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In Final Results, Richmond’s Local Incumbents Win Re-Election

City hall
Richmond City Hall will be full of familiar faces as, like the mayor's race, incumbents came out on top in City Council races. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Final results released late Tuesday night show all incumbents running for Richmond City Council have secured reelection. 

Council Member Andreas Addison held a large lead in the 1st District, winning a three-person race with 48% of the vote. In the 6th and 7th Districts, long-time incumbents Ellen Robertson and Cynthia Newbille held their seats, earning 63% and 61% of the vote respectively. They faced tough challenges from progressive candidates Allan-Charles Chipman and Joseph Rogers, who both had the backing of the group Richmond For All. A similar story played out in the 8th District, where Council Member Reva Trammell, who has held that post for 18 of the last 22 years, defeated challenger Amy Wentz with 52% of the vote. 

In a statement issued Wednesday morning, Wentz thanked her supporters and vowed to build on her advocacy work from the nearly 2 years of campaigning for office.

“We may not have had the vote totals to outright win this election, but this is a win for 8th District residents because we have the tools and coalition to educate, advocate and mobilize to get things done,” Wentz said. “We will build. We will grow. We will make change in the district." 

Council Member Stephanie Lynch, who won the 5th District seat in a special election last year, easily secured reelection, taking 58% of the vote in a four-candidate field. Council Members Michael Jones and Kristen Larson were also re-elected after running unopposed. 

In the 3rd District, Council Vice President Chris Hilbert vacated his seat. He announced in January he would not seek reelection after 15 years in office. 

Replacing Hilbert will be Ann-Frances Lambert, a small business owner and daughter of the late state Sen. Benjamin J. Lambert, III. She held a narrow 196-vote lead over Elaine Summerfield in the final results.

Summerfield conceded in a social media post Wednesday, congratulating Lambert: “Her success as a public servant will be ours.”

The City Council race in Richmond’s 2nd District is still disputed. In the unofficial results reported last week, candidates Katherine Jordan and Tavarris Spinks were separated by just 26 votes, with 7,030 and 7,056 respectively. Spinks, however, lost more than 1,000 votes in the official results posted overnight, and Jordan jumped into the lead with 7,195 votes to Spinks’ 5,961. Spinks’ votes were removed after election officials reported the wrong number on November 4, according to data change logs from the Virginia Department of Elections. 

Neither candidate is conceding or claiming victory just yet. In a statement late Wednesday afternoon, Spinks said he would support Jordan and demanded an explanation for the disparity.

"I will fully respect any outcome, including the current figures, as soon as voters can be assured that results have been accurately calculated," he said.

Jordan also issued a statement, backing Spinks' demand.

“I know the registrar’s office and our board of elections are dealing with COVID - and I sincerely hope everyone is alright - but Tavarris deserves an explanation,” she said.