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Watauga Commissioners Candidates Take Part in Roundtable Discussion in Blowing Rock Thursday Night

By Nathan Ham

Watauga County Commissioner candidates answered questions in front of potential voters on Thursday evening at the American Legion in Blowing Rock.

The candidates roundtable gave Blowing Rock voters a chance to hear thoughts and opinions from county commissioner candidates with questions centered around the new Watauga County Recreation Center, the need for a full-time ambulance service in Blowing Rock and a potential new cell phone tower in Blowing Rock on Green Hill Circle. 

The event was hosted by the Blowing Rock Civic Association and Judge Robert M. Burroughs (Ret.) moderated the discussions.

The format featured a two-minute opening statement for each candidate, followed by audience questions, designated questions that each candidate would draw out at random and finally a two-minute closing statement for each candidate.

Below are videos of each candidate’s opening statement, question and answer session and closing statement. Video segments are of each candidate’s answers to questions and are posted in order of the questions as they were given.

Videos shot and produced by Ken Ketchie.


Program moderator Judge Robert M. Burroughs opening remarks.

Tim Hodges (District 3, Republican challenger) shares his thoughts on the new Watauga County Recreation Center and school needs in Watauga County. 

Billy Kennedy (District 3, Democrat Incumbent) took on the question about construction costs and operating money for the upcoming recreation center.

Tommy Sofield (District 5, Republican challenger) is asked about construction of a new cell phone tower on Green Hill Circle. 

David Blust (District 4 Republican challenger) is asked about sales tax distribution within Watauga County. 

Larry Turnbow (District 4 Democrat Incumbent) was asked about growing the tax base in Watauga County. 

Charlie Wallin (District 5 Democrat challenger) comments on Blowing Rock needing a full-time ambulance service.

The Blowing Rock Civic Association would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for marking this commissioner candidate roundtable possible:

Blowing Rock Civic Association board and members: George Wilcox (BRCA President), William H. Carter (BRCA Vice President), Betsy Wilcox (BRCA Secretary-Treasurer), Judge Robert M. Burroughs (Event co-chair), Karyn Kennedy Herterich (Event co-chair), Laurin Carter (Hospitality chair).

Individuals: Cari Brinegar, Doris Burroughs, Debbie Carter, Sondra Elvin, Brenda & Paul Fairbetter, Steve Frank, Tim Gupton, Jo Howard, Marcelle Lowder, Ben & Virginia Powell, Dana Willet.

Blowing Rock Area Businesses: Blowing Rock ABC Store, Bistro Roca, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, Blowing Rock Community Club & Library, Blowing Rock Parks & Recreation, Blowing Rock Post Office, Blowing Rock Town Hall and staff, Camp Coffee, First Citizens Bank, Foggy Rock/Sunny Rock, Foley Center, Mellow Mushroom, New Public House, Serves You Right!, Southern Comfort, SouthMarke, Sunset&Vine, Town Tavern.