By Tim Gardner
Like most parts of the United States, voters turned out in droves in Avery County during the 2020 General Election, either casting ballots in early or absentee voting or at the county’s 19 precinct polling sites on General Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.
North Carolina State Board of Elections data showed that 9,396 of Avery’s registered voters (76.06 percent) cast votes.
According to the State Board of Elections weekly updated voters’ statistics on October 31, there are 12,364 registered voters in Avery County. That total includes 7,165 Republicans; 1,429 Democrats; 3,694 Unaffiliated; 61 Libertarians; 9 Constitution Party voters; and 6 Green Party voters.
In Avery, several county office seats were open. Candidates and the numbers of votes (unofficial) they received for those respective seats follows.
Clerk of Superior Court– (Incumbent) Teresa Benfield 7,862
Register of Deeds- (Incumbent) Renee Dellinger 7,745
Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor- (Incumbent) Jeff Pollard 7,056
All three candidates are Republican incumbents and were unopposed by a Democratic candidate for their respective office.
(Incumbent) John Millan 5,242
Write-in candidate Kay Grubbs 2,159
Three seats were open on the Avery County Commission. Final totals were:
Tim Phillips 6,147
Martha Jaynes Hicks 6,051
Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. 5,686
Each is a Republican and they were unopposed by a Democratic candidate to fill those seats.
Additionally, elections for the nation’s president, North Carolina governor, a U.S. Senator, and other state, national and local district races were on the 2020 ballot, including N.C. House District 85, N.C. Senate District 46 and numerous races for North Carolina judicial seats.
All other state and regional voting numbers below are unofficial, according to the State Elections Board.
In the NC House District 85 Race, Marion resident, Newland native and former McDowell County Sheriff Dudley Greene, a Republican, defeated his fellow-Marion resident, Democrat Ted Remington, in Avery County by a count of 7,050 to 1,905.
At press-time, 40 of 45 precincts had reported final results and Greene led Remington 29,209 to 8,600 votes district-wide and appeared the likely winner to earn the right to represent Avery, Mitchell and McDowell counties in the State House (District 85).
In the NC Senate, District 46, Incumbent Republican Warren Daniel beat Democrat Edward William Phifer in Avery County by a 6,868 to 1,991 tally.
Both Daniel and Phifer are from Morganton.
District-wide, Daniel won the right to serve Avery, Burke and Caldwell counties in the State Senate. He garnered 67,431 votes to Phifer’s 25,750.
Also, Nebo and former Newland resident Josh Dobson was the Republican candidate for NC Commissioner of Labor. He ran against Democrat Jessica Holmes of Raleigh.
Dobson defeated Holmes in Avery County, 7,158 to 1,953.
State-wide, Dotson led Holmes at press-time 2,472,179 to 2,461,367 approximately 75 percent through the race.
And former Vice-President Joe Biden (Democrat) led incumbent Donald Trump (Republican) in the United States Presidential Election in both North Carolina and across the nation at press-time. 270 Electoral Votes are needed to secure victory and Biden had 131 to Trump’s 98.
And in the North Carolina Governor’s race, incumbent Roy Cooper led Republican challenger Dan Forest. Cooper had 2,602,998 votes (52.3 percent) and Forest 2,306,510 (46.3 percent) at press-time (80 percent of votes reported).
Complete results for all Avery County and North Carolina votes may be found by logging online to this address: