Pierce, Byrd win Surry supervisor seats

Published 11:55 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Pierce, Byrd win Surry supervisor seats

By Stephen Faleski

Staff Writer

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Breyon Pierce and Brenton Byrd each won their bids Tuesday night for a seat on Surry County’s board of Supervisors

Pierce, a Surry County High School agriculture teacher, had faced Dominion Energy maintenance supervisor Jason Fuss as his challenger for the Carsley District seat. According to unofficial results, Pierce received 61.95% of the vote to Fuss’s 37.89%.

Byrd, an educator who’d been serving as the Dendron District seat’s interim appointee, defeated challenger Abram Ketchum, an elevator mechanic, with 53% of the vote to Ketchum’s 46.35%.

There were a total of 636 ballots cast in the Carsley race, including one write-in. The Dendron race saw 658 ballots, including four write-ins. The totals include in-person, early and absentee votes but not provisional ballots.


Ketchum issued a statement on Nov. 15 thanking his supporters and urging Byrd to “make his decisions based on the citizens, and not pull from the other Board Members.”

 Fuss said he wished Pierce “the best of luck” and applauded Pierce’s campaign and voter turnout.

The results were to be certified Nov. 15.

When special elections are held to fill an unexpired term, the winner is allowed to take office as soon as the results are certified, provided the candidates have been sworn in by the county’s clerk of circuit court. Pierce will serve the remainder of former Supervisor Ronald Howell Jr.’s term.

Howell resigned less than a year into his first four-year term after making a vague reference to circumstances “beyond my control” at the board’s April meeting. He’d been appointed in 2021 as the late Kenneth Holmes’ successor and had stood for election last November.

Byrd will serve the remainder of former Supervisor Michael Drewry’s term. Drewry resigned his seat in July, citing Virginia bar Association conflict-of-interest rules, after filing a petition in court seeking to overturn the board’s vote to approve a controversial biogas facility at the Surry-Sussex county line near his home. At the time of his resignation, Drewry had 18 months remaining on his 2019-2023 term.

In the county’s three town elections, Wallace Faison Jr. won another term as Dendron’s mayor, with 97 votes, accounting for 79.5% of the total. There were 25 write-ins, accounting for 20.49% of the total. Robert Weidner, Edward Joyner, W.E. “Bill” Richardson Jr. and Adam Chubb Jr. were each reelected to Dendron’s Town Council. Patricia Byrd and Hunter Lackey were the leading write-in candidates for the remaining two seats as of Nov. 10, with Byrd receiving eight votes and Lackey receiving seven.

Bennie Savedge, who made history in 2020 by becoming Surry’s first Black mayor, won his reelection bid with 105 votes, accounting for 96.33% of the total. There were four write-ins, accounting for 3.67% of the total. 

Surry Town Council incumbents Robert Berryman, Joe Garcia, Brian Agor and Jason Wiedel were reelected and will be joined by challenger Milton Berryman.

A write-in was elected mayor of Claremont with 107 votes after former mayor George Edwards withdrew from the race and resigned from Claremont’s Town Council earlier this year. As of Nov. 10, Daryl Graham was leading with 67 votes, according to Surry County Registrar Sharná White. 

Claremont Town Council incumbents Sue Gilbert, Rodney “Dale” Perkinson Jr. and Phillip Yerby IV won new terms. In the remaining two council seats will be former mayor Louise Hansch and former council member Terrie Foster.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated based on absentee votes reported as of Nov. 14 and the canvassing of write-in votes as of Nov. 10.