Despite having spent months registering students and alumni to vote and urging them to participate in the election for three open city council seats in an effort to gain majority control, even going so far as to hold a special convocation and cancel classes yesterday, it looks like Liberty University’s efforts to use its voting power to take over the Lynchburg City Council failed badly:
Liberty University junior Caroline Biggs posted herself in front of a fleet of poll-bound buses on campus, waving a homemade sign that read “Vote Republican: Cary, Hannon, Good.”
Behind her, hundreds of LU students boarded the buses bound for Heritage Elementary School, the polling pace for LU’s on-campus students.
The students had just emerged from LU’s special Election Day convocation where Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. joined forces with Del. Scott Garrett, R-Lynchburg, in urging the students to vote. To boost participation in the election, LU canceled classes until 2 p.m. and sent out e-mails and texts through its emergency alert system reminding students to vote.
Of more than two dozen students interviewed for this article, the majority voted the Republican ticket — Hunsdon “H.” Cary, Ted Hannon and Don Good — who were popularly coined the “pro-Liberty candidates.” Students cited property restrictions on LU, taxes and moral values as their top issues.
While the Republican slate dominated the Heritage precinct, Hannon and Good failed to garner enough votes citywide for one of three at-large council seats. Nor did LU student Brent Robertson, who netted 588 votes at the Heritage precinct and finished last in the eight-way race.
The election winners were Mayor Joan Foster, Interim Councilman Randy Nelson, and Cary.
Cary finished third and his two pro-Liberty running mates finished fourth and fifth.