Adams re-elected as Sheriff’s race highlights Election Day

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: November 13, 2019 | 1:45 p.m. 

Steady turnout across county precincts during last Tuesday’s elections

DINWIDDIE – County voters made their voices heard in a number of key races both locally and those with state-level implications, with the race for Dinwiddie sheriff highlighting last week’s ballot as incumbent D.T. Adams was able to hold off a challenge from Darryl Hayes en route to another term.

According to preliminary election data from the Virginia Department of Elections, Adams earned over 5,100 votes to Hayes’ 2,745 votes during last Tuesday’s general election, equating to nearly 65 percent of the vote in favor of the currently seated sheriff, allowing him to earn a third term in office.

Historic election data shows Adams’ attainment of 64.8 percent of votes cast in last week’s election is a high for him as, in 2015, during his first bid for re-election, he received 56 percent of the vote in his defeat of Ryan Porter and Hayes, who received 28 and 14 percent of the vote, respectively.

Looking further into the numbers from last week’s election, the overall vote percentages were echoed in absentee balloting as Adams earned 66 percent of those votes to Hayes’ 32 percent. Additionally, Adams found support across all of the county’s voting precincts as the soon-to-be three-term sheriff saw voter percentages range as high as 76 percent, as seen at the Church Road and Reams precincts, to slightly closer margins at the Edgehill and Chesdin precincts where Adams attained just over 50 percent of the votes cast at those locations.

“I am overwhelmed and humbled at the same time,” Adams, who was first elected to the position in 2011, remarked last week following the election. “I am overwhelmed that the citizens came out for me and I am humbled by all of the support that I had and I did something that hasn’t been done in over 50 years in Dinwiddie – I won every precinct, and that is an honor for me.”

Last week’s election served as the end of a months-long campaign for Adams and others running for local and state-level office, which requires knocking on doors and visiting with voters to glean what matters to them. As he removed his signs from the side of Dinwiddie’s roads, Adams shared some of his experiences from talking to residents during his campaign.

“People were so satisfied in Dinwiddie County,” he remarked. “Everybody I talked to said, ‘Your record speaks for itself.’ Crime has been down and has gone down since I have been sheriff and the communication with people is up because I have such an open-door policy. I am on social media and I give out my phone number and that is something people like. They like to be able to contact me easily when they need to.”

Adams continued, discussing some of the topics he seeks to target during his upcoming term is tackling illegal drug use in the county, a topic many communities are coming to grips with as the opioid epidemic continues to make headlines and claim lives alongside continuing to bolster security at the county’s schools.

“I am not going to stop fighting drugs in Dinwiddie County,” he remarked. “I am going to fight to get a resource officer in every school in the county and keep moving Dinwiddie County forward. That has been my slogan ever since I have started running for sheriff and I am going to keep moving Dinwiddie forward.”

He added he will continue to work with the county and other departments as Dinwiddie embarks on a multi-million dollar public safety radio project, which seeks to replace and modernize the county’s current radio system.

“I have a good working relationship with the board of supervisors and I want to continue that,” Adams said. “I can say nothing but good things about the board of supervisors. They have given me just about everything I have asked for. I am a very conservative person. I spend the county’s money like I would spend my own and I don’t ask for something unless there is a real need for it and I show them that I need it and they have been good about giving me what I need.”

“My deputies are probably the best outfitted deputies anywhere in regards to equipment. They have the best of everything,” Adams continued.

During last week’s election, the race for sheriff was the only race that saw a currently seated official see a challenge as the entirety of the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors was re-elected for another term. In addition, the school board saw only one candidate declare for Districts 2 through 5, with Betty Takis Haney serving to replace Bill Haney on the board, joining Mary Benjamin, Sherilyn Merritt, and Barbara Pittman on the board beginning in January of 2020 after being sworn in.

District 1, following Teresa Stump’s decision to decline a re-election bid, had no candidates formally declare to appear on the ballot by the June deadline, resulting in a write-in election for that particular seat. Over the summer, when asked about the possibility of a write-in race, registrar Linda Brandon explained, once the election ends, officials will need to review those who were written in on the ballot by voters to confirm if they are qualified to serve as the District 1 representative, such as ensuring they indeed live within the borders of the district, and if they are willing to do so.

This report will be updated once that individual is determined.

Adams, who was successful in his bid for re-election said the fact that most of the county’s local races were uncontested is an important message from the community.

“I think it shows that the citizens are happy with the board of supervisors and their elected officials,” he said. “I think, as a whole, Dinwiddie County and its citizens are satisfied.”

In regards to the election itself in Dinwiddie, most polling places reported steady traffic throughout the day, with the traditional morning and evening rush just after polls opened and prior to their 7 p.m. closure. Estimates show roughly 50 percent turnout from the county’s over 18,400 registered voters, based on registrant data as of October.

Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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