Yes the NC Constitutional Amendment passed 61-39, but here in Buncombe it failed. There were a lot of interesting results here at home last night, most of which bode very well for Buncombe. Let’s get the results train rolling. (Buncombe results) (NC results)
On the 10th Congressional tip, Patsy Keever steamrolled Terry Bellamy 58-26, with also-ran Tim Murphy limping in with 15%. Keever’s excellent organization outpaced the other campaigns. People love them some Patsy Keever, there’s no getting around it. Whether she can translate that into victory against a seemingly bulletproof Patrick McHenry will depend on her campaign’s ability to activate voters who haven’t come out the last several cycles.
In the 11th, Hayden Rogers romped over his competition. With 56% of the vote, he beat Cecil Bothwell by 26, and Tom Hill pulled only 14%. Cecil was a liberal candidate in a conservative district, but it’s worth noting that he won the part of the district that’s in Buncombe County by 161 votes. Rogers now has to pivot to the general election in a district that has a very high number of registered Republicans. The contrast between the 10th and the 11th couldn’t be more stark in terms of who Democratic voters chose to be their standard bearer.
In Buncombe County Commissioner races, we saw a very high Democratic turnout. If the ratio of Democratic to Republican voters is similar in November, then look for a savory County Board majority to come into office.
Chairman David Gantt coasted past Dr. Byrd with over 81% of the vote. In one of the big shockers of the night, Glenda Weinert lost her primary to J.B. Howard, who has the most words I’ve ever seen on a yard sign. David Gantt vs. J.B. Howard looks to be a pretty easy race for the incumbent Chairman. Key statistic here: 18,435 Republican ballots were cast in the County Chair race, while 33,235 Democratic ballots were cast.
In District One, Holly Jones and Brownie Newman rolled to a 1-2 victory, with the effervescent Jones leading the pack at 43%. Newman had 33%, and the nearest candidate beyond that was Keith Young at 10.78%.
Jones and Newman have no Republican opposition in November. This deal is done. I wonder why those Republicans in Asheville who endlessly complain about a lack of representation didn’t step up to the plate? Republican Don Guge will face off against Jones and Newman in November. Thanks to the commenters for correcting my mistake here!
District Two had its share of surprises. Carol Peterson ran the most energized campaign we’ve seen from her, and it paid off. She earned over 39% of the vote. Newcomer Ellen Frost really poured it on in the final weeks to come in second place with over 36%. On the Republican side, Mike Fryar rode his wave of fiscal anger to victory, barely squeaking out first place over Christina Kelley G. Merrill 36%-35%. Key stat in this race: Number of Republican ballots cast – 11,189; Number of Democratic ballots cast – 16,470.
District Three showed how great campaign organizations win local races. Michelle Pace Wood, the hardest working candidate in Buncombe County, won on the Democratic side with over 39%, while Terry Van Duyn marshalled great volunteer energy to come in second at 37%. Randy Flack was counting on name recognition and some radio ads to do the work for him, and they didn’t. For the GOP, Joe Belcher hit the gas and outpaced his field, earning over 33%, and David King eked out second place at 20.6%. Here the voter numbers are closer: 12,932 Republican ballots vs. 11,499 Democratic ballots. This gives the GOP the edge, but that’s not an insurmountable gap for Wood and Van Duyn.
Your Register of Deeds, Drew Reisinger, cleaned the clocks of all comers with a resounding 54.5% win over challengers Marie Hall and Johnny House.
That’s all I have time to discuss today. I’ve got to get to work. Please share your reflections in the comments, and congratulations to all the candidates.