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Owens, Pack, Moore get nod in GOP primary for county board

Ted Owens&bsp;Tom Pack David Moore Voters in the Republican primary on Tuesday decided to give two of the three incumbents a chance to get reelected to the county board of commissioners.

Incumbents Ted Owens and Tom Pack were nominated to run in the general election, but incumbent Harry Denton was narrowly defeated by newcomer David Moore for the last of three open spots.

Owens was the top vote getter in the primary with 24.6 percent of the vote, followed by Moore with 20.9 percent, and Pack with 20.7 percent, according to unofficial results from the Polk County Board of Elections. Denton finished fourth with 19.2 percent, and JoAnn Miksa Blackwell received 14.6 percent.

Blackwell had raised concerns that the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would draw many Unaffiliated or independent voters to the Democratic primary, leaving core Republicans to vote in the Republican primary. Some political observers said that reduced the number of votes for both Blackwell and Denton, who faced criticism for voting at times with Democratic commissioners.

For Owens the November election will be a chance to earn his third consecutive term on the county board. He was elected to two-year terms in both 2004 and 2006.

&dquo;It&squo;s a great feeling,&dquo; said Owens after his primary win on Tuesday night. &dquo;It&squo;s an honor to have the recognition of being the top vote getter. I appreciate the people who came out and voted for me.&dquo;

Pack will be running for his second consecutive term. He was elected to a four-year term in 2004 after finished as the second highest vote-getter.

&dquo;This is step one,&dquo; said Pack regarding the primary win. &dquo;And now the real work begins. We&squo;re happy about tonight and appreciate the support.&dquo;

Moore will try to help the Republicans keep a majority on the county board in November. The board currently consists of Republicans Owens, Pack, and Denton&bsp; and Democrats Tommy Melton and Warren Watson.

Watson said Tuesday night that he likes the Democrats chances in the fall given the large turnout seen in the Democratic primary.&bsp; For instance, nearly twice as many people voted in the Democratic primary compared to the Republican primary for N.C. Governor.

Owens acknowledged that voter turnout and interest in the presidential election this year could impact local elections if more people turn out for one party than another.

Tuesday&squo;s winners in the Republican county board primarywill go on to face&bsp; Democrats Ray Gasperson, Renee McDermott and Cindy Walker in the November election. The Democrats did not have a primary since they only had three candidates for three open seats.