VIRGINIA BEACH — Bobby Dyer defeated fellow Councilman Ben Davenport Tuesday to become the next mayor of this city, according to the city’s unofficial election results.
Dyer beat Davenport by 5,851 votes, securing 51.9 of the vote in the city.
Dyer served four terms as councilman for the Centerville District before relinquishing his seat to run for mayor against Davenport, an at-large councilman who also gave up his seat to run for mayor after Will Sessoms abruptly resigned from office in April.
Dyer said he is ready to get started
“I’m just very humbled and privileged by the voters of Virginia Beach, Dyer said. “I’m ready to set in motion the things that I’ve promised; including restoring faith and confidence in our government, inclusion of all, so that we can we can turn this great city into something even better.”
Side-by-side, they were very different candidates; Dyer, a grey-haired former professor with more than a decade of public service under his belt, and Davenport, the 38-year-old real estate agent with a passion for bringing technology business to the city.
Davenport was not immediately available for comment.
Counting the votes
Donna Patterson, election registrar for Virginia Beach, said the city had “a very large amount of absentee ballots” compared to the last midterm election.
“In 2014, Virginia Beach had 2,720 in-person absentee ballots and 2,523 mail-ins,” for a total of 5,243 votes, Patterson said.
This year Virginia Beach received more than 18,000 absentee ballots. That is more than triple the amount received in 2014, and the largest absentee ballot turnout in recent memory, Patterson said.
There are 30 election workers counting the absentee ballots at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.
“They’ve been here since 3 p.m.,” Patterson said Tuesday night.