County Commissioners: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Larry Turnbow, David Blust, Billy Kennedy, Tim Hodges, Charlie Wallin and Tommy Sofield Opening and Closing Statements On Why You Should Vote For Them

Published Monday, November 5, 2018 at 8:05 am

Race: Watauga County Commissioner (Three seats)

Larry Turnbow (D)

  • Retired applied environmental biologist and a United States Army veteran.
  • Elected as a commissioner in 2016.
  • He and his wife, Marjory, have been married for 35 years and moved to Watauga County 20 years ago.
  • All three of their children attended and graduated Watauga County schools.

Video length: 2 minutes, 10 seconds

David Blust (R)

  • Came to Appalachian State in 1974, graduated in 1978 and never left.
  • David and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 37 years and have three sons.
  • Very active member of Harvest House Church since 1994.
  • Former member of Boone Jaycees for 10 years and former Club Manager at Hound Ears club, working there 11 years.
  • Helped run Independence Therapy Services with his wife for 15 years, employing over 300 employees at one time.

Video length: 1 minute, 46 seconds

Billy Kennedy (D)

  • 38-year Watauga County resident, organic farmer, woodworker and public servant. 
  • Billy and wife, Becka, have been married for 29 years and have three children.
  • Served as a Watauga County Commissioner for six years and has been on a wide variety of boards.

Video length: 3 minutes, 56 seconds

Tim Hodges (R)

  • A native and lifelong resident of Watauga County.
  • Lives on a small farm in the Vilas community with wife of 35 years, Delora Hayes Hodges.
  • They have three married children and five grandchildren, who all live in Watauga County.
  • Graduated from Appalachian State University.
  • Small business owner in Watauga County for over 30 years.
  • Currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Watauga County Economic Development Commission and the Watauga County Cooperative Extension Advisory Board.

Video length: 4 minutes, 36 seconds

Charlie Wallin (D)

  • Lived and worked in Watauga County for 30 years.
  • Been employed in food service management and currently the Director of Catering at Appalachian State.
  • Married to Shelley Wallin and they have a 10-year-old daughter.
  • Active members of Grace Church where Charlie is the Church Council President, an usher, lector, and Assisting Minister. 
  • Active member of the Parkway School PTO.
  • Served as the Vice Chair of the Watauga County Planning Board for eight years and was the Chair of the Plan Oversight Group which wrote the Citizens Plan for Watauga County.
  • Current chair of the local ABC Board.
  • Current Chair of the 5th District Democrats of North Carolina, and serve on the State Executive Committee and the State Executive Council.

Video length: 6 minutes, 8 seconds

Tommy Sofield (R)

  • Grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
  • Attended Appalachian State University from 1971-1975 and played Football.
  • Captain of the 1975 App State football team.
  • Tommy and wife Debbie currently reside in Boone. They have two daughters, Heather and Haley, and one son, Tommy. They also have five grandsons and two granddaughters. 
  • Active members of the local community and Mount Vernon Baptist Church where Tommy served as Chairman on the board of the financing committee.
  • Serves on various boards at Appalachian State, including the Athletics Feasibility Committee and the Board of Visitors.
  • In the local community, Tommy serves as a board member of the Watauga County Economic Development Council and the Board of Directors with First Citizens Bank.

Video length: 5 minutes, 13 seconds

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