Republican voters in McDowell County overwhelmingly chose challenger Lydia Tilley Effler over two-term incumbent Tonia Hampton for the office of Register of Deeds. And GOP voters picked challengers Chris Allison and Patrick Ellis for the two available seats on the McDowell County Board of Commissioners.
Since no Democrats in McDowell filed to run for these offices, the Republican primary will be the deciding election.
In the unofficial results, Effler easily won the local GOP nomination for the Register of Deeds office with 4,890 votes or 73.13%. She ran unsuccessfully for the party’s nomination before in 2016 but lost to incumbent Hampton at that time.
Hampton, who was seeking a third term as Register of Deeds, only got 1,797 votes or just 26.87%.
“I want to thank my Lord and Savior, my family and the citizens of McDowell County,” said Effler Tuesday night to The McDowell News. “I would like to also thank Mrs. Hampton for her years of service. When I filed to run for this office, I made a commitment that I would work hard and run a clean campaign. I look forward to continuing my service to the people of McDowell County. Tonight is a night for me to enjoy the many volunteers from my campaign and I am going to give out some hugs.”
The Republican primary for the Register of Deeds office became one of the most high-profile and emotional elections in recent McDowell history. Bright, colorful signs about the Register of Deeds race could be seen all over the county and numerous ads were placed in The McDowell News and WBRM. There was also much campaigning conducted through social media.
The other big local race was the GOP primary for the two seats up for grabs on the McDowell County Board of Commissioners. And again, an incumbent lost.
Challengers Chris Allison and Patrick Ellis were the top vote-getters in the Republican primary for County Commission. Allison came out on top with 3,368 votes or 29.88%.
“I am humbled and honored that the people of McDowell County have selected me as a McDowell County Commissioner,” said Allison Tuesday night to The McDowell News. “First of all, I thank God for allowing me to win and be the top vote-getter. It is an honor to serve as a Planning Board member and I will continue to serve on the Planning Board through November. I look forward to working with our commissioner board and county officials to make McDowell County the best that we possibly can. I will work hard for McDowell County. Thank you McDowell County!”
Ellis came in a very close second with 3,343 votes or 29.66%.
“I want to say thank you all for all the encouraging words, support and most especially your votes,” Ellis said on his Facebook page. “I also want to say congratulations to Chris Allison and I look forward to serving McDowell County.”
Commissioner Lynn Greene, who was seeking re-election, came in third with 2,656 or 23.56%.
The other Republican candidates for commissioner were Mike Seay, who placed fourth with 1,161 votes or 10.3%, and Andrew Carlton, who finished fifth with 744 votes or 6.6%.
Another race of local interest was the election for a newly created judgeship in District 29A, which covers McDowell and Rutherford counties.
Corey MacKinnon of McDowell County easily won the judgeship with 7,581 votes or 56.18%. Anna L. Kegley of Rutherford County came in second with 3,331 votes or 24.69%. Anthony R. Morrow of Rutherford placed third with 2,581 votes or 19.13%.
For just McDowell, MacKinnon was the clear winner in his home county with 4,169 votes or 65.46%. Morrow got 1,167 votes or 18.32%. Kegley received 1,033 votes of 16.22%.
“I appreciate the volunteers and voters that made this possible,” said MacKinnon to The McDowell News. “As I promised during the election, I will work hard for the citizens of this community and I look forward to serving you.”
Since no Democratic candidate filed to run for this judgeship, the Republican primary was the deciding election.
Another contest that drew local interest was the GOP primary for state commissioner of Labor.
N.C. Rep. Josh Dobson of McDowell was the winner in this primary. In the unofficial statewide results, Dobson won 273,142 votes or 40.3%. Fellow Republican Chuck Stanley got 256,723 votes or 37.88%. Pearl Burris Floyd came in third with 147,850 or 21.82%.
“I’m grateful to the people of North Carolina for putting their trust in me,” said Dobson to The McDowell News. “I’m honored to be the Republican nominee for Commissioner of Labor and I look forward to the fall campaign.”
