Phillip Jones has declared victory in the race to be Newport News’ next mayor.
The current planning commissioner has garnered 40% of the unofficial vote with 45 of 47 precincts reporting, over opponents Vice Mayor Saundra Cherry, Councilwoman Tina Vick, Councilman David Jenkins. The race has been the most expensive in the city’s history with nearly $327,000 raised so far between the four candidates running.
Jones will succeed Mayor McKinley Price, who decided not to run for a fourth term.
When it is all said and done, this will likely be the highest votes cast in a mayoral election in Newport News history. A new state law moved local elections from May to November in an effort to increase turnout. As of 3 p.m. turnout for the race was around 31%, according to the voter registrar.
Jones, 33, outraised his opponents combined by more than $116,000. Jones has never held public office before.
Newport News is the fourth largest city in Virginia with nearly 180,000 people.
Candidates had campaigned on fighting crime, increasing mental health services, economic development and modernizing city hall.
There are also three open city council seats. WAVY will have updates on those races.