The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors got one new face Tuesday night with the election of Democrat Christopher J. Dumler in the Scottsville District.
In the Rivanna District, Republican incumbent Kenneth C. Boyd defeated Democrat Cynthia Neff.
Dumler defeated Republican James C. Norwood for the seat vacated by retiring Democrat Lindsay G. Dorrier Jr. by a margin of 53.96 percent to 45.92 percent, or 2,007 total votes to 1,708, with all precincts reporting.
In the Rivanna District, Boyd tallied 56.56 percent of the vote to Neff’s 43.37 percent, or 2,933 to 2,249, with all precincts reporting.
Uncontested incumbent Democrat Ann H. Mallek, current chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors, took 97.35 percent of votes in the White Hall District, or 3,127 total votes.
Dumler said he was honored to be taking the reins from longtime board member Dorrier.
“I want to thank people for entrusting me to fill the shoes of Lindsay Dorrier who was such a good public servant for so long,” he said. “I think it came down to kitchen table issues. Everyone has a position on the Western Bypass, but I don’t think it came down to that.”
Dorrier told a crowd at the Democrat’s victory rally at Italian restaurant Vivace that he expects big things from Dumler.
“This man has the energy, the courage, the strength and the build to be a great supervisor, and he’s going to be a great supervisor, I’m sure,” Dorrier said. “We’re going to see him move up the political ladder. I predict he’s got a bright future ahead of him.”
In both contested supervisors races, the Western Bypass of U.S. 29 was of primary importance at candidate forums and in literature released by the candidates. Dumler is opposed to the road as designed, though he said he may have supported the road when it was originally proposed more than 20 years ago.
Norwood vocally supported the project throughout his campaign.
In a speech to his supporters, Norwood thanked them and wished fellow Republicans luck.
“My heart is not broken by any stretch,” he said. “It would take a lot more to break my heart … This is the way it’s supposed to work, so let’s pull for Ken Boyd and the rest of them.”
Norwood refused direct comment to The Daily Progress.
Supervisor Rodney Thomas said he was sad to see Norwood’s campaign end the way it did.
“I don’t think [Dumler] is a good candidate,” Thomas said. “I can work with most people, but it’s going to be an uphill battle. He’s already made statements I disagree with.”
Despite his reservations about working with Dumler, Thomas said he could see past differences as long as other board members stayed focused on the county.
“I can work with everybody as long as they’re working for Albemarle County and not their own agenda,” he said.
Neff said her loss to Boyd had left her confused and disappointed. By re-electing Boyd, Neff said, she thought voters had ignored some important issues.
“I’m befuddled,” she said. “I really think there were some important issues like open government, and I’m just disappointed those didn’t resonate with more people. There are more issues that need to be addressed, and the bypass is not the least of them.”
Like fellow Democrat Dumler, Neff spoke out against the bypass throughout her campaign. Boyd was instrumental in reviving the project at a Board of Supervisors meeting June 8.
Boyd could not be reached for comment after his victory Tuesday night.