Democrats will take control of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors after winning three seats previously held by Republicans.
The unofficial results Tuesday give Democrats at 5-3 majority on the board. It will also mean the new board will be majority minority and majority female.
All results are unofficial until certified by local and state election officials later this week.
CHAIRMAN’S RACE: Ann Wheeler, Democrat
With 95% of precincts reporting, Democrat Ann Wheeler is leading with 58,353 votes to Republican John Gray's 36,754 votes.
Independent candidates Muneer Baig had 5,229 votes and Don Scoggins had 4,771 votes.
A former energy consultant, Wheeler initially entered the race to challenge combative Republican incumbent Corey Stewart. But the longtime chairman announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek another term.
Gray surprised observers with his GOP primary win in May with a conservative argument against his challenger, Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe. A certified public accountant, Gray has sometimes battled other leaders in his own party, but showed an ability to connect with its base in the primary.
In 2015, Stewart won re-election with nearly 57% of the vote, but the election cycles since then have offered an increasing shift toward Democrats in this suburban county.
“This campaign has never been about me, it’s about Prince William ,” Wheeler said Tuesday night. “Tonight we’ve shown we can defeat people who aren’t representing us the right way…This is about turning the page.”
BRENTSVILLE DISTRICT: Jeanine Lawson, Republican
In the Brentsville District, Republican Jeanine Lawson won a second full term, defeating challenger Maggie Hansford, 9,070 votes, or 55%, to 7,399 votes, with 85% of precincts reporting. Lawson first won the seat in a special election in 2014 and ran unopposed in 2015. Lawson has been one of the conservative voices on the board. Most recently, she has fought to sideline a review of the county’s preservation efforts in the Rural Crescent.
COLES DISTRICT: Yesli Vega, Republican
Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe lost to Gray in the GOP primary for chairman, leaving his seat open.
Republican Yesli Vega, a former police officer and sheriff’s deputy, earned 10,232 votes, or 55.94% to business owner Raheel Sheikh’s 8.049 votes, with 94.75% precincts reporting.
Vega told InsideNoVa in October that she wants to make sure there is enough personnel to keep the public safe. She has also been critical of the school division’s construction spending.
“I think it’s time we focus dollars in the classroom and ensure teachers receive adequate pay,” she said.
Nohe ran unopposed in 2015, and the Republican won 69% of the vote in 2011.
GAINESVILLE DISTRICT: Pete Candland, Republican
Gainesville District Supervisor Pete Candland won re-election Tuesday, defeating challenger Democrat Danny Funderburk 9,310 votes, or 56%, to 7,096 votes with 92% of precincts reporting.
Candland owns a consulting firm that works with nonprofits, and he and his wife own an ice cream shop in Haymarket. Funderburk works in learning and development for William A. Hazel, Inc.
Even among a majority of Republicans, Candland has sometimes stood alone in opposition to board measures — he was against the county’s $355 million road bond because he didn’t like the process the county used.
“I’ve asked several times about what this will mean for tax bills,” Candland said.
In 2011, when Candland was challenged by Wheeler, he won with 56.3% of the vote.
OCCOQUAN DISTRICT: Kenny Boddye, Democrat
Democrat Kenny Boddye defeated incumbent Republican Ruth Anderson, 9,109 votes to 8,781 votes in unofficial results.
In 2015, Prince William County’s Occoquan District already was looking like a battleground for the two parties. Republican Ruth Anderson defeated popular Occoquan Democrat Earnie Porta, 53.9% to 45.8%. Four years earlier, incumbent Republican Supervisor Mike May ran unopposed, and he won in 2007 with 67.2% of the vote.
Boddye is a business development manager for Kevin Davis Insurance Services. Anderson is retired from the U.S. Air Force and previously worked in the nonprofit field.
Boddye said Tuesday that he won because of team work, hard work and connecting to the community.
“So tonight we celebrate, tomorrow we rest and the day after, we govern,” Boddye said. “Oh, and elections have consequences.”
POTOMAC DISTRICT: Andrea Bailey, Democrat
Democrat Andrea Bailey easily took this former Republican-held seat, defeating Republican Doug Taggart, 9,813 votes, or 64%, to 5,490 votes in unofficial results.
Longtime Supervisor Maureen Caddigan announced earlier this year that she would not seek another term.
In 2015, Caddigan defeated Bailey by 570 votes of 9,450 cast.
“I am so overwhelmed,” Bailey said Tuesday night. “We truly, truly live in a county that is diverse and we can do anything... Let’s get to work.”
Bailey said she looks forward to making sure the board works together and understands what diversity means to the county.
“It feels right,” Bailey said. “It feels like I’ve come into my purpose in my life — to serve people at a higher level and make people’s lives better.”
NEABSCO AND WOODBRIDGE: Democrats Unopposed
Two Democrats were running unopposed Tuesday: Margaret Franklin in the Woodbridge District and Neabsco District Supervisor Victor Angry.
Franklin defeated incumbent Supervisor Frank Principi in the Democratic Primary in June. Angry won a special election in April to complete the final months of Supervisor John Jenkins after his death early last year.
Supervisors serve four-year terms, set county policies, plan the county’s budget and serve on local and regional boards.