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From left, republican nominee for commissioner Robert (Reo) Griffith, Joe Howard Perry
supporting Hayden Rogers, coroner write-in candidate Linda Webb and Obama supporter
Harriet Klein, brave winter weather together in front of Banner Elk Town Hall for some last
minute campaigning as voters entered the building to cast their ballots.

Originally published: 2012-11-06 23:06:07
Last modified: 2012-11-06 23:08:57

GOP triumphs in Avery County

Sam Calhoun / (

As of presstime, national and full state General Election results were not yet complete, but each of Avery County’s 19 precincts submitted unofficial results by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6, which are included in this issue of The Avery Journal-Times. 

Almost 65 percent of Avery County’s residents took part in the democratic process in the 2012 General Election, and unofficial results show victories for Republicans in the Avery County Board of Commissioners’ race, for John A. Millan in the county coroner race and for Renee Dellinger, who ran unopposed, in the Avery Register of Deeds race. 

In Avery, presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, commanded 5,708 votes, or 74.36 percent, to incumbent President Barack Obama’s 1,861 votes, or 24.24 percent. Locally, Republican Pat McCrory received the nod from Avery voters for governor with 5,953 votes, or 78.5 percent, which easily overshadowed Democrat Walter H. Dalton’s 1,443 votes, or 19.03 percent. 

Of Avery’s 11,970 registered voters, 7,746, or 64.71 percent, voted in the 2012 General Election, either through One-Stop Early Voting or on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. According to Avery County Board of Elections, 85 to 90 provisional ballots will be counted on Wednesday, Nov. 7, and added to county totals. 

Election results will become official after Canvass Day, which is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 16, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. 

County elections 

Four candidates – three Republicans and one Democrat – vied for three open seats on Avery County Board of Commissioners. The three Republicans, Robert “Reo” Griffith, Martha Jaynes Hicks and Kenny Poteat, defeated Democrat Doug Owen during Tuesday’s General Election. In unofficial results, Owen received 2,217 votes, or 12.72 percent, to Hicks’ 5,357 votes (30.73 percent), Griffith’s 5,037 votes (28.9 percent) and Poteat’s 4,819 votes (27.65 percent). 

Linda Webb, who mounted a write-in campaign for the nonpartisan office of Avery County Coroner, garnered 23.17 percent of the vote (1,349 votes) in unofficial results, which fell short of John A. Millan’s 76.83 percent, or 4,473 votes. Millan, who appeared uncontested on Tuesday’s ballot, will serve as Avery’s new coroner. 

Renee Dellinger appeared unopposed on the General Election ballot for Avery County Register of Deeds, pulling in 6,112 votes. 

Avery voters voice Republican choice in state races

If Avery County voters have their say on a statewide level, the Grand Old Party will lead in Raleigh.The traditionally Republican-leaning Avery County voted in high numbers in favor of conservative candidates in state House and Senate races, as well as in races for the state's top two positions, governor and lieutenant governor.

In the race for governor, Republican Pat McCrory received 5,953 votes (78 percent) to 1,443 votes for Democratic opponent and sitting Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton. The lieutenant governor race was also a lopsided victory in Avery County, as Republican Dan Forest received 5,440 votes (75 percent) to 1,793 votes for Democrat Linda Coleman.

Republican candidate John Tedesco also received the nod from Avery voters in unofficial results in the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction over opponent June Atkinson, as he received 4,954 votes (71 percent).

Congressional races also tilted in favor of the Republican Party, as Mark Meadows garnered 5,412 votes (74 percent) over Democratic opponent Hayden Rogers (1,835 votes) in the contest for the District 11 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

State races were also lopsided in the Republican column among Avery County voters, as incumbent Dan Soucek (5,358 votes) outpaced opponent Roy Carter (1,747 votes) for the seat in N.C. State Senate District 85, while Mitch Gillespie (5,291 votes) exceeded J.R. Edwards (1.741 votes) in Avery's vote for the seat in N.C. House of Representatives District 85.