By Coleman Martinson
For the first time in nearly two decades, voters elected a woman to the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors.
Leslie E. Ayers won the board’s Buffalo district with 32.8% of the votes, surpassing four opponents. She is the long-time aquatic director at the Rockbridge Aquatics Center.
“It feels great. I won’t lie,” she said. “Right now, I want to focus on everything I need to know about the county and reach out to everybody.”
The second board seat will be filled by R. W. “Bob” Day, the South River district incumbent, who won 72.4% of the vote. His opponent, Cathleen Archer, received 27.3% of the vote. Day, a former county sheriff, was appointed in January after Ronnie Campbell was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
“I appreciate all the support, and I’m looking forward to four more years,” he said.
The third open seat went to David McDaniel, who won the board’s Natural Bridge district seat with 55.4% of the votes. His opponent, Andrew Ryan, received 43% of the vote. McDaniel is a portfolio manager with Union Bank and previously served on the Rockbridge County School Board. He replaces David Hinty, who did not seek re-election.
“I’m ready to work for the people that voted for me and those that didn’t,” he said. “We have to find a way for economic development and find a rock for everyone.”
The Buffalo district had five candidates seeking to fill the seat now held by John Higgins, who didn’t run for re-election. Higgins was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2018 on four counts of deprivation
of rights while he was superintendent of the Rockbridge County Jail; more charges were added in June. His trial is scheduled to begin in December.
Ayers gathered 32.8% of the vote against compared with 29.5 for Charles Kostelni, 16.5% for Randolph Trout, 15.75% for Mack Smith, and 5.4% for Jonathan Tarris.
The last woman to serve on the board was Nanalou Souder.
The Kerrs Creek and Walkers Creek terms expire in 2021.