JEFFERSON-Months of campaigning came to a close Tuesday night as voters in Ashe County joined millions more across the country in casting their ballots for a packed slate of local, state and national offices.
Polls across the state closed at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8, and many voters were casting ballots until the last minute. Shortly after 6 p.m. – with less than 90 minutes remaining to vote – West Jefferson’s polling station at the Ashe County Arts Council still had a line of voters out the door.
In the end, Ashe County voters – along with North Carolina and the nation – chose Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, though the result dragged long into Wednesday morning. According to the Associated Press, Trump officially sealed the win shortly before 2:30 a.m. Nov. 9, when it became clear he picked up Wisconsin’s 10 electoral college votes.
Ashe County voters also selected Republicans Paula Roark Perry, and incumbents Larry Rhodes and Gary Roark to fill three seats on the Ashe County Board of Commissioners. Both incumbent members of the Ashe County Board of Education, Dr. Lee Beckworth and CB Jones – running unopposed – earned reelection.
Local voters also overwhelmingly threw their support behind incumbent Republican Governor Pat McCrory, though state voters ultimately selected Democrat challenger Roy Cooper as the state’s next governor.
Republican Senator Richard Burr, and Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx, along with incumbent state Rep. Jonathan Jordan and state Sen. Deanna Ballard also won re-election.
Republican Dan Forrest defeated Democrat Linda Coleman and Libertarian Jacki Cole to earn the Liuetenant Governor seat, while Democrat Josh Stein narrowly defeated Republican Buck Newton to become North Carolina’s next Attorney General.
Republican Mark Johnson also unseated Democrat June Atkinson, the sitting state Superintendent of Schools.
Polly Jones, interim chairwoman of the Ashe County Democratic Party, said Tuesday’s night vote brings a taxing campaign to an end.
“We’ve put a lot into this – I think you can look around the room and see how tired we are,” Jones said. “But if we can get Hillary Clinton, Roy Cooper, Sue Counts – and I’m hoping at least one seat on the board of commissioners – we’ll call this a success.”
Local GOP member Tammie Pruitt-Coffey said Tuesday night she believed a strong turnout would lead to a Republican victory.
“You’ve got a lot of people casting ballots and they’ve all got a voice,” Pruitt-Coffey said. “This year I think they’re going to all be saying the same thing.”
Ashe County Results
WINNERS IN BOLD
Ashe County Board of Commissioners – Top three votegetters win seats
Paula R. Perry, Republican, 7302 votes, 20.04 %
Larry D. Rhodes, Republican, 7046 Votes, 19.34 %
Gary W. Roark, Republican, 6384 Votes, 17.52 %
Richard C. Blackburn, Democrat, 5757 votes, 15.80 %
Polly S. Jones, Democrat, 5027 votes, 13.80 %
Donna J. Weaver, Democrat, 4918 votes, 13.50 %
Ashe County Board of Education – Top two votegetters win seats
Dr. Lee Beckworth, 9235 votes, 48.61 %
CB Jones, 9200 votes, 48.42 %
Write-In, 565 votes, 2.97 %
State Level Results
Donald J. Trump, Republican 2,339,752 votes, 49.90%
Hillary Clinton, Democrat, 2,162,779 votes 46.13%
Gary Johnson, Libertarian, 127,745 votes, 2.72%
Write-In (Miscellaneous) 57,798 votes, 1.23%
Jill Stein (Write-In) 590 votes, 0.01%
Richard Burr, Republican, 2,371,439 votes, 51.11%
Deborah K. Ross, Democrat, 2,103,334 votes, 45.33%
Sean Haugh, Libertarian, 165,163 votes, 3.56%
US House of Representatives District 5
Virginia Foxx, Republican, 204,943 votes, 58.46%
Josh Brannon, Democrat, 145,597 votes, 41.54%
Roy Cooper, Democrat, 2,281,851 votes, 48.97%
Pat McCrory, Republican, 2,276,850 votes, 48.86%
Lon Cecil, Libertarian, 101,049 votes, 2.17%
Dan Forest, Republican, 2,370,380 votes, 51.87%
Linda Coleman, Democrat, 2,069,568 votes, 45.28%
Jacki Cole, Libertarian, 130,252 votes, 2.85%
NC Attorney General
Josh Stein, Democrat, 2,277,288 votes, 50.23%
Buck Newton, Republican 2,256,495 votes, 49.77%
NC Superintendent of Schools
Mark Johnson, Republican, 2,262,909 votes, 50.63%
June Atkinson, Democrat, 2,206,975 votes, 49.37%
Dale R. Folwell, Republican, 2,349,527 votes, 52.74%
Dan Blue III, Democrat, 2,105,522 votes, 47.26%
NC Senate District 45
Deanna Ballard, Republican, 56,313 votes, 65.02%
Art Sherwood Democrat 30,294 votes, 34.98%
NC House of Representatives District 93
Jonathan C. Jordan, Republican, 21,667 votes, 53.01%
Sue Counts, Democrat, 19,209 votes, 46.99%