Ashland election

Precinct chief Maureen Wright announces the unofficial results of Ashland's Town Council elections.

Residents of Ashland have endorsed a familiar face and a new one to oversee the affairs of the town.

Town Council member John Hodges and Dan McGraw, a Patrick Henry High School teacher, were elected to the Ashland Town Council on Tuesday, according to unofficial results announced at Town Hall. The pair beat out Les Cook, a Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School employee, who also ran for one of the two spots on the council.

Hodges led the pool with 398 votes, according to the unofficial tally. McGraw received 329 votes, and Cook got 291. Write-in candidates had 28 votes.

Hodges was appointed to the Town Council last year when council member James Murray left for law school; his current term expires in June. Mayor James Foley didn’t run for re-election for his term, which also expires in June.

Hodges and McGraw will serve four-year terms.

McGraw said he felt relief and nerves in reaction to news of his victory. He said getting better internet to Ashland and its residents will be a top priority. Efforts are already underway to install fiber optic cable in town that can be a driver of economic development.

“Now the pressure is on,” McGraw said. “Now I have to deliver.”

Hodges said he felt honored by his election. Top issues for him are building a new Town Hall and financing improvements to Carter Park Pool, which he called “major legacy projects.”

Cook said he was disappointed and would likely get involved with Ashland in the future. Each rival praised the qualities of the other and agreed that it had been a collegial campaign.

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