Incumbent takes Chesapeake mayoral post; Proctorville administrator will now lead villagePublished 8:00am Wednesday, November 9, 2011
CHESAPEAKE — With 52 percent of the vote, Dick Gilpin won his second term as mayor of Chesapeake, defeating for a second time longtime mayor Jimmie Justice.
Four years ago, Gilpin ended the five-term tenure of Justice. This fall Justice wanted the job back and lost, taking 36 percent of the votes cast, according to the unofficial results.
Gilpin ran hard on a record of improving the village’s infrastructure from a massive road overhaul at North Huntington Heights to starting to clean up the eyesores along Rockwood Avenue.
“I couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement of the people in town,” Gilpin said. “I am really happy that it is over and we go on with life.”
Gilpin cited his visibility as mayor as the reason for his win.
“I hope it is because I have been a very active mayor, very visible in the community, trying to accomplish making our town better,” he said. “I can’t say that it is all me. I had help from my council and we had a good staff at the village hall.”
During the campaign Justice took a wait and see approach as far as plans for the village.
“I wouldn’t want to promise a whole lot until I got in there and looked at the financial situation,” Justice said in a campaign interview. He cited repairing the road behind the former jail and spearheading the creation of the Veterans Memorial and Gibson Memorial parks as accomplishments he was most proud.
Also running was Terry Griffin, who had served on the village council with Justice and with Gilpin as clerk/treasurer. Griffin had offered himself as a viable alternative, declining to level criticism at either man.
Griffin came in third with 31 votes or 11 percent of the total
In Proctorville, a Kentucky Derby-esque size field went after that mayor’s race, left vacant by the death of Charles Stapleton.
Taking the top prize was Rick Dunfee, the current village administrator, with 90 votes or 43 percent. Dunfee vied for the post with two councilmen, two political newcomers and the long-time administrative aide for the village.
“I am happy,” Dunfee said. “It was a well-fought race. There wasn’t any backstabbing. I have been the administrator for 14 years. I know the village and the people know me. I know what we can do, what we need to do.”
At the top of his agenda are getting police cruisers and finding funds for new water lines in the village.
“Money is so tight,” he said. “You just can’t do a lot of things that you’d like to.”