Voters in McDowell were highly interested in the Democratic and Republican primaries for the 11th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In the Democratic primary for the U.S. House, Phillip G. Price of the Dysartsville community in McDowell placed third across the district with 12,549 votes or 11.28%. Moe Davis of Asheville proved to be the top vote-getter in the Democratic primary with 52,665 or 47.35%. Gina Collias of Kings Mountain came in second with 25,213 or 22.67%.
Here in McDowell, Davis was also the winner of the Democratic primary with 1,210 votes or 38.03%. Price placed second in his home county with 1,008 votes or 31.68%. The other three Democrats did not get near as many votes in McDowell.
Davis will go on to face the winner of the May 12 runoff in the Republican primary. Lynda Bennett of Maggie Valley finished first in the Republican primary for the U.S. House seat with 20,510 votes or 22.72%. Madison Cawthorn of Hendersonville placed second with 18,418 votes or 20.4%. Jim Davis of Franklin came in third with 17,400 votes or 19.27%. The other nine Republican candidates for the U.S. House each didn’t get nowhere near as many votes.
Here in McDowell, Bennett was also the top vote-getter in the GOP primary with 1,454 votes or 22.4%. Wayne King, who was expected to win in McDowell, actually placed second with 1,162 votes or 17.9%.
Here in McDowell, both Democratic and Republican voters made their choices for president of the United States, U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor as well as numerous other state offices.
For president, Republicans in McDowell overwhelmingly voted for President Donald Trump, who got 6,382 votes or 94.3%. Of local Republicans, 166 voted no preference for president. Joe Walsh got 134 votes and Bill Weld came last with 86.
For president, Democrats in McDowell gave former Vice President Joe Biden the win in his race for the White House. Biden came out on top in McDowell with 1,316 votes or 38.68%. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont finished second here with 870 votes or 25.57%. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg placed third in McDowell with 306 votes or 8.99%. There were a total of 15 Democratic candidates for president on the local ballot.
In the race for the U.S. Senate seat from North Carolina, Republican voters in McDowell gave their strong support to incumbent Thom Tillis who earned 4,961 votes here or 76.75%. The other Republicans seeking the nomination were Paul Wright (662 or 10.24%), Sharon Y. Hudson (463 or 7.16%) and Larry Holmquist (378 or 5.85%).
Democrats in McDowell gave their strong support to Cal Cunningham for U.S. Senate. He got 2,008 votes or 62.99%. The other Democrats were Erica D. Smith (826 or 25.91%), Steve Swenson (152 or 4.77%), Trevor M. Fuller (130 or 4.08%) and Atul Goel (72 or 2.26%).
For governor of North Carolina, Democrats in McDowell gave their strong support for Gov. Roy Cooper with 2,739 votes or 82.82%. Challenger Ernest T. Reeves finished a distant second in McDowell with 568 or 17.18%.
Republicans gave even bigger support for Lt. Gov. Dan Forest in his race for the governor’s office. Forest got 6,051 votes in McDowell or 91.72%. His Republican challenger Holly Grange only got 546 votes here or 8.28%.
In the race for lieutenant governor, Republicans in McDowell gave their support to Mark Robinson who earned 2,950 votes locally or 47.94%. The other eight Republicans seeking the nomination did not earn nearly as much support.
And Democrats in McDowell preferred Yvonne Lewis Holley for lieutenant governor. She got 808 votes here or 27.97%. Terry Van Duyn received 696 votes in McDowell or 24.09%. There were a total of six Democrats for lieutenant governor on the ballot.
You can see more results and learn about the other races by visiting: http://mcdowellboe.com/
The voter turnout in McDowell County for the primary elections was 36.85% which means 10,336 ballots were cast out of an electorate of 28,052 eligible voters. Election Director Kim Welborn said this was a very good turnout for a primary election and it was better than the one in 2016.