Democrats claimed three Winchester City Council seats in the midterm election.
City officials say the council has been controlled by the republican party since the 1980’s. This was the first time voters were able to choose between the two parties since 2008.
“I feel like in the past when I’ve voted, I’ve only had the opportunity to check one box. I think it’s very exciting that in all of the city council wards right now, there’s choice,” said incoming council member Kim Herbstritt (D).
In Ward 1, Bill Wiley (R) was re-elected to hold the council seat, Evan Clark (D) ran unopposed in Ward 2 with a write-in accounting for 5% of the vote and in Ward 3, Herbstritt (D) claimed her spot.
The closest race was in Ward 4. Judy McKiernan (D) beat Debera Taylor (R) by just 3 votes. The final results brought McKiernan to 1,111 votes and Taylor to 1,108 votes.
“Today’s turnout has been amazing. Even more so than I’ve seen in presidential races,” said Wiley.
Across party lines, incoming council members say some of the biggest issues they will be focusing on include infrastructure, housing and education.
Only two of the candidates were up for re-election. Ward 3 incumbent Milt McInturff (R) came in with 40.39% of the votes with Herbstritt gaining 59.08%. Bill Wiley now holds the only re-elected seat as he finished with 55.27% of the votes with his opponent, Teri Merrill (D), coming in at 44.32%.