NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Phillip Jones is now the newly elected mayor of Newport News.
With 98% of precincts counted, the Marine Corps veteran and businessman had the edge with 40% of the votes Tuesday night.
"I think, on a personal note, I'm looking forward to bringing the city together in a unified manner. I look forward to talking to current council members, as well as the new and elected ones so that we can all sit together, work together to move the city forward," Jones said Tuesday night. "There's been such a strong foundation laid over the past couple of years. I'm excited to build off of that."
The 2022 race grew competitive after Mayor McKinley Price decided not to seek a fourth term.
Four people were gunning for the seat. Three of the candidates were already city council members: Saundra Cherry, Tina Vick, and David Jenkins.
In a forum ahead of the election, 13New Now anchor Janet Roach got to know where each of the candidates stood on certain important city issues like gun violence and community revitalization. You can watch that full forum here.
At 33, Jones was the youngest candidate vying for the job. He told 13New Now he is the youngest African American elected as mayor in Newport News.
He aligned with the other three candidates in promising to support law enforcement. Throughout the election season, Jones focused on innovation and his pro-business mindset, but also said the key issues for Newport News were public schools, public safety and the economy, in that order.
Votes from one precinct still need to be counted for the race to be called.