West to remain Chesapeake’s mayor after special election

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Mayor Rick West, who was appointed five months ago after serving on city council nearly a decade, has won against “Mom for Mayor” Jo Anne Gallant.

“The voters have spoken and we’re going to carry on and try to make this city a better place to be,” said West, just moments after claiming victory at the Chesapeake Golf Club. 

The race was called before 9 p.m. with West winning by 3,718 votes or nearly 58 percent.  Gallant secured 9,620 votes. 

Complete Election Results

“I’m good at working with people, getting people together to solve problems, listening to different viewpoints, pulling it all together and trying to find a solution that both parties are happy with so it’s a win-win situation,” said West. 

Gallant says she ran to bring a “common sense approach” to rezoning land for residential uses. She says the southern part of the city has grown beyond the current infrastructure and space in the schools.

West raised $100,141 since July 2017 compared to Gallant’s $1,906, according to campaign finance reports. 

Gallant says  she wanted to bring integrity back to city government. 

“I don’t want any doubts or questions about why I made a decision,” said Gallant, who campaigned outside Grassfield High School on Tuesday. 

Mary Lynn Pinkerman, general registrar, estimates voter turnout at about 10 percent. It’s on track to be the lowest voter turnout of the past five May elections. 

West says he looks forward to representing all citizens as mayor.

“I think they expect me to try to get consensus in terms of where we need to go,” said West. “We have a ways to go with our infrastructure and attracting quality jobs.”

The new mayoral term begins July 1. 

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