The Lewisburg Citizens’ Party won every seat they were running for in Tuesday’s municipal election.
Heather Blake, Mark Etten, Kim Morgan Dean and Recorder Shannon Beatty won in every precinct in the city, a decisive win that proves that the majority of Lewisburg citizens are happy with the direction the city is heading.
This election was more contentious than any other in recent memory, fueled by the perception that the opposition party, The Lewisburg Majority Voice Party, had been formed as a conservative reaction to city council’s passage or Ordinance 254, which grants employment and housing protection of LGBTQs in city limits.
The Majority Voice Party publicly denied that the repeal of Ordinance 254 was on their agenda, but support from outside interest group The Family Policy Council, an anti-gay lobbying company based in Charleston, fanned the flames.
On Friday night, a robocall sponsored by the Family Policy Council was heard by Lewisburg citizens who answered their land lines at home. The call utilized the voice of a teenage boy who stated that he and his brother wanted to mow lawns in order to save money for Bible camp, but the city of Lewisburg wouldn’t grant them a business license unless they signed a piece of paper saying they supported boys using girls’ restrooms at their high school. The call urged people to vote for the Majority Voice Party.
Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester responded with a robocall of his own, denouncing the Family Policy Council call, and on the Majority Voice Party Facebook page, administrators denounced the call as well, and contended that they could not control what the Family Policy Council did.
During a candidates’ forum last month, Majority Voice Party candidates Dr. Debra Crites-Sams, Dorcus Teubert and Mark Carver would not vow to keep the ordinance on the books.
On Wednesday morning, after the election, the Lewisburg Citizens’ Party released the following statement: “Now more than ever our community must come together, not through progressive or conservative ideologies, but rather by building a bridge to a moral center that prioritizes prosperity and healing in our community. We must work together as neighbors so that Lewisburg may continue to be a place we are proud to leave to the next generation.
“Finally, should any doubts persist whether Lewisburg is a place that values inclusion and equality, let this election stand as a referendum. The victory tonight is a final answer on the matter of human rights here in our community.
“We have made much progress in Lewisburg, but our work isn’t over. After tonight’s celebration, we will get back to work, making sure that Lewisburg continues on the current course to prosperity, unity, and hope.”
The unofficial election results are as follows: