Frank Reaves, Jr. is projected to become Culpeper’s next mayor after receiving nearly 2,800 votes with six of seven precincts reporting, according to unofficial election results. 

“It feels good,” Reaves said at his watch party at Grass Rootes Tuesday night. “I’m ready to bring the public back together.”

A sitting Culpeper Town Councilman, Reaves works as a certified private investigator and part-time with the Culpeper Police Department.

Reaves defeated fellow councilmen and challenger Jon Russell, who received over 2,300 votes, according to unofficial totals.

Absentee ballots may be accepted until noon on Nov. 5. Results will be certified on Nov. 15.

Reaves trailed Russell early as numbers began to roll in soon after polls closed at 7 p.m. With four of seven precincts reporting, Russell led the race with 1,663 votes to Reaves's 1,559.

“I felt a little down,” Reaves said of falling behind early. “Always when you see numbers down you kind of hurt, but once I found out there were a whole lot of precincts left, I felt pretty good.”

Current Mayor MiIke Olinger as well as council people Pranas Rimeikis, Bill Yowell and Jaime Clancey attended Reaves’s watch party. Olinger and Reaves embraced and shook hands after Reaves returned to the party following an interview with Culpeper Media Network.

Russell conceded around 8:40 p.m. With his loss, he will vacate his council seat as his term expires in December.

Russell was unable to be reached for comment.

Reaves will be sworn into office in January.

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