Student election assistant Callie Rhea helps to sign in voters at North Buncombe Elementary School in Weaverville on Tuesday. Rhea was volunteering at the precinct through her Civics class at North Buncombe High School. Colby Rabon / Carolina Public Press
Student election assistant Callie Rhea helps to sign in voters at North Buncombe Elementary School in Weaverville on Tuesday. Rhea was volunteering at the precinct through her Civics class at North Buncombe High School. Colby Rabon / Carolina Public Press

Voters turned out in large numbers across Western North Carolina to vote for federal, state and local offices. While much attention focused on the national and North Carolina races, several local races were highly competitive this election season.

Apparently the closest local race in Western North Carolina was a District 2 county commission race in heavily Democratic Buncombe County that saw Republican Mike Fryar holding on to a lead of just under 300 votes over Democrat Nancy Nehls Nelson with all precincts reporting. Because that margin is less than 1 percent, final results may depend on canvassing next week and the possibility of a recount.

County-by-county results for WNC local races follow.

UPDATE (Nov. 18) — Due to a database question related to voter registrations at the Department of Motor Vehicles that affects most North Carolina counties, canvassing to review provisional ballots is being delayed in those counties, including Buncombe. The county election board met Friday, Nov. 18, to fulfill their statutory obligation to do so, then immediately suspended the meeting with plans to reconvene on Monday, Nov. 22. The outcome of the closely contested County Commission District 2 race will not be known for certain until at least after that meeting. If the margin between the candidates is sufficiently close after that meeting, the candidate who trails may be able to request a full recount. As far as Carolina Public Press has been able to determine, this is the only local race in Western North Carolina that remains undecided, though several close statewide races remain in doubt.

County-level offices


Republicans won all local races without opposition


Board of Commissioners Chair

*Brownie Wayne Newman, D, 55.96%

Chuck Archerd, R, 44.04%

County Commissioner, District 1

*Jasmine Elizabeth Beach-Ferrara, D, 100%

County Commissioner, District 2

Michael “Mike” Vernon Fryar, R, 50.35%

Nancy Nehls Nelson, D, 49.65%

County Commissioner, District 3

*Joseph “Joe” Leonard Belcher, R, 56.16%

Edward “Ed” Craig Hay Jr., D, 43.84%

County Commissioner, District 3 unexpired

*Robert Pressley, R, 56.71%

David King, D, 43.29%

Register of Deeds

*Andrew “Drew” Mark Reisinger, D, 57.91%

Pat Cothran, R, 42.09%

Board of Education at large

Donna Pate, 40.02%

Matt Kern, 31.17%

Amy Smith Wamsley, 28.33%

Board of Education North Buncombe District

*Ann Franklin 98.6%

Board of Education Owen District

*Peggy Buchanan, 52.72%

Mark Crawford, 26.76%

Bob Chilmonik, 14.56%

Mark Siler, 5.59%

Board of Education Roberson District

*Amy Churchill, 52.25%

Laura Bowen, 42.07%


Board of Commissioners (pick 3)

*Jeff Brittain, R, 22.1%

*Scott Mulwee, R, 20.2%

*Johnnie Carswell, R, 19.76%

Emily Church, 14.8%

David Rust Jr, 11.78%

Jeffrey Morse, 11.36%

Register of Deeds

*Stephanie Norman, R, 59.52%

Laura Anderson, D, 40.48%


Board of Commissioners, District II

*David “CB” Franklin McKinnon, R, 58.32%

Randall “Randy” Lynn Barnett, D, 41.68%

Board of Commissioners, District V

*Roy Grant Dickey, R, 67.35%

Jan Lukens, U, 32.65%

Board of Education, District I (pick 2)

*Jeff Edward Tatham, R, 35.98%

*Tim West, R, 31.35%

Keith Wood, D, 18.41%

John Timothy Coffey, D, 14.26%

Board of Education, District II

*Arnold Matthews, R, 71.23%

Kerry Lyle Archer, D, 28.77%


Commissioner, Countywide (pick 3)

*Randy Nichols, R, 28.28%

*Robert “Rob” Christopher Peck, R, 26.67%

*Dwight Hunter Penland, R, 25.5%

Sandy Zimmerman, D, 19.55%

School Board (pick 2)

*Reba Beck, R, 39.07%

*Willie Daniel “Danny” Jones, R, 36.71%

Jason Troy Rhinehardt, D, 24.21%


County Commissioner (pick 3)

*Keith Lee Eller, R, 28.4%

*Karen Connie Orr, R, 24.69%

*Dale E. Wiggins, R, 24.62%

John D. Lovin, D, 22.29%

County Commissioner (unexpired)

*Raymond David Williams Sr., R, 100%

School Board (pick 3)

*Douglas Rodney Nelson, R, 22.98%

*Sharon Cable Edwards, R, 20.08%

*Deborah Odom, R, 18.14%

Shane Garland, D, 14.62%

Eddie Hollifield, 12.64%

Jim Hyde, D, 11.53%


County Commissioner (pick 2)

*Brandon Rogers, R, 31.97%

*Lawrence Kevin Ensley, R, 29.98%

Stephen “Steve” Michael Brown, D, 19.86%

Robin Greene Black, D, 18.19%


County Commissioner, District 2

*Charles “Charlie” Dwayne Messer, R, 100%

County Commissioner, District 5

*Grady Harold Hawkins, R, 100%

County School Board (nonpartisan) (pick 4)

