Primary produces few surprises
Familiar faces are slated to appear on the November ballot after Tuesday's primary produced few surprises.
Sheriff David Grice and Davidson County commissioners Steve Shell, Don Truell, Todd Yates and Billy Joe Kepley, all Republicans, punched their tickets for the November election following relatively easy victories in the May 6 primary.
Sam Watford (R-Davidson) defeated Roger Younts in a hotly contested race for the District 80 seat in the House of Representatives and Sen. Stan Bingham (R-Davidson) claimed a resounding win over Eddie Gallimore. The win assures Bingham of a seventh consecutive term as the District 33rd representative, as he will run unopposed in November.
Grice, seeking a third term as sheriff since his appointment in 2004, will face Tommy Evans Jr., the lone Democrat to run. Grice collected 8,230 votes (69.1 percent) in defeating a pair of challengers – Hal Triplett and Tracy Pierce - for the Republican nomination.
“We're very gratified and really very humbled,” Grice said. “It reassures me that the voters support what we're doing. We're always trying to find better ways to do things and we're always conscious of providing the best service to everyone in the county regardless of politics.”
Incumbents Shell (8,207 votes, 21.44 percent), Truell (8,195 votes, 21.41 percent), Yates (7,916 votes, 20.68 percent) and Kepley (7,650 votes, 19.98 percent) join Democrat Derek Kelly on the ballot in a five-man race for four seats on the Davidson County Board of Commissioners. Truell, a former Thomasville mayor, police chief and city councilman, thanked voters for their support despite his inability to campaign as much as he would've liked.
“Honestly, I was more pleased because I had a little bit of a surgery and because of that I didn't get to campaign a lot,” said Truell. “I wasn't out there and the difference between first and second place wasn't but about eight to 10 votes. I always said it wasn't the party as much as it was the personalities in the party. I think the voters spoke and they put the old group back in.”
Watford currently serves as a county commissioner and will stay on the board until the Nov. 4 election. Younts, who was appointed to the District 80 seat last summer after Jerry Dockham joined the N.C. Utilities Commission, will continue to serve until Watford is sworn in. Watford received 3,194 votes (54.58 percent) to Younts' 2,658 (45.42 percent), and will run unopposed in November.
Bingham, a former county commissioner, collected nearly two thirds of the vote in his battle with Gallimore and retains a Senate seat he's held since 2000.
According to the the Davidson County Board of Elections, 16,010 out of 103,750 registered voters (15.43 percent) participated in the primary.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.