Some new faces will be representing Bedford and Franklin counties following the Nov. 5 elections. They will be joining several incumbents who won their bids for reelection.
Lorie Smith was elected as supervisor for the Gills Creek District after longtime supervisor Bob Camicia announced he would not seek reelection earlier this year.
Smith received 1,911 votes or 63.89% of the vote in the Gills Creek District against candidate Rick Smithers who received 923 votes or 30.86%. Pat Bechtler, who dropped out of the race in September, received nearly 5% with 146 votes.
“It’s surreal for me today,” Smith said a day after her election win. “I’m very excited to begin rolling my sleeves up.”
Smith has been a regular at Franklin County Board of Supervisors meetings and work sessions since January to get to know the inner workings of the county. She has also met with each of the supervisors during the run up to the election. “They have all been very gracious with me,” she said.
Before she officially begins her term in January, Smith said she plans to continue working with supervisors and will speak with Camicia about the eventual transition. “I’m interested in getting his feedback.”
Smith will be joined by Tommy Cundiff who won reelection to the Union Hall District with 1,456 votes or 56.90% of the vote. He defeated challenger John Hinkell who received 1,096 votes or 42.83%.
“I’m just very thankful that the people of the Union Hall District had the trust and confidence to send me back for a second term,” Cundiff said.
In his next term, Cundiff said he would like to work with other supervisors to obtain funding to build a new fire station in Glade Hill. He is also interested in bringing more services like broadband and public water to the Union Hall area for residents and businesses.
Sheriff Bill Overton won reelection in Franklin County against challenger J. Riley Hodges. Overton recieved 9,562 votes or 56.07% of the vote while Hodges received 7,467 votes or 43.78%
“I am thankful the county trusted me,” Overton said of his reelection.
Overton praised the other officers and staff that make up the sheriff’s office and the work they have done. “I just want the citizens to know they have a tremendous group of men and women who are serving in the department,” he said.
In Bedford County, Mike Miller, the Republican candidate for sheriff, won a race that marked the first time in nearly a quarter-century that voters have elected a new sheriff.
Miller will replace retiring Sheriff Michael Brown, who has served as sheriff since 1996.
Miller received 12,846 votes, or 53.61% of the vote. Miller is a captain at the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and has served with the department for 34 years.
Tim Hayden, a captain and 34-year veteran of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, received 9,287 votes, and James Kirkland, a K-9 handler at the sheriff’s office, secured 1,775 votes.
Miller said he is “extremely grateful” for the opportunity to serve the residents of Bedford County.
“I am so humbled,” Miller said on the evening of his election win. “I just want to serve the citizens I have been around my whole life.”
Sarah Honosky of The (Lynchburg) News & Advance contributed to this report.