Democrat Jason Vandever won a special election for Charlottesville treasurer in a landslide Tuesday, defeating independent John Pfaltz 1,280 votes to 397. A total of 1,683 voters hit the polls, said registrar Sheri Iachetta. There were four write-in votes, and two people cast blank ballots.
Vandever said Tuesday night he is ready to get back to work.
"I'm ready to just get back to work, and go back to the projects we have been working on," he said. "I am excited to get back to that."
Vandever said his office is working on revamping the city's tax and online payment systems.
The election solidifies Vandever as the interim replacement for Jennifer J. Brown, the longtime city treasurer who retired in October. Vandever was appointed by City Council to serve as interim treasurer.
His term expires Dec. 31, and he will have to run in November's general election as well. Currently, he is unchallenged.
Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Edward Hogshire ordered the special election last year at the urging of Jefferson Area Tea Party members, Pfaltz and other local conservatives.
Pfaltz, a retired University of Virginia professor, said he didn't want the job, but thought he could do good things for the city. In the run up to the election, Pfaltz attended several City Council meetings to warn city officials that the retirement system is in dire straits.
"We think we raised some issues that are not going to go away," Pfaltz said. He added that he was expecting a closer contest. "We're disappointed, obviously, we all thought it would be closer."
Iachetta said she had hoped for 5 percent turnout.
"I am happy," she said. "It was a long day, but it was a good day."
Turnout at city voting precincts was slow but steady all day, poll workers reported.
"Our electorate always surprises us," said poll worker Winston Branham in the Clark Precinct, which encompasses Belmont. "This has turned into one of the higher turnout precincts."
Vandever said he took Tuesday off to make campaign phone calls, visit polling places and court voters.
"The biggest challenge was just getting the word out that there was a special election and the treasurer was the only thing on the ballot," he said. "Once we got the word out and what the issues were, I think people were happy to come out and vote."
Democrat Jason Vandever defeated Independent John Pfaltz with 1,280 votes to Pfaltz's 397 in a special election for Charlottesville treasurer Tuesday. The election drew 1,683 voters, 5.29 percent of registered voters in the city.
Vandever has served as interim treasurer since longtime treasurer Jennifer J. Brown retired in October. Vandever was appointed by City Council to fill Brown's post until the general election in November.
Pfaltz, members of the Jefferson Area Tea Party and other area conservatives pushed for a special election for interim treasurer. Vandever will run for his post again in November.