Primary victories revamp Stanly commissioners, school board

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

ALBEMARLE — The Republican primary election held on May 17 resulted in changes that have revised the current makeup of the county offices within Stanly County.  

Two county commissioners — Mike Barbee and Bill Lawhon — held their seats through their reelection bids while two others — chairman Tommy Jordan and commissioner Lane Furr — will be replaced when their terms end in December. Stanly County Board of Education board member Dustin Lisk retained his seat while board member Anthony Graves suffered a defeat. 

In the District 1 race, Barbee notched his second consecutive term with 41% of the votes (3,100), overtaking Levi Greene’s 33.7% (2,553) and Mike Haigler’s 25.3% (1,919) of the votes. 

For the District 2 commissioners’ race, Lawhon, a former chairman for the board, secured his third term Tuesday with 4,114 votes (53.7%) compared to Thomas Townsend’s 2,832 votes (37%) and Jon Ledbetter’s 719 votes (9.4%) 

With District 3 being a two-way race between Jordan and Brandon King, the latter had 4,548 votes (59.5%) while Jordan tallied 3,116 votes (40.5%). 

In the At-Large race, candidate Patty Crump had 44.2% (3,426) of the vote and edged past Furr, who had 39.3% (3,047) in his race to retain his seat; Leon Eugene Warren picked up 16.6% (1,286). 

The two school board races featured a landslide victory and as well as a race so close it will lead to a recount. In the four-way At-Large race, former school board member Robin Whittaker defeated the seat’s incumbent by nearly 13 percentage points. Whittaker’s 45.1% (3,474) bested Graves’ 32.2% (2,479), Melvin B. Pool’s 15.5% (1,196) and John Wright’s 7.1% (549). 

Meanwhile, Lisk retained his District 1 seat with 3,850 votes — just 67 votes more than challenger Meghan Almond’s 3,783 votes. The final tally came down to a difference of less than one percentage point (50.4% and 49.6%). 

Following Election Day, Lisk confirmed on his campaign’s social media account that the Board of Elections has 93 provisional ballots and a few mail-in ballots left to validate and count. The military ballot deadline is May 26 and the official count will be revealed to the public on May 27. 

In the primary race for Stanly County Clerk of Court, newcomer Ginger Efird took the prize with 45.5% (3,568) of the votes in comparison to Pam Blake’s 34.6% (2,715) and Michael Greene’s 19.9% (1,561). 

With 43,000 registered voters in Stanly County, only about 9,200 people voted during the primary election. In May 2018, 8,800 people voted while over 12,000 voted during the 2020 primary.