By Nathan Ham
If you are a Democrat in Watauga County, chances are you had a pretty solid showing at the polls on Tuesday night as voting totals were released. The county commissioner races were an especially big win for the Democratic Party, as they will now hold down all five seats on the board of commissioners.
Democrat John Welch ran unopposed and easily held his commissioner seat with 20,456 votes. In the two contested races, Democrat Carrington Pertallion received 15,807 votes (52.3 percent) while Republican Todd S. Castle tallied 14,431 votes (47.7 percent) in the District 1 race to replace Republican Perry Yates who chose not to run for re-election. In the District 5 race, incumbent Democrat Charlie Wallin received 16,087 votes (53.3 percent) to defeat Republican challenger Bart Keller who received 14,069 votes (46.7 percent).
Welch, Pertallion, and Wallin will join Billy Kennedy and Larry Turnbow to round out the five Watauga County Commissioner seats. Kennedy and Turnbow will be up for re-election in 2022.
In each partisan race in Watauga County, the Democratic candidate carried the county.
All vote totals are still unofficial until all absentee by mail votes are tallied and the county canvass is completed on November 13. Absentee ballots that were postmarked by Election Day and received through Nov. 12 remain to be counted.