*Mary Louise Johnston Corn, 15.41%

*Frederick “Rick” Richard Wood, 14.75%

*Thomas Blair Craven, 14.46%

*Michael Absher, 14.04%

Burton “Burt” Henry Harris, 11.58%

Ervin W. Bazzle, 11.42%

Jared Michael Bellmund, 4.65%

Josh David Houston, 13.42%


Jackson County poll workers check in voters at the Recreation Center in Cullowhee on Tuesday. Frank Taylor / Carolina Public Press
Jackson County poll workers check in voters at the Recreation Center in Cullowhee on Tuesday. Frank Taylor / Carolina Public Press

County Commissioner, District 4

*Mickey Luker, R, 53.29%

Mark Riggs Jones, D, 46.71%

County Commissioner, District 3

*Ronald “Ron” Mau, R, 53.32%

Vicki Jane Greene, D, 46.68%


County Commissioner, District 2

*Karl Ellis Gillespie, R, 62.29%

Charles “Charlie” Daniel Leatherman, D, 37.71%

County Commissioner, District 3

*Paul Clayton Higdon, R, 59.29%

Robert “Bobby” H. Kuppers, 40.71%


County Commissioner (pick 2)

*Matthew “Matt” Thomas Wechtel, R, 35.2%

*Douglas Wayne Brigman, D, 34.72%

Willa Wyatt, D, 30.08%


Board of Education, Marion (nonpartisan) (pick 3)

*Amy Sue Moomaw, 23.91%

*Doug McCraw, 18.42%

*Randy Williams, 17.14%

David Patneude, 14.9%

Michelle Lee Pupoh, 13.73%

Samantha Parrow, 11.44%

Board of Education, North Cove

*Terry Edward English, 99.35%

Board of Education, Old Fort (nonpartisan)

*George Patrick Ellis, 43.3%

Chad “Snapper” Darrin Greene, 32.69%

Autumn Robinson, 15.52%

Deon Lytle, 8.22%

County Commissioner (pick 2)

*Everett Lynn Greene, R, 52.77%

*Barry Edwin McPeters, R, 47.23%

Register of Deeds

*Tonia Rae Hampton, R, 100%


County Commissioner (pick 3)

*Danny Ray Burleson, R, 39.95%

*Elizabeth Kay Ellis Pollard, R, 31.28%

*Kenneth “Ken” Wayne Hollifield, R, 28.78%

Register of Deeds

*Kathy J. Laws, R, 100%


Board of Education, Saluda Township (nonpartisan)

*Rhonda M. Corley, D, 99.49%

Board of Education, Tryon Township (nonpartisan)

*Richard “Rick” Ned Covil, D, 99.3%

Board of Education, White Oak Township (nonpartisan)

*Lucinda “Cindy” Tate Allen, 62.99%

Kevin Clayton Seay, 36.68%

County Commissioner (pick 3)

*Jake Hunter Johnson, R, 22.19%

*Myron Lee Yoder, R, 20.6%

*Tommy Melton, R, 19.4%

Penelope “Penny” Jeanne Padgett, D, 13.48%

Rhonda Lewis, 12.97%

Russell Mierop, 11.36%

Registrar of Deeds

*Sheila W. Whitmire, R, 100%


County Commissioner, District 2

*James Gregory “Greg” Lovelace, R, 70.32%

Jody Marc Ledford, D, 29.68%

County Commissioner, District 3

*Edwin “Eddie” Baxter Holland, D, 96.44%

Register of Deeds

*Rachel Thomas, R, 58.06%

Faye Howard Huskey, D, 41.94%)

School Board, at large

*Phillip Morrow, R, 68.5%

Jacqueline “Jackie” Strong Hampton, D, 31.5%

School Board, District 1

*Miles Barry Gold, R, 100%

School Board, District 2

*John Mark Bennett, D, 100%

School Board, District 3

*Joey Brandle, R, 64.65%

Richard “Ritchie” Samuel Garland, D, 35.35%


Board of Education (pick 3)

*Mellie K. Burns,  R, 30.22%

*Lambert G. Wilson, D, 27.22%

*Gerald “Jerry” G. Mckinney, D, 26.56%

James Maurice Biggs, D, 15.99%

County Commissioner (pick 2)

*Kenneth Parton, R, 28.59%

*David Monteith, D, 28.04%

Stephen “Steve” Whitley Moon, D, 23.56%

Carolyn Sue Bair, R, 19.82%


County Commissioner (pick 3)

*Jason Robert Chappell, R, 34.71%

*Page Ives Lemel, R, 33.21%

*Michael “Mike” Stephen Hawkins, R, 32.08%

Register of Deeds

*Cynthia “Cindy” McCall Ownbey, D, 100%


County Commissioner, District 1

*Henry Perry Yates, R, 52.61%

Diane Warman Blanks, D, 47.39%

County Commissioner, District 2

*John Everett Welch, D, 55.39%

Elizabeth Kingsley Shukis, R, 44.61%

County Commissioner, District 4

*Larry K. Turnbow, D, 50.93%

David Richard Blust, R, 49.07%

Board of Education (nonpartisan) (pick 3)

*Brenda Cole Reese, 26.17

*Ronald “Ron” Ivan Henries, 25.3

*Barbara Kinsey, 24.91%

Jon Stephen “Steve” Combs, 22.72%

Register of Deeds

*Amy Jones Shook, R, 100%


County Commissioner (pick 3)

*Jeff Obrien Whitson, R, 18.98%

*Mark Ledford, R, 16.16%

*John D. Stallings, D, 15.19%

James “Jim” Moore Edwards, D, 13.99%

Steven Wright, R, 12.2%

Ron Chandler, U, 11.88%

Kenneth James Winters, D, 11.62%

Register of Deeds

*Susan Erline Jobe, D, 46.53%

Rachel Ann Austin, R, 40.56%

Veronica Murphy Gilley, U, 12.91%


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Frank Taylor is the managing editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact him at

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