After nearly 11,000 ballots were cast between the two party primary elections in Lincoln County, the field has been set for November’s general election.
Sitting Lincoln County Board of Commissioners chairman and former Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy Bill Beam earned the Republican Party’s nomination to become the next sheriff of Lincoln County. Beam, who was one of six Republicans vying for that nomination, won in a landslide while garnering nearly half of the vote.
“All I can do is thank my family, my Sheriff’s Office family and everyone who voted for me,” Beam said. “Sheriff David Carpenter has stood behind me all the way through this race and all I want to do is honor him. I promise that I will not embarrass or shame you in this office. I’m going to work very hard and, yes, I’m the oldest candidate in this field, but I’m also the most prepared to do this job.”
While Beam led the way with over 4,000 votes, former Lincolnton Police Department Lt. Jason Munday and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tim Johnson were the only other candidates to receive more than 1,000 votes.
Beam will advance to face Lincolnton street preacher and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Alan Hoyle in the general election. Hoyle will be running independent of party affiliation after submitting a petition with over 2,000 signatures earlier this month.
Denver Defense manager Bud Cesena and sitting Lincoln County Planning Board member Milton Sigmon earned the two Republican nominations for two seats on the county commission that will be vacated at the end of the year.
Cesena accounted for nearly 25 percent of the vote as the leading vote-getter in a race that featured six Republican candidates.
“I’m just incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support, all of the friends that I’ve made and the wonderful people I ran against,” Cesena said. “This has been the cleanest, most kind bunch of candidates and nobody has said an ugly word to anybody about anything. I’m just truly blessed that everybody has been so wonderful and kind.”
Sigmon snagged the second of two nominations with over 3,100 votes while former planning board chair Christine Poinsette was the first runner-up finishing just shy of 2,800 votes.
“As far as our future in the county, we’ve got a lot of things to work on,” Sigmon said. “We want you, the citizens, to tell us what you want the future of this county to look like. It’s up to you, the people, that’s what your vote means. You’re the ones, we’re your servants. I want you to know that I’m going to be your servant and I appreciate everyone who came out to vote.”
With no Democrat in the running, Cesena and Sigmon would only face a potential write-in candidate in the general election.
The incumbent candidates won the other two local Republican races handily, with Fred Hatley earning the Clerk of Superior Court nomination and Danny Hester winning the Register of Deeds race. With no Democratic challenger, Hester will serve his third consecutive term as Register of Deeds, while Hatley will advance to face Gold Hill Missionary Baptist Church Bishop Franklin Lowery, a Democrat, in November.
Mary Frances White waltzed to victory in the only race featured on the Lincoln County Democratic Party primary election ballot. White, who earned her party’s nomination to represent Ward 1 on the Lincolnton City Council with nearly 90 percent of the vote, will challenge Republican Derek Thom in the general election.
In what was likely the biggest upset of the day locally, Lincoln County state Sen. David Curtis was unseated by former Shelby Mayor Ted Alexander, who won the Republican nomination for the seat representing State Senate District 44, by nearly 1,000 votes. While Curtis won nearly half of the vote in Lincoln County, Alexander mopped up in his home of Cleveland County, earning almost 80 percent of the vote to vault him past Curtis overall.
Alexander will advance to face fellow Shelby resident David Lattimore, a Democrat, in November.
Lincoln County state Rep. Jason Saine cruised to a victory over Nic Haag, earning nearly 7,000 votes, which accounted for roughly 83 percent of the ballots cast in that race. Saine will face Natalie Robertson, a Denver Democrat, in the general election.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, who’s seeking re-election to his eighth consecutive term in Congress, won in a landslide with over 70 percent of the vote despite facing five Republican challengers. McHenry will be opposed by David Brown, a McAdenville Democrat, in November.
Finally, the local sales tax referendum passed, but just barely. Nearly 52 percent of the county’s 11,000 voters voted in favor of the one-quarter cent sales tax increase that will be used to help improve technology and security in Lincoln County schools. Passage of the referendum is expected to generate roughly $2 million additional dollars for the county annually.