HAMPTON, Va. — After seven candidates competed for spots on Hampton City Council, the four seats that are up for grabs, including a special election, have clear front runners with most of the ballots counted.
The battle for three of those spots included a pair of incumbents: Councilman Steve Brown and Vice Mayor Jimmy Gray. With 32 out of 33 precincts counted, both Brown and Gray are looking to keep their seats, while Martha Mugler, a former state delegate and City of Hampton School Board member, has an overall lead of 30%.
Running for the special election seat on the city council are Randy Bowman and Hope Harper, both natives of Hampton. That seat is currently held by interim Councilmember Michelle Ferebee, who was appointed in 2021.
With 32 out of 33 precincts reporting, Harper has a commanding lead over Bowman. Harper is a member of multiple boards and community groups, and she wants to push for economic growth, healthy neighborhoods, citizen engagement, and public safety.
“We need to continue to support our youth," she said. "We need to continue to support them in resources, services and organizations that support our youth. We need to support the neighborhood associations."
Harper said she got her first taste of local government working as a student worker for city council at the age of 15.