Freitas, Webert re-elected, Keene upsets Hutchins

 

Del. Nick Freitas’ mom, Robin, congratulates him on winning District 30 Tuesday night at Beer Hound Brewery in Culpeper.
Photo by Ian Chini

Culpeper County solidly voted Republican Tuesday night in the 2017 election.

In stark contrast to the rest of the state, Culpeper re-elected two Republican delegates – Nick Freitas (District 30) and Michael Webert (District 18).

Freitas held his victory celebration at Beer Hound Brewery in Culpeper, where well-wishers swarmed him shortly after results were in.

Freitas defeated Democratic challenger Ben Hixon 62 percent to 38 percent.

He said he’s excited to serve the constituents of District 30 another two years.

“I think it’s the opportunity to build upon what we’ve already accomplished,” Freitas said. “It’s the whole community looking at what we’ve done and giving us the chance to send us back.”

Freitas said he heard from many residents as he canvassed the district, and trust and honesty were two of the subjects they spoke to him about.

“If you’re trusted, they’ll voted for you,” Freitas said. “If you do what you say you’re going to do, even if it’s something they don’t want to hear, it carries a lot of weight.”

In Culpeper County, Freitas received 5,533 votes to Hixon’s 3,468.

Webert faced a pair of challengers in Democrat Tristan Shields and Green Party candidate Will King. Webert came away with a victory with 60 percent of the vote. Shields garnered 34 percent and King finished with five percent.

In Culpeper County, Webert received 3,092 votes, Shields 1,246 votes and King finished with 143 votes.

In possibly the upset of the evening, challenger Marshall Keene unseated 16-year incumbent Elizabeth Hutchins in the race for Stevensburg School District.

Keene received 63 percent of the vote to Hutchins’ 37 percent. Keene received 1,257 votes to Hutchins’ 735.

“I can’t believe it,” Keene said. “Elizabeth has been there for 16 years and she has done a lot for our community. I knew it was going to be a tough task from the beginning. We knew from the get go we knew we had to work hard.”

Keene campaigned on issues such as bus driver shortages and allowing school resource officers to be armed to help protect students.

“They saw the issues were brought up and addressed, parents were big in this and they want to have a voice in the school system,” Keene said. “When I told them that I would be that voice, I think it helped a lot.”

Keene’s daughter, Emma Welbourn – a junior at Eastern View High School, said students wanted to have a voice students could talk to.

“I think it’s very important because if we don’t have a voice how will the school board know what we need,” Welbourn said.

Hutchins was surprised by the result, but thanked her supporters from the last 16 years.

“I guess disappointed, I’m extremely grateful for all the support I received during the course of the election,” she said.  “I’m grateful I worked with the children and staff members for 16 years. I feel I made some major steps forward at CCPS. I appreciate everyone’s support throughout the years.”

Keene received the most support at the Brandy Station polling location, receiving 738 votes to Hutchins’ 317. In Lignum Keene had 291 votes while Hutchins finished with 248. In Richardsville, Keene had 188 votes to Hutchins’ 113.

In the only contested race for Culpeper County Board of Supervisors 32-year incumbent Brad Rosenberger won the Jefferson District race against Chuck Duncan.

Rosenberger finished with 61 percent (1,446 votes) while Duncan had 38 percent (904 votes).

“I’m just so humbled,” Rosenberger said. “There have been a lot of shots taken this election but I’ve always been straight up.

“I want to thank the voters for their confidence in me and to thank the people behind me.”

Rosenberger, now entering his ninth term, received praise from several voters at the polls about his ability to tell the truth and his valuable experience on the board.

“It doesn’t do you any good to not tell someone the truth, whether they want to hear it or not,” Rosenberger said.

In the Jeffersonton polling location Rosenberger had 664 votes to Duncan’s 474. Rosenberger finished with 696 votes at Rixeyville and Duncan had 391.

In the town, the four incumbents running for Town Council were all re-elected. Billy Yowell finished with 23 percent, Jon Russell had 22 percent, Keith Price finished with 20 percent and Pranas Rimeikis received 18 percent of the vote.

Hank Milans finished fifth, with 16 percent.

The top four in the Town Council race are elected to serve.

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