit Mayor Deanna Reed

Mayor Deanna Reed is leading the race for three seats on Harrisonburg City Council with more than 8,900 votes. She plans to continue the work she started in her first term as mayor if she is re-elected.

MAYOR DEANNA REED: That’s to get this high school built, make sure we have affordable housing because that’s a challenge here in Harrisonburg, and just get our businesses thriving again. Once we get those results in, then I’ll be ready to get back to work.

Democratic candidate Laura Dent followed Reed with almost 7,900 votes. Her first term on City Council would be the latest of her various roles in Harrisonburg.

Candidate Laura Dent checks election results as they come in at the Harrisonburg Democratic Committee headquarters.

LAURA DENT: It’s been an arc and a trajectory all along, from activist to campaigner to candidate to actual city councilwoman to actually doing the job. So, I will grow into it.

Independent councilmember George Hirschmann will likely be re-elected as he garnered more than 7,000 votes. Democratic candidate Charles Hendricks fell short by nearly 300 votes, but he doesn’t plan to let that slow his work in the community.

Credit Charles Hendricks

CHARLES HENDRICKS: I know where the challenges are for the future of Harrisonburg, and I look forward to working on those whether I’m on city council or continuing to volunteer, and as an architect in the community.

Votes for Republican Candidate Kathleen Kelley trailed behind the other four, but she hopes to still offer her ideas to City Council as a private citizen.

Credit Kathleen Kelley

KATHLEEN KELLEY: Hopefully, I will be able to provide some good solutions to the city providing they're willing to listen.

The results for Harrisonburg’s City Council election were unofficial as of 11 pm Tuesday night, when early and in-person absentee ballots were reported.

Harrisonburg election officials said there were still several hundred outstanding mail-in ballots as of election day. Harrisonburg Democratic Committee Chairman Alleyn Harned believes those ballots should still be counted.

HARNED: I'm not going to hypothesize, but I'm going to say that it is a value of democracy to count all the votes. And, uh, we have processes. I hope that the processes can move forward.

Credit George Hirschmann

Any remaining mail-in ballots that were postmarked by Tuesday will still be accepted through Friday.

Calvin Pynn is a radio reporter, writer, and photographer based in Harrisonburg, Virginia.