Incumbents Smith-Lee and Cuthbert reelected to Petersburg Council

By Zach Armstrong

PETERSBURG, Va -- In the 2020 Petersburg City Council elections, Ward 4 Incumbent Council Member Charles H. Cuthbert Jr. was reelected with 54 percent of the vote and fellow incumbent Ward 6 Council Member Annette Smith-Lee also declared victory with a narrow 13 vote lead over her opponent who initially refused to concede.

At the time of this writing, the election for Ward 2 is still too close to call between Incumbent Darrin L. Hill and city employee Marlow A. Jones Sr. as the final mail-in and absentee ballots are being counted.

Ingram announced on Facebook on Nov. 4 that he is refusing to concede the election “until our city possesses leaders. Leaders who care about the overall welfare of our residents," and “until what’s happening in the dark and within backrooms comes to light. I will not concede until we address the many issues in Ward 6 and beyond."

Smith-Lee, who won her seat running unopposed in 2016, told the Progress-Index that “I ran a clean campaign. I never discredited my opponent. I never said anything. I didn’t go on Facebook and blast him. I didn’t talk about him to anybody because that’s not what we wanted to do.”

The Ward 6 council member also had a number of accusations thrown her way from the opponent who criticized Smith-Lee for not being a resident of the ward and used an illegal democratic poll volunteer to help her campaign by distributing campaign materials.

Smith-Lee responded to the residence accusation by stating that she lives some days of the week with her husband at his house in Dinwiddie County while staying with her brother in the city’s sixth ward on the remaining days.

Charles H. Cuthbert Jr. was reelected to the fourth ward of Petersburg over Marcus Omar Squires and Sam Jean. Cuthbert released a statement reading, “I am gratified that a clear majority of the voters of the fourth ward appreciate my hard work on their behalf and my ability to work with others to get good things done for Petersburg,” adding “At the same time, I acknowledge there were citizens who did not vote for me, and I welcome their thoughts as to how we can improve our community.”

Cuthbert also pointed out his key accomplishments including mold remediation for Walnut Hill Fire Station, the rebuilding of property code to fight blight and the relocation of various city departments to a former Dominion Power Building on East Washington Street. He also indicated he will make a run for the seat again in 2024.