By Tim Gardner
Teresa Benfield handily won the Clerk of Superior Court race to highlight Tuesday’s Primary Election in Avery County.
Benfield received 2,189 votes, followed by Linda Webb who got 627 votes. Theresa King finished third in the Clerk’s race with 584 votes and Lisa Vance got 498.
In the County Commissioners race, incumbents Tim Phillips, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. and Martha Hicks easily won. Voting totals were: Phillips 2,582; Young, Jr. 2,476 and Hicks 2,380. Jake Ingram got 1,117 votes.
In the non-partisan Board of Education race, winners to fill the three seats open were: Ruth Shirley 3,160; Kathey Aldridge 2,452; and John Greene 2,379. Aldridge and Greene are incumbents. Also, for Board of Education, Derrick Calloway got 1,148 votes; Jennifer Jennings 1,078; and Steven Neil Wilson got 653.
Additionally, there were 66 write-in votes for Board of Education.
Benfield won by a wide enough margin to avoid a run-off as did Phillips, Young, Jr. and Hicks.
There is no run-off in the Board of Education race and those who win the Primary are elected to that office and do not have to run in the fall’s General Election unlike Commissioner, Clerk of Court and other county elections.
In another race involving Avery County natives or residents, Dillon Gentry of Banner Elk garnered 84 votes in Avery County in his bid for the United States House of Representatives (Congress)-11th District. Wayne King got the most votes in Avery County for that Congressional District office with 1,232.
Also, Avery native and current Nebo resident Josh Dobson received the most votes in the county in the race for North Carolina Commissioner of Labor, tallying 2,685 votes. In Avery County, Dobson easily beat Chuck Stanley, who got 492 votes and Pearl Floyd, who received 241 votes.
Avery’s election results are available online at: https://er.ncsbe.gov/?election_dt=03/03/2020&county_id=6&office=ALL&contest=0
43.86 percent (5,080) of voters cast ballots in Avery County in this Primary Election.
Avery Elections officials caution that all Primary results are unofficial until an official elections canvass is conducted by elections officials.
Dozens of nominations for federal, state government and legislative seats appeared on primary ballots and Primary Election results set the fall election lineups.
For Congress, in the still Republican-leaning 11th District, where GOP Representative Mark Meadows decided against running again, 12 Republicans and five Democrats were on Tuesday’s primary ballots.
May runoffs are possible if the top vote-getter fails to exceed a 30 percent threshold.
About two dozen General Assembly incumbents also faced primary rivals on Tuesday. All 170 House and Senate seats will be on November ballots. Republicans currently hold slight seat advantages over Democrats in either chamber.
All county, regional, state and federal Primary Election final results can be accessed at: https://www.ncsbe.gov/election-results.
The 2020 General Election will be held Tuesday, November 3.