Davidson County voters elected an all-Republican Board of Commissioners Tuesday, but kept a Democrat as sheriff.
Voters also approved a plan to add two members to the Board of Commissioners and to stagger commissioners' terms, effective with the next election. The margin was 17,473 to 12,000, according to complete but unofficial returns from the county's 41 precincts.Republicans Billy Joe Kepley, 54, D. Reid Sink, 61, Stanley W. ``Stan' Bingham, 44, Nancy R. Myers, 61, and Kenny Moore, 37, were swept into office as an all-GOP board. Sink, Myers and Moore are incumbents.
Reid S. Davis, the only Democrat on the outgoing board, lost his re-election bid. Republican Sim DeLapp Jr. did not seek re-election.
Kepley led the ticket with 20,680 votes, followed by Sink with 19,651, Bingham with 19,138, Myers with 18,936, and Moore with 18,712.
Trailing were Democrats K. Randall ``Randy' Rhodes, 39, with 17,122 votes; Billy Eugene ``Gene' Klump, 37, with 17,067; Davis, 71, with 16,428, John E. Horne, 37, with 16,056, and former Commissioner Thomas C. Evans, 52, with 15,115.
Jimmy Earl Johnson, 43, a Democrat and lifelong Davidson County resident, received 19,264 votes to win a four-year term as sheriff. Johnson, chief deputy to outgoing Sheriff Paul R. ``Jaybird' McCrary, beat Republican Fred C. Sink, 58, who had 18,636 votes.
Johnson is an 18-year veteran of the sheriff's department who has been McCrary's chief deputy for seven years. He was endorsed by McCrary, who decided to retire after 16 years as sheriff, saying he wants to spend more time with his family.
Sink, director of Davidson County emergency management, is a former U.S. marshal who stressed his election as sheriff in 1966 and again in 1970 during his campaign.
Registrar Lawrence Hiatt said voters began arriving 45 minutes before the polls opened at the Fair Grove Fire Department, and voting was heavy all day.
``The people had an urgency about them,' Hiatt said.
The GOP took over the Board of Commissioners in 1986, ending 12 years of Democratic control by winning four of the five seats. Republicans won the fifth seat this year.
Voters apparently brushed off criticism of the Republican-controlled board for establishing zoning in the southern half of the county in May despite much public opposition.
The commissioners' race was narrowed from a record 29 candidates in the May 8 primary.
After the primary, 43 voters complained that a ballot misalignment could have affected the results. The Davidson County Board of Elections decided there was no probable cause for further investigation and did not allow public comment at a hearing May 17.
About 30 voters, led by Concerned Citizens for Better Government, later appealed the county board's decision to the state Board of Elections, which ordered a test of 300 ballots in late May and a hearing to gather testimony in July.
In August, the State Board of Elections denied a request for a new primary election, agreeing with the local elections board that ballot misalignment did not affect vote totals.
That action cleared the way for candidates to concentrate on issues.
The 10 candidates listed school funding as their top priority, but disagreed on ways to increase county spending for schools. They also differed on whether Davidson County should consider sewer service to encourage growth.
Rhodes, Moore, Horne and Klump stressed the need for more county school funding and said a bond issue could help ease crowding in the county schools.
They also supported increased ambulance and law enforcement during their campaigns.
Kepley retired from Southern Bell as transmission engineer. He lives in the Welcome community of northern Davidson County.
Sink, a Midway farmer, served two previous terms on the board, beginning in 1978 and 1986. As the current commissioners' chairman, Sink voted against the zoning ordinance in May. He also opposes a bond referendum for school funding because the county's voters traditionally have voted against bonds.
Bingham owns Bingham Lumber Co. in Denton.
Myers is owner-operator of Dalton Myers Oil Co. in Thomasville. She was elected in 1986 after having been Thomasville mayor from 1981-85.
Moore is a sales representative with Capital Medical Equipment Sales and lives in the Abbotts Creek township near High Point. A former county GOP chairman, he was elected to the board in 1986. Moore voted in favor of the zoning ordinance.
Rhodes, of Lexington, is a self-employed contractor.
Klump is athletic director and a physical education teacher at West Davidson High School.
Davis is a retired vice president of manufacturing for Thomasville Furniture Industries. He lives in the Thomasville area and was elected to the board in 1982.
Horne owns Outdoor Legends and Davidson County Sports in Lexington, and Service Corps, a commercial cleaning service.
Evans was a commissioner from 1974-86, but lost re-election in 1986. He lives in Thomasville and works as a dispatcher for Norfolk Southern Railway Co. in Greensboro.
Staff writer Sheon Ladson contributed to this report.