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REIDSVILLE — Four veteran incumbents will once again sit atop the dais inside city hall, according to unofficial election results.

Councilwoman Sherri G. Walker and Councilman James K. Festerman will return to their posts after weathering a strong fight by political newcomer Shannon Forrester Blackburn in District B.

Walker, who landed 35.79% of the vote, returns for a third four-year term after tallying 457 bubble fill-ins.

The 61-year-old will be re-joined on the board by Festerman, who was re-elected Tuesday to his fourth term as a council member.

The 78-year-old former mayor, better known in town as “chief,” thanks to years of service as Reidsville’s top police administrator, also gained just over 35% of votes cast for the two open spots in the district.

The duo outdid Forrester Blackburn, a local entrepreneur and chef, by less than 15 percentage points.

The 36-year-old gained 22.79 %, or 291 votes in the district.

Hemco Patharkar, who also ran for an at-large council seat in 2017, fell short of contention with support on 56 total ballots.

In the less competitive District A, incumbents Donald L. Gorham and William C. Hairston return to the board after running unopposed campaigns.

The two longtime council members were featured on nearly 99 percent of the ballots cast in the race.

A former school principal at Lawsonville Avenue Elementary, Gorham landed just over 50% of voter support, while Hairston, a former Reidsville Police captain and current pastor, received just under 49% of votes cast in the district race.

Most voting cards in both of Reidsville’s council races hit the ballot box on Election Day, according to unofficial results.

Nearly 91% of the 659 ballots cast in the District A race were done so on Tuesday, with just about 85% of District B’s 1,277 ballots also coming via Tuesday’s traditional voting process.

In total, 87% of ballots were submitted by Reidsville residents who voided their right to vote early.

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Joe Dexter is a staff writer for RockinghamNow. He can be reached at 336-349-4331 ext. 6139 or @JoeDexter_RCN on Twitter.

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