Mayor Paul Freiling’s long stint as a member of the Williamsburg City Council came to an end Tuesday night, coming in last out of the four candidates vying for three seats.
Newcomer Caleb T. Rogers, a recent William & Mary graduate, came in on top.
Former Fire Chief W.P. Pat Dent placed second. Incumbent Barbara Ramsey came in third.
“Firstly, I cannot adequately express my gratitude to the citizens of Williamsburg for the wonderful opportunities they have afforded me over the past 20 years. Secondly, Throughout this journey I have been rewarded with the privilege of working with incomparably dedicated and talented individuals on City staff,” Freiling wrote in an emailed statement Tuesday night. “Thirdly, along the way I have also been enriched by some amazing colleagues on the various boards and commissions upon which I have served, as well as City Council. I will always cherish the associated memories. To my fellow candidates in this last run, congratulations on campaigns well-orchestrated. I wish you the best as you work to govern our special community. Please know that I will support you, as any citizen would, and will never insert myself into your work. If I can ever be of assistance, though, I am only a phone call or e-mail away.”
Freiling was first elected to the City Council in 2004 and served as vice mayor from 2010 to 2016.
He was named mayor in July 2016 and again in 2018. Freiling, during his campaign, expressed his belief that his long experience on City Council provided him with the skills to maintain the position with insight and understanding.
During his campaign, Rogers said he hopes to bring innovation to Williamsburg to support the local economy. Rogers, who recently graduated from William & Mary with a degree in public policy, has also participated in the city’s Planning Commission and Public Housing Advisory Committee.
Rogers was not immediately available for comment.
Dent has had 38 years of experience in local government. He said he plans to use his new position to help residents through the difficult times brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Incumbent Ramsey also barely secured a position on the council for another term. Ramsey has served on the council since 2016. She said her experience on the council and other city committees has allowed her to stay in touch with the community.
Here are the unofficial results according to the Virginia Department of Elections:
- Caleb T. Rogers, 1,346 votes, 27.35 percent
- W.P. “Pat” Dent, 1,254 votes, 25.48 percent
- Barbara L. Ramsey, 1,178, 23.93 percent
- Paul T Freiling, 1,102, 22.39 percent