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Jones wins sheriff's race; Banks, Aydlett, Purcell win school seats

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Kevin Jones, who won election as Camden County sheriff, according to unofficial results, is shown outside the Courthouse Precinct Tuesday afternoon with Landon Brothers, 5.

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From staff reports

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

CAMDEN — Kevin Jones won election as Camden sheriff in convincing fashion on Tuesday, taking more than 70 percent of the vote. In December, he’ll be sworn in as the second member of his family to hold the sheriff’s office.

According to unofficial results, Jones, a Republican, defeated Rick Trevena, a Democrat, collecting 2,911 votes or 72 percent to Trevena’s 1,135 votes or 28 percent. Jones, whose father Joe Jones, served as Camden sheriff in the 1990s and early 2000s, swept all three Camden precincts. He also collected 1,520 early and absentee votes to Trevena’s 571.    

In the only other contested election on the Camden ballot Tuesday, first-time candidate candidate Chris Purcell and incumbents Jason Banks and Sissy Aydlett won three at-large seats on the Camden Board of Education.

Two Republican incumbent commissioners, Tom White and Clayton Riggs, ran unopposed and were re-elected to new four-year terms. Also re-elected to a new four-year term was Democratic Clerk of Court Paula Harrison, who also ran unopposed.

Banks led the six-candidate field in the school board race, finishing with 2,285 votes or 25 percent. Aydlett finished second, garnering 2,178 votes or 24 percent. Purcell, a firefighter and business owner, finished third, collecting 1,680 votes or 18.5 percent. Banks finished first in one Camden precinct and second in the other two. He also led in early and absentee voting.

Eleanora Doane-Butts, a school teacher making her first bid for school board, finished fourth, collecting 1,091 votes or 12 percent. Roger Morgan, a former Camden schools administrator, finished fifth, collecting 995 votes or 10.9 percent. Tiffany Bounds, who was making her second bid for school board, finished sixth, collecting 839 votes or 9 percent.      

Turnout for Tuesday’s election, including early voting, in Camden was not immediately available.

A number of voters who cast ballots on Tuesday said they were drawn to the polls by the sheriff’s race.

K.W. Krauss, 56, who voted at Courthouse Precinct, said he supported Jones’ bid for sheriff.

“I grew up with him and went to school with him so I know he's a good guy,” Krauss said.

He said Jones also had a strong reputation as a state trooper, including a reputation for fairness.

Krauss said he didn't vote in the school board race because he didn't know any of the candidates.

Dana Austin, 44, who voted at Courthouse Precinct, also said she was not familiar with the school board candidates. She said her children are grown so she doesn't really know much about what issues are important for the school board right now.

Austin said she had met both candidates for sheriff, thinks highly of both of them and believes both have good experience that prepares them to serve as sheriff. She opted for Jones, she said.

A 75-year-old voter in the Courthouse precinct said he was especially proud to vote for Jones.

“I know his family and think he's the best man for the job,” he said. “They're all good candidates but he has the knowledge of this county. He has been in this area.”

Trevena won the support of at least several ardent Republicans.

David Walker, 44, and his wife Melanie Walker, 40, both said they voted for GOP candidates except when it came to voting for the sheriff. Both said they supported Trevena.

David Walker said Trevena spoke to them outside the polling place Tuesday afternoon and discussed a detailed program for the sheriff's office, persuading both of them to cast their votes for him.

“He had his head in the game and was headed in the right direction,” said David.

“He was the only Democrat I voted for,” said Melanie.

In the school board race, both Walkers voted along straight gender lines and voted opposite from each other.

David said he voted for the three women — Aydlett, Doane-Butts and Bounds.

“When it comes to schools I trust the women,” he said.

“I did the opposite,” said Melanie. “I voted for all the guys. I guess I just find that guys have their head in the game better for running things.”

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