Stanley mayor to step down after 24 years

Page News and Courier

STANLEY — To quote a music icon, the times, they are a-changin'. Changing in Stanley, at least. Mayor Doug Purdham will not seek reelection, ending his 24-year run. Mike Knight — a four-term council member first appointed to fill a vacancy in 1998 — and Mike Uram — a council member since 2015 who previously ran for mayor in 2012 — have both submitted the necessary paperwork to run for mayor. The deadline for candidates to file for the November ballot was 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14.

"It's time for new blood, new ideas and new excitement," Purdham said. "Change will be good for the town."

Purdham said that he will miss being mayor.

"I'm going to miss it sincerely," Purdham said. "I would have been happy to continue — I would have been happy to do it for another 24 years."

He sees stepping down as the best move for the town.

Many tried to convince Purdham to run again.

"When it was initially reported that I was considering not running, I received several phone calls telling me to reconsider," Purdham said. "Several town employees came up to me and asked me to reconsider as well."

Purdham is endorsing Knight.

"I've met with Mike several times about this and he has my wholehearted support," Purdham said. "I believe he will do an excellent job. Mike will be a great mayor."

The Mayor is at peace with the idea that he will no longer hold that position next year.

"It's time," Purdham said. "It's time for a change."

Neither Knight nor Uram could be reached for comment.

The mayoral elections in Luray and Shenandoah will be contested.

Luray Mayor Barry Presgraves announced on his Facebook page in March that he would be seeking a third term. Citing his health, he originally stated last year that this term would be his last. Noting that he feels better than he has in years, he put himself on the ballot.

"It has truly been an honor and privilege to serve as Luray's mayor, and I look forward to continuing that momentum and progress we've achieve over the past few years," Presgraves said.

Mark Malone, a member of the Planning Commission, will attempt to unseat Pregraves this fall.

Clinton Lucas has been an institution in Shenandoah, currently in his 26th year as mayor. He will be challenged by Andrew Batman, a 34-year-old lifelong resident of the town.

Batman is a political outsider, as he has never held office before. He believes that change needs to happen and that he is the best option for that.

"Let's bring back Shenandoah," Batman said in a May interview. "I will do what I can to bring back what was here. The town is junk now, and I want to bring it back."

The Luray Council incumbents of Leroy Lancaster, John Meaney and Joey Sours will see four challengers on the ballot — Alison Coltrane, Gail Kyle, Leah Pence and Elizabeth Lewis. The top three vote-getters will be elected.

In Stanley, two council positions are open. Jeremiah Knight and Jason Campbell have thrown their hats into the race. Martha Graves, the incumbent who has served in various capacities in the town since 1969, is seeking another term. The top two vote-getters will be elected.

Russel Comer will not run for another Shenandoah Council term this fall. Incumbents David Hinkle and Richard Pierce will be joined on the ballot by Ira "Mike" Lowe. The three are running uncontested.

For the Nov. 8 election, residents of Page County have until 21 days before the election date to register to vote, or Oct. 17. That can be done at the courthouse, online at, or by mail.

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