President Barack Obama delivered an acceptance speech after winning re-election Tuesday, but in Stokes County the Republican candidates got the top votes in all big ticket races.
According to unofficial results posted on the Board of Elections website Tuesday night, voter turnout in Stokes County was 70.48 percent, with 21,734 ballots cast. This does not include provisional and supplemental absentee ballots. Nearly 12,000 voters selected straight party ballots, with 8,419 of those being Republican tickets. Across the state, voter turnout was at 68.37 percent.
About half of the votes in Stokes were cast early, which led to a quieter Election Day. Board of Elections Director Jason Perry said the day went “pretty smoothly,” with voter turnout down slightly from the previous presidential election.
Though President Obama was declared successful in his bid for re-election just before midnight by national news outlets, he received far fewer votes in Stokes County than Republican Mitt Romney, who received 15,142 votes (70.51 percent). In Stokes, 5,969 voted for Obama, 285 for Gary Johnson and 78 for write-in candidates. Romney narrowly won North Carolina’s electoral votes, getting 50.45 percent of the votes in the state.
Republican Pat McCrory was elected North Carolina’s new governor with 54.68 percent of the state’s votes, and he received 72.12 percent of the votes in Stokes. McCrory will be the first Republican governor in North Carolina in 20 years.
Incumbent Howard Coble (Rep.) won 14,987 votes in Stokes County, 71 percent of the vote. Tony Foriest received only 28.96 percent of the votes. Over the 10-county region, Coble won the race with 60.94 percent of the votes.
Sen. Don East passed away recently, but his name remained on the ballot and won 13,757 votes in Stokes County, far surpassing the 7,078 cast for Ric Marshall (Dem.) in the N.C. Senate District 30 race. The same trend held true across the three counties. Shirley Randleman will serve as East’s replacement. The Wilkes County representative to the N.C. House was tapped as East’s replacement at a special GOP meeting on Sunday.
Marshall said Tuesday night, “It’s hard to compete when the Republicans … go in and vote straight Republican tickets. I just hope North Carolina can handle this conservatism that they’ve elected this time around.”
He continued, “But you know, the great thing is that we’re able to go out and vote, and our democracy is the greatest in the world and we’re able to go out and vote for who we want to vote for, we’re able to run for offices we want to run for. That’s what makes our country great.”
In the N.C. House of Representatives District 91 race, Republican Bryan Holloway ran away with 14,993 Stokes County votes, with Nelson Cole getting 6,003. Across the two counties, Holloway received 61.04 percent of the votes.
“We’re certainly happy,” said Holloway. “We just look forward to another two-year term and appreciate everyone who supported us.”
He said, “We felt like we were gonna do well. You never know until the numbers come in, so we never want to count our chickens before they hatch, but we feel good with the victory and we’re pleased.”
Cole could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Leon Inman and Jimmy Walker were the only two candidates on the ballot for Stokes County Board of Commissioners. They will both retain their seats on the county board. Kathy Young ran unopposed for Stokes County Register of Deeds, as did Willis Overby for Stokes County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor.
Incumbent Rebecca (Becky) Boles was the top vote-getter among the six Stokes County Board of Education candidates, with 9,921 votes (20.78 percent). Incumbent Sonya Moorefield Cox received 9,427 votes (19.74 percent). Pat Messick appears to have received the third highest number of votes, with 7,752 (16.24 percent). Incumbent David L. Smith received a close 7,388 (15.47 percent); Sharon B. Gordon 6,877; Russ Slate Sr. 6,120; and write-ins 261.
School board candidates were vying for three seats, with the top two vote-getters being elected to four-year terms and the third highest vote-getter receiving a two-year term. The final order of the lowest four candidates could change depending on the number of provisional ballots counted. Perry said Tuesday he did not have an estimate of how many of those ballots there were. The elections board will meet Nov. 16 to declare the official results.
Boles said, “I’m very proud, very humbled that the voters support me and think that I’ve done a good job. I’m just blown away.”
Cox said, “First of all, I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me … It’s been an honor to serve the citizens of this great county for that time. And I’m encouraged by the confidence I feel like the voters have shown.”
In other races, Stokes voters selected Republican Dan Forest as their selection for N.C. Lieutenant Governor, getting 68.69 percent of the vote to defeat Linda D. Coleman. Forest captured 50.13 percent of the votes in the state.
Roy Cooper ran unopposed for N.C. Attorney General.
Stokes voted Republican Debra Goldman for N.C. Auditor with 13,699 votes over Beth Wood’s 6,822, but Wood won in the state with 53.76 percent of the votes. N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture went to Steve Troxler with 15,509 votes over Walter Smith’s 5,471. He received 53.34 percent in the state.
Republican Mike Causey received 13,913 votes in Stokes for N.C. Commissioner of Insurance, with Wayne Goodwin getting 6,735. But statewide Goodwin received 51.83 percent. The N.C. Commissioner of Labor votes went to Republican Cherie Berry (15,228), over John C. Brooks (5,583). Republican Ed Goodwin received 13,331 votes in Stokes over Elaine Marshall, who received 7,492. Marshall captured the seat with 53.76 percent of the state’s votes.
In the race for N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction, John Tedesco received 13,253 votes in Stokes with Democratic incumbent June Atkinson receiving 7,326. Atkinson was re-elected with 54.24 percent of the state’s votes.
For N.C. Treasurer, Republican Steve Royal received 13,260 votes with Janet Cowell getting 7,427. But Cowell captured the state race with 53.82 percent.
Stokes residents cast 10,802 votes for Paul Martin Newby, with Sam J. Ervin IV receiving 6,436 votes. Stokes voted in favor of Linda McGee for N.C. Court of Appeals judge and Marty McGee for Court of Appeals. Chris Dillon snagged the Court of Appeals judge seat over Cressie Thigpen.
William F. (Bill) Southern III ran unopposed for the District 17B judge seat.