Municipal election results: Incumbent mayors retain their seats

Published 9:28 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2017

New council members elected in Columbus and Saluda

POLK COUNTY – The Towns of Columbus and Tryon and City of Saluda will see the same mayors but Columbus and Saluda will each have one new council member, according to unofficial election results from the Polk County Board of Elections.


Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre retained his seat unopposed with 119 votes, while Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden won with 145 votes over challenger Heath Potter’s 60 votes. Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples won with 323 votes over challenger Jerry Thomas’ 37 votes.

In Saluda, incumbent council member Mark Oxtoby retained his seat as high vote getter with 113 votes and newcomer Paul Marion won the other open seat with 107 votes. Incumbent Saluda council member Carolyn Ashburn narrowly lost with 101 votes as well as newcomer Teddy Stevens with 78 votes.


In Columbus, newcomer Robert Williamson was the high vote getter with 105 votes for council, with incumbent council member Richard Hall retaining his seat with 97 votes and incumbent council member Mark Phillips retaining his seat with 79 votes, according to unofficial results. Phillips narrowly beat out newcomer Brent Jackson, who had 76 votes, with Ernie Kan receiving 49 votes and Marshall “Buddy” Watkins receiving 24 votes.

Columbus’ third place seat of Phillips is subject to change as the board of elections had not counted provisional votes as of late Tuesday night. Polk County Board of Elections Director Cliff Marr said there are three provisional ballots in Columbus, which could potentially change the outcome.

In Tryon, incumbent council member Bill Ingham was the high vote getter with 311 votes, followed by Bill Crowell with 257 votes. Ingham and Crowell won over Helen Ringus, who received 98 votes.


Also in Tryon, Chrelle Booker won a special two-year term seat with 299 votes over John Fowler with 48 votes. The special seat was vacated this year when former council member Roy Miller resigned. The seat will be up in 2019.


The top vote getters for council won four-year seats while others won two-year seats.


The election results were unofficial as of late Tuesday night, Nov. 7. The board of elections is scheduled to meet next Friday, Nov. 17 for the official canvassing of votes, which will make them official. The provisional votes are scheduled to be counted prior to the canvassing next Friday, but Marr said the board could meet earlier in the week to count the provisionals considering the closeness of Columbus’ race.







*Eric McIntyre: 119

Write-in: 5


*Robert Williamson: 105

*Richard Hall: 97

*Mark Phillips: 79

Brent Jackson: 76

Ernie Kan: 49

Marshall (Buddy) Watkins: 24

Write-in: 1




*Alan Peoples: 323

Jerry Thomas: 37

Write-in: 2


*Bill Ingham: 311

*Bill Crowell: 257

Helen Ringus: 98

Write-in: 4


Special council seat:

*Chrelle Booker: 299

John Fowler: 48

Write-in: 3




*Fred Baisden: 145

Heath Potter: 60

Write-in: 6


*Mark Oxtoby: 113

*Paul Marion: 107

Carolyn Ashburn: 101

Teddy Stevens: 78


Note: * denotes winners