In an election that drew about 21 percent of the total number of registered voters in Port Royal, voters chose Joe DeVito for its new mayor.
DeVito, who challenged Mayor Pro-Temp Mary Beth Gray-Heyward for the seat, won by 22 votes.
A retired utility manager with BJWSA, DeVito finished with 521 votes, or 50.98 percent of the count, while Gray-Heyward, finished with 499 votes, or 48.83 percent, according to the county’s unofficial results.
In the town council race incumbent Jerry Ashmore kept his seat while newcomer Kevin Phillips beat out incumbent Robert Landrum. Unofficial results showed Ashmore with 646 votes, Phillips with 618 votes and Landrum with 508 votes.
Results were certified on Thursday, Nov. 7.
Kaye Schmit walked out of Port Royal’s Town Hall Tuesday afternoon proud to have her “I Voted” sticker.
Having recently moved to Port Royal from the Chicago area of Illinois, Schmit said she felt it was important, as a new resident, to get out and vote.
She’d also met town council candidate Kevin Phillips recently at the town’s Octoberfest celebration and was impressed enough by what he had to say there to vote for him on Tuesday.
She was also in favor of a $345 million school bond referendum which would fund safety improvements and technology upgrades and the construction and renovation of new facilities.
“I have three children of my own, so I’m all for improving the schools,” she said.
Meanwhile inside Town Hall, the vote count had just reached 425 votes by 3:30.
“It’s been a steady flow all day,” said poll worker Lisa Allen.
While the numbers certainly couldn’t compare to years with presidential elections, it was still refreshing to see people turn out, she said. “And it’s been nice for everyone to see the new machines.”
The new machines, which include a paper ballot, seem to be a hit, particularly with older voters who liked the bright screens.
“They are vibrant and the print is nice and big,” she said.
Farther down Paris Avenue, Ashmore and DeVito, who would go on to win their races, could be seen waving signs and shaking hands with those passing by.
The candidates had been up campaigning since just after 6 a.m,. they said. Yard signs for all the candidates and the bond referendum could be seen on both sides of the street.
“This is as grassroots as it gets,” said Ashmore.
HOW THEY VOTED
Mayor, Town of Port Royal
*Joe DeVito, 521 votes, 50.98 percent
Mary Beth Gray Heyward, 499 votes, 48.83 percent
Write-ins, 2 votes, 0.2 percent
Total votes: 1,022
Town Council, Town of Port Royal
*Jerry Ashmore, 636 votes, 36.09 percent
*Kevin Phillips, 618 votes, 34.53 percent
Robert Landrum, 508 votes, 28.38 percent
Write-ins, 18 votes, 1.01 percentage
Total votes: 1,790 votes
* – winners
Port Royal voters elect DeVito mayor, Ashmore and Phillips to town council