primary election signs and board of elections

Election signs line up along Skyland Drive at the Jackson County Board of Elections on Primary election day, May 17. 

By Dave Russell


Primary Day 2022 came and went on Tuesday in Jackson County and across North Carolina. Five and a half months of campaigning start today, leading up to the Nov. 8 General Election. 

Jackson County saw 7,181 residents (of 28,973 registered voters, or 24.79 percent) cast ballots Tuesday.


Sheriff contests

In the races for Jackson County Sheriff, Democrat Rick Buchanan and Republican Doug Farmer won their primaries and will face off in November 

Buchanan (2,554 votes, 65.79 percent) defeated former Sheriff Jimmy Ashe (889 votes, 22.9 percent) and Robin Gunnels (439 votes, 11.31 percent) on the Democrat ballot. 

On the GOP side, Farmer (2,734 votes, 90.68 percent) defeated Andy Anderson (281 votes, 9.32 percent).


County Commission

Incumbent Brian McMahan ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination for Jackson County Commission Board Chair.

Mark Letson (1,522 votes, 51.52 percent) squeaked by newcomer Rick Wood (1,432 votes, 48.48 percent) for the GOP nod. Letson ran for a commission seat in 2020, losing to Mark Jones by seven votes.

In County Commission District 1, incumbent Gayle Woody was the lone Democrat and will appear in the general election in November.

On the GOP side, Todd Bryson (1,436 votes, 48.99 percent) defeated David Brooks (771 votes, 26.31 percent), Rainy Summer Brake (556 votes, 18.97 percent) and Jarrett Crowe (168 votes, 5.73 percent).

Democrat Boyce Deitz faced no challengers in the County Commission District 2 race while Edward Thurston and John Smith faced off on the GOP side. Smith (1,415 votes, 50.66 percent) narrowly defeated Thurston (1,378 votes, 49.34 percent) to face Deitz in the general election.

The Clerk of Court came down to a battle between Albert Reagan and Kim Poteet in the Democratic primary, an election with no Republican candidates. Poteet (1,988 votes, 51.93 percent) defeated Reagan (1,840, 48.07 percent) and will take office in December. 

Democrat Shandra Sims returns as Register of Deeds, as no one from either party signed up to challenge her.


State offices

In the Supreme Court Seat 3 race, Democrat Lucy Inman will face Republican Richard Dietz in November, as no one else filed for either party.

Democrat Sam J. Ervin ran unopposed for Supreme Court Seat 5. On the GOP side, Trey Allen won the nomination. Locally, he had 1,538 votes, or 53.63 percent to April Wood (979 votes, 34.14 percent)  and Victoria Prince (351 votes, 12.24 percent).

Court of Appeals Judge Seat 8 will be settled in November between Democrat Carolyn Jennings Thompson and Republican Julee Tate Flood.

Brad Salmon is the sole Democrat in the Court Of Appeals Judge Seat 9. On the Republican side, Donna Stroud is the nominee. In Jackson County she had 1,909 votes, 68.23 percent to top Beth Freshwater Smith (889 votes, 31.77 percent).

Democrat Gale Murray Adams and Republican John M. Tyson faced no primary opposition in the Court of Appeals Seat 10 race and square off in November.

In the Court of Appeals Seat 11 race, Democrat Darren Jackson was unopposed. Michael Stading defeated Charlton Allen on the GOP side. Local totals were Stading (1,943 votes, 69.69 percent) and Allen (845 votes, 30.31 percent).

Karen Burnette McCracken was the sole Democrat to file for the N.C. Senate District 50 seat, setting her up to face Republican incumbent Kevin Corbin. 

In the race for the N.C. House Of Representatives District 119 seat, Al Platt, a Democrat, and Republican incumbent Mike Clampitt are headed for a November showdown as neither faced primary challenges.

Three incumbents face no opposition for three District Court judgeships in District 30. They are Republicans Donna Forga and Kris Earwood and Democrat Roy Wijewickrama.

Republican Ashley Welch should return as District Attorney in District 43, as no one from either party signed up to challenge her.


Federal offices

Fourteen Republican candidates campaigned in the U.S. Senate race for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr. Statewide, Congressman Ted Budd heads to November after defeating former Gov. Pat McCrory. Budd had 1,762 votes here (57.41 percent) to McCrory’s 737 or 24.01 percent. County totals for other candidates were Mark Walker (157 votes, 5.12 percent), Marjorie Eastman (169 votes, 5.51 percent), David Flaherty (43 votes, 1.40 percent), Kenneth Harper (32 votes, 1.04 percent), Jen Banwart (24 votes, 0.78 percent), Charles Kenneth Moss (37 votes, 1.21 percent), Leonard Bryant, (24 votes, 0.78 percent) Benjamin Griffiths (22 votes, 0.72 percent), Debora Tshiovo (19 votes, 0.62 percent), Lee Brian (17 votes, 0.55 percent), Lichia Sibhatu (13 votes, 0.42 percent) and Drew Bulecza (13 votes, 0,42 percent).

On the Democrat side, former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley heads to November. She won Jackson County with 2,200 votes for 62.59 percent. Local totals for other candidates were James Carr (311 votes, 8.85 percent), Alyssia Rose-Katherine Hammond (270 votes, 7.68 percent), Marcus Williams (175 votes, 4.98 percent), Constance Johnson (101 votes, 2.87 percent), Rett Newton (100 votes, 2.84 percent), Chrelle Booker (69 votes, 1.96 percent), B.K. Maginnis (79 votes, 2.25 percent), Robert Colon (105 votes, 2.99 percent), Greg Antoine (57 votes, 1.62 percent) and Tobis Lagrone (48 votes, 1.37 percent).

Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara took the top spot in the Democratic race for the U.S. House District 11 seat. She carried Jackson County with 1,434 votes, or 39.37 percent. Local totals for other candidates were Katie Dean (1,164 votes, 32.44 percent), Jay Carey (535 votes, 14.91 percent), Bo Hess (242 votes, 6.74 percent), Marco Gutierrez (114 votes, 3.18 percent) and Bynum Lunsford (99 votes, 2.76 percent).

The GOP slate featured seven candidates looking to unseat incumbent Madison Cawthorn. State Sen. Chuck Edwards edged Cawthorn to advance to November. In Jackson County, Cawthorn (1,306 vote, 41.55 percent) topped Edwards (742 votes, 23.61 percent). Local totals for other candidates were Matthew Burril (236 votes, 7.51 percent), Bruce O’Connell (225 votes, 7.16 percent), Rod Honeycutt (181 votes, 5.76 percent), Michele Woodhouse (201 votes, 6.40 percent), Wendy Marie-Limbaugh Nevarez (199 votes, 6.33 percent) and Kristie Sluder (53 votes, 1.69 percent).