• 68°

Hughes, Lowder, Whitley win seats on Albemarle City Council

Races for three seats on the Albemarle City Council saw incumbents hold two slots, with a political newcomer gaining the third.

Councilwoman Martha Hughes recaptured her at-large seat on council with no opposition. Hughes had defeated primary opponent Donnie (Duke) Furr in May to secure the GOP slot on the general election ballot.

In District 2, political newcomer Shirley Lowder captured 55 percent of the ballots to top incumbent Benton Dry. Lowder rode the wave of a strong Republican showing county-wide to secure the seat by a 546 to 445 margin.

District 4 incumbent Chris Whitley was able to hold on to his council slot as he decisively defeated challenger David Morgan by a 64 percent to 36 percent (981 to 552) tally.

“I’m humbled at the confidence the voters have shown in me,” said Whitley. “It’s kind of an overwhelming feeling, getting that kind of support. It makes me want to work even harder in the future.”

Morgan expressed his gratitude to his supporters, and expressed congratulations to his opponent.

“Thanks, so much to all those that voted for and supported me to represent District 4 on the Albemarle City Council,” said Morgan. “Although I wasn’t successful, I am proud of the race I ran and the opportunity to do so. And congratulations to Chris Whitley on his reelection to represent our District.”

Despite falling short of re-election, Dry was upbeat in his election-night comments.

“It’s been a great five years,” he said. “We got a lot accomplished in that time, and have a good foundation in place for future councils to build on.”

Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael described Dry as “a dedicated council member who will be missed,” also noting that he “has been a great benefit to Albemarle as a council member.”

Lowder was enthusiastic when reached by phone early Wednesday morning, and was complimentary of Dry’s work on council.

“I’m excited, and look forward to working with the rest of the council as we move ahead,” she said. “I wish I could serve with Mr. Dry rather than seeing him go…he has been such a good representative on the board.”

“We have a big agenda ahead of us,” said Lowder. “I’m not coming in planning to push for any big changes, and while I may not always agree on everything, I will try to work together for what’s best.”