Bayne, Wright cinch Polk sheriff nominations

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018

COLUMBUS — Polk County chose its nominees for November’s sheriff’s race Tuesday, with B.J. Bayne winning the Democrat nomination and Tim Wright winning the Republican nomination, according to unofficial results from the Polk County Board of Elections Office.

Bayne won over candidate Ronnie Smith by 803 votes, with Bayne receiving 1,148 votes to Smith’s 345 votes.

The Republican race was much closer, with Wright having a slight edge with each precinct reporting Tuesday night. Wright won by 35 votes, with Wright receiving 748 votes over Darryl Bailey’s 713 votes.

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Bayne won every precinct in the county on Election Day voting, while Wright won the precincts of Tryon, Columbus 8, Saluda and White Oak. Bailey won Green Creek, Coopers Gap and Columbus 7.

Early voting had Wright and Bayne winning prior to any precincts delivering votes for Election Day Tuesday. Early voting totals were Bayne with 569 votes over Smith’s 134 votes. At the end of early voting, Wright had 277 votes over Bailey’s 241 votes.

On Election Day (not including early voting), Bayne narrowly took Coopers Gap, with 27 votes compared to Smith’s 21 votes; in Columbus 7, Bayne had 56 votes over Smith’s 34 votes; in Columbus 8, Bayne had 81 votes to Smith’s 16 votes; in Green Creek, Bayne had 122 votes compared to Smith’s 36 votes; in Saluda, Bayne had 65 votes over Smith’s 17; in Tryon, 159 votes to Smith’s 30 votes; and in White Oak, Bayne received Bayne received 58 votes over Smith’s 53 votes, according to unofficial results. Bayne also received 11 curbside votes, compared to Smith’s four curbside votes.

On Election Day (not including early voting), Bailey received 81 votes in Coopers Gap over Wright’s 50 votes; Bailey narrowly won Columbus 7 with 52 votes over Wright’s 50 votes; Wright won Columbus 8 with 77 votes over Bailey’s 55 votes; Bailey won Green Creek with 124 votes over Wright’s 60 votes; Wright won Saluda with 58 votes over Bailey’s 48 votes; in Tryon, Wright received 112 votes over Bailey’s 54 votes; and in White Oak, Wright received 63 votes to Bailey’s 53 votes, according to unofficial results. Wright also received one curbside vote, with Bailey receiving five curbside votes.

As of late Tuesday, there were still 11 provisional votes outstanding and up to 10 absentee ballots to be returned. No winners will change in the local race regardless of the provisional and absentee ballots.

In other state races, Polk County voters chose Patrick McHenry (R) for U.S. House of Representatives District 10, David Wheeler (D) for North Carolina Senate District 47 and Greg Newman (R) for District Attorney District 42.

Provisional ballots will be evaluated by the Polk County Board of Elections next week during the official canvassing, where the board will determine whether the votes are valid or invalid. Provisional votes are votes that are not known to be valid during the election.

Polk County Sheriff race


B.J. Bayne               1,148

Ronnie Smith         345


Tim Wright              748

Darryl Bailey            713