(Shenandoah) -- It took only one ballot to decide a Page County supervisors' race in limbo since last month's primary.
Jacob Holmes won the Republican nomination in Page County's 1st supervisors district in a special convention at the new National Guard Armory in Shenandoah Saturday morning. Holmes received support from 48 of the 71 delegates in the first balloting--or 67.6%. That was more than the 50%-plus-one majority needed to receive the nomination. Holmes finished second in the June primary, with just under 28% of the vote. Darin Sunderman, the top votegetter, failed to receive the necessary 35% majority for the nomination--thus necessitating the special convention.
In an interview with KMA News following the convention, Holmes credited his victory to a more informed voting group.
"I think I'm very happy to have had informed conservative Republicans in Page County decide who the supervisor (nominee) would be," said Holmes. "COVID-19 caused such an amount of voting to happen before the election by mail-in votes before a lot of our interviews had happened. I think that this is really a well-informed group of Republicans, and I'm happy to have been put in front of them, and let them decide."
Each candidate was allowed five minutes to speak before the balloting. Holmes reiterated his call for changes in setback regulations in the county's wind turbine ordinnace in his presentation. Holmes, however, stressed that he was not anti-wind.
"My issue is not whether someone decides to put a wind turbine on their farm," he said. "My issue is with the way the safety setbacks are being measured. Whether it be industrial wind, or any other investment a property owner chooses to make, in any situation where a setback is needed due to noise, safety, general use, etcetera, the setbacks should be measured from the property line, and not from the front door. This allows the non-participating landowner to keep all basic rights to safely use and inhabit the whole of his property."
Now that he's won the GOP nomination in the 1st district, Holmes hopes the supervisors will hold another public hearing on the issue.
"If they were looking for a referendum," said Holmes, "I would say this is evidence of one. And, I would hope they would listen to the voters, and to all property owners--not just the ones wishing to have a turbine."
Sunderman and Beth Steeve tied for second in the convention's first balloting, with 10 votes apiece. Jeff Brownfield received 2 votes, and Mark Marriott, 1. Holmes moves on to the November general election against Tim Johnson, who recently announced his candidacy as an independent. Write-in candidates are also possible in District 1.