By Linda Cicoira — Voters returned Republican Del. Rob Bloxom and Democrat Sen. Lynwood Lewis, both Eastern Shore natives, to their respective offices Tuesday in the general election.
The tougher race was for Bloxom, a local businessman whose father served for years as a delegate before him. Bloxom won with nearly 52 percent of the ballots or 11,866 to beat Philip M. Hernandez, a Democrat from Norfolk who formerly worked as a civil rights lawyer. Hernandez took 10,979 votes or about 48 percent. There were 13 write in votes. Included in the tallies were 564 absentee ballots for Bloxom and 838 absentee ballots for Hernandez.
“I just appreciate everyone coming out and supporting me,” said Bloxom. “It wasn’t exactly what I call an Eastern Shore style election as we’re used to. A little too much negativity. Too many attacks on character and business etc. All the experts in elections now say if you don’t go negative, you will lose, but I just refused to do it. I think the end result was the Eastern Shore looked at my performance in office and decided to send me back. For that, I am greatly indebted.”
Bloxom won in Accomack county with 61.6% or 6,921 votes to Hernandez’s 38.37% or 4,311. In Northampton County, where voters usually cast their ballots for Democrats, Bloxom was the winner with 2,329 votes or 52.29% to Hernandez’s 2,125 votes or 47.71%. In Norfolk, Hernandez took the majority of the votes. He got 4,543 ballots or 63.36% compared to Bloxom’s 2,616 votes or 36.49%.
Sen. Lewis was returned to another four-year term with 25,361 votes or 59.52% of the ballots compared to his opponent Republican Elizabeth A. Lankford’s tally of 17,187 or 40.33%. There were 63 write-in votes. Included in the figures were 1,522 absentee ballots for Lewis and 785 absentee ballots for Lankford.
Lewis was not available for comment Wednesday.
Lewis, who grew up in Parksley and is an Accomac attorney, won in Accomack, Northampton, and Norfolk City. Lankford, a Melfa business owner, took Virginia Beach by a slim margin and Mathew’s County.
The totals were 6,023 for Lewis to 5,173 for Lankford in Accomack; 1,267 for Lewis to 2,364 for Lankford in Mathews; 14,930 for Lewis to 7,424 for Lankford in Norfolk City;
2,682 for Lewis to 1,757 for Lankford in Northampton; 459 for Lewis to 469 for Lankford in Virginia Beach.