By DEBBIE HALL and AMANDA COLLINS
Voters in Patrick County overwhelmingly supported Sherri Hazlewood to fill the unexpired five-year term of Susan Gasperini, who retired from the post earlier this year.
The term generally is 8 years.
“It feels good to have had put in all the hard work and come to the realization I was elected clerk. I enjoyed going to all the events I attended while campaigning, and I especially enjoyed meeting the people of Patrick County. We made some really good friends through this process, people who have meant so much to us and people we will remain friends with for the rest of our lives,” Hazlewood said after winning the contest with 47.64 percent of the vote in the county’s 14 precincts.
She took an early lead over contenders Robert M. “Rob” Hiatt, with 36.68 percent of the vote, and Teresa Hall Roberson, with 15.48 percent, according to results posted on the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Hiatt trailed in second place, with Roberson in a distant third — a pattern that repeated itself as the returns continued to come in.
Hazelwood received 48.69 percent of the vote from the Ararat precinct to Hiatt’s 35.62 percent and Roberson’s 15.03 percent, according to online information.
In Claudville, Hazlewood garnered 52.55 percent of the vote to Hiatt’s 35.67 percent and Roberson’s 11.78 percent, according to online information.
The contest was tighter in the Critz/Stella precinct, with Roberson at 14.36 percent, Hiatt at 41.49 percent and Hazlewood at 43.97 percent.
Hazlewood also handily won in the Willis Gap, Dry Pond, Patrick Springs, Russell Creek, Liberty, Meadows of Dan and others. Hazlewood narrowly lost Woolwine to Hiatt by 15 votes.
Hiatt said this election was his “one attempt” at snaring the post, and he does not plan to run for the seat in the future.
Roberson congratulated Hazlewood, and said she had a good time meeting “new people and also getting to know Sherri and Rob both, because we were at a lot of events together. Regardless of who won, we all would have done a good job, and we all would have had big shoes to fill, but the county is good hands,” she said.
Like Hiatt, Roberson said she does not plan a rematch for the post. “I’m almost 55 and I’ll be retiring soon.”
In other local races:
A new supervisor was elected in the Dan River District, with challenger Jane Scales Fulk picked up 53.75 percent of the vote in her challenge against incumbent Roger T. Hayden, who received 46.15 of the tally, according to the state website.
Crystal P. Harris received 91.68 percent of the vote in her unopposed bid for the Smith River District seat on the Patrick County Board of Supervisors.
Brandon J. Simmons, unopposed in his bid for the Dan River District seat on the Patrick County School Board won with 98.32 percent of the vote.
Incumbent J.D. Morse, of the Smith River District on the Patrick County School Board, received 31.34 percent of the vote, with write-in candidates garnering 68.66 percent.
Write-in candidates will not be identified until after a canvass is conducted on Wednesday, Registrar Susan Taylor said.