Voters pick six for Polk County board

Published 2:55 am Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Polk County voters narrowed the field in yesterday’s primary election to six candidates seeking three open seats on the county board of commissioners.
The Democratic race for commissioner was the close with only three votes separating the first and second place finishers, according to unofficial results from the Polk County Board of Elections.
Democratic candidate and incumbent Ray Gasperson was the high vote-getter in the race with 960 votes. He, along with Margaret Johnson (957 votes) and Benny Smith (888 votes) won the Democratic bid. Rickie McFalls lost with 477 votes.
For Republicans, Ted Owens was the high vote getter with 956 votes, winning by over 100 votes over the next two winners. David Moore (847 votes) and Tom Pack (841 votes) also gained a bid. They prevailed over Harry Denton, who had 628 votes.
Among the Democrats, Johnson won in Columbus-1, Columbus-2, Tryon and White Oak precincts. Gasperson won in Coopers Gap, Green Creek and Saluda precincts.
Among the Republicans, Owens won in every precinct, but tied with Moore in the Saluda precinct with 83 votes each there.
The three commissioner seats open this year include the seat held by Gasperson, who currently serves as the boards vice-chair.
The seats of Unaffiliated commissioners Tommy Melton and Warren Watson also are available.
Both Melton and Watson switched their party from Democrat to Unaffiliated this year and are seeking approximately 600 signatures on a petition in order to run in November.
If they reach the required total, county voters will have eight candidates to chose from in November.
The three winners in the general election, which will be held on Tuesday, November 4, will represent a majority on the five-member county board.
Yesterdays primary totalled almost 18 percent turnout in Polk County. Out of 14,714 registered voters in Polk County, 2,623 voted in the primary, representing 17.83 percent.

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