ELECTION 2020: Republicans sweep commissioners race, incumbents roll in BOE

  • Political candidates
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Mitchell County Board of Education and Board of Commissioners candidates spent the day on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the Grassy Creek voting precinct, housed in the Spruce Pine Fire Department. Pictured, from the left, is Brenda Sparks, Jeff Harding, Harley Masters, Tabatha Drum Dickson and Brandon Pittman. (MNJ photo/Juliana Walker)


The unofficial results of the 2020 General Election in Mitchell County have been released.

In the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners race, where there were three seats available and four candidates, the Republican candidates won out. 

Harley Masters received 6,319 votes, 31.39 percent of the votes. Brandon Dean Pittman received 6,158 votes, 30.59 percent of the vote. 

“I believe that I bring a unique perspective,” Pittman said. “I am a working class citizen and so are the people who put me in office.  Being ‘our’ voice is something for which I have great reverence.”

Incumbent Jeff Harding received 5,786 votes, 28.74 percent of the votes. 

Howard Larsen, the lone Democrat on the ballot, received 1,869 votes (9.28 percent). 

In the Mitchell County Board of Education race, where there were two seats available and three candidates, both incumbents prevailed.

Incumbent Sam Blevins received 5,499 votes (42.13 percent).

“I was totally humbled,” Blevins said. “Virtual versus face-to-face education has created an environment of stress never experienced by any of us. I would like to commend all parts of our school system for their sacrifices in making things, by the help of God, bearable during the past year. My belief is that this will make us stronger and more determined in the future.”

Fellow incumbent Brenda H. Sparks received 4,830 votes (37.01 percent). 

“I am so thankful and humbled to have won my seat again,” Sparks said. “I think it’s a reflection of my work and effort that I put into being on the school board. I think it proves the confidence that the citizens of Mitchell County have in me to take care of their children.”

Challenger Tabatha Drum Dickson received 2,576 votes (19.74 percent).

In the North Carolina State Senate District 47 race, Incumbent Republican candidate Ralph Hise won across the district. In Mitchell County, Hise received 6,505 votes, 75.05 percent of the vote while Democrat challenger David B. Wheeler received 2,163 votes (24.95 percent).

In the North Carolina House of Representatives District 85 race, Republican Dudley Greene won across the district. In Mitchell County, Greene received 6,766 votes, 78.9 percent of the votes while Democrat Ted Remington received 1,809 votes (21.10 percent).

Ed Terrell, who was unopposed, won the Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor position with 7,233 votes. 

Kathy Laws, who was also unopposed, won the Register of Deeds position with 7,525 votes. 

After several days of uncertainty, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was announced the President-Elect of the United States on Saturday, Nov. 7 by all major news outlets. Sitting President Donald J. Trump won Mitchell County with 7,041 votes, 78.46 percent of the votes while Biden received 1,852 votes in Mitchell County (20.64 percent). 

Because the state is still counting ballots until Nov. 12 and the small margin between the two candidates, North Carolina has yet to determine a winner of the presidential election for its 15 electoral college votes, however, it is leaning toward Trump who has 75,371 more votes than Biden. 

In the North Carolina Governor’s Race, Democrat Incumbent Roy Cooper prevailed across the state. 

In Mitchell County, however, Republican Dan Forest won with 6,778 votes, 75.87 percent of the votes. Cooper received 2,072 votes (23.19 percent).

The United States Senate race came to an end on Tuesday, Nov. 10 after Democrat challenger Cal Cunningham conceded to Republican Incumbent Thom Tillis. Tillis won Mitchell County with 6,687 votes, 75.34 percent of the votes. Democrat Cal Cunningham received 1,903 votes, 21.44 percent of the votes. 

In the 11th Congressional District, Republican Madison Cawthorn won across the district and in Mitchell County with 6,821 votes. Democrat Moe Davis received 1,846 votes in Mitchell County. 

Mitchell County had an 80.99 percent voter turnout rate with 9,021 out of 11,139 registered voters casting ballots. 

Mitchell voters cast 7,411 ballots prior to election day, either by mail or during one-stop early voting. 

Pre-election day voting represented 66.5 percent of the total voter participation. In Mitchell, 1,004 voters cast ballots by mail and 6,407 utilized one-stop early voting. 

Voter participation is up from the last General Election in November 2018 during which the county registered a 57.58 percent voter turnout rate with 6,395 out of 11,106 registered voters casting ballots. 

The 2020 voter turnout more closely resembles the turnout of the November 2016 General Election in Mitchell County, which also featured a race for United States President. 

In 2016, 8,165 out of 11,352 registered voters cast ballots for a voter turnout rate of 71.93 percent.