As applause swelled up all around him, Washington County’s new mayor appeared to be heaving a small sigh of relief.
There were plenty of tense moments for Joe Grandy and his supporters last Thursday night inside the Grand Soldiers Ballroom on the second level of the Carnegie Hotel as a contentious campaign reached its nerve-wracking crescendo. But when the final precinct had reported, Grandy had managed to fend off James Reeves by a mere 643 votes out of the 17,941 votes cast across the county.After an emotional embrace from his wife Lucinda, Grandy grabbed a microphone and reached out to those who opposed him during hard-fought primary and general-election campaigns.
“I hope the people that opposed me will be willing to sit down at the table and work for the betterment of Washington County,” Grandy said. “I’ll be the first to extend the hand of friendship.”
As a former county commissioner and chairman of the Budget Committee, Grandy is anxious to get to work once he is sworn into office next month. Grandy succeeds Dan Eldridge, who chose not to seek reelection. Grandy will be working with a County Commission consisting of Steven E. Light, Kent Harris, Jerome K. Fitzgerald, Danny Edens, Bryan Davenport, Greg Matherly, Larry England, Freddie H. Malone, Suzy Williams, Phillip R. Carringer, Jodi Jones, Robbie Tester, Gary McAllister, Jim Wheeler and Mike “Boots” Ford.While Grandy sweated out the final moments of a close contest, Rep. Phil Roe slipped into the ballroom after leaving his own watch party. Roe received congratulations from many in attendance after cruising to victory in the First District Republican Primary, pulling in 73 percent of the vote.
Roe is seeking his sixth term as a United States Congressman, and he cites unfinished business in Washington D.C. as the main reason he has chosen to run again. Roe will face Democrat Marty Olsen in November.
“Over the last 18 months, working with President Trump, we have restored hope in the future,” Roe said in a statement.
“Whether it’s ensuring our great veterans have access to the care they have earned, standing for the right to life, moving real solutions to address the shortcomings in our health care system, securing our border or fighting for hardworking families to keep more of their pay, we’ve kept promise after promise to the American people.
“Still, there is much to do and much at stake this November.”