By Jesse Wood
Nov. 7, 2012. Although all three Democrat candidates came into Election Day with a substantial one-stop voting lead, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners will remain Republican led – assuming the unofficial results from all 20 precincts remain.
Republican Perry Yates defeated Democrat Virginia Roseman by 1,166. Yates overcame an 891 vote deficit during one-stop voting, benefiting from constituents in rural communities like Stony Fork, Cove Creek and Beaver Dam. As the commissioner candidate with the second highest number of votes, Yates earned a four-year term.
Democrat John Welch crushed incumbent Vince Gable by 1,841 votes. Welch never lost his one-stop lead, coming into election day leading in one-stop votes by 2,271. As the candidate with the highest number of votes, Welch earned a four-year term for his 14,126 votes.
Democrat Billy Kennedy beat Republican Tommy Adams. Kennedy had 1,768 votes more than Adams during early voting. During Election Day, Adams led in 16 of 20 precincts but couldn’t overcome the one-stop deficit.
Current Democrat commissioners Tim Futrelle and Jim Deal decided not to run for re-election.
Watauga County Board of Election’s officials noted that 321 provisional ballots have not been accounted for. Once those are deemed valid or not valid, those numbers will be added to the current totals.