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McCord wins commission seat; Rose, Dobney win school seats

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Currituck at-large commissioner candidate winner Kevin McCord (right) chats with Arnold Argandona, a past candidate for commissioner, outside the polling station at Moyock Elementary School, Tuesday.

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From staff reports

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

CURRITUCK — A former county commissioner will be rejoining the Currituck Board of Commissioners, and two incumbent school board members will get new four-year terms following Tuesday’s election in Currituck.

According to unofficial results, Republican Kevin McCord defeated his Democratic opponent, Joseph Payne, in the only contested commissioner race on the Currituck ballot. McCord won in convincing fashion, collecting 6,996 votes or 72 percent to Payne’s 2,710 votes or 27.9 percent. McCord swept all 11 Currituck precincts and also won the early vote, collecting 2,006 votes to Payne’s 1,009.

In the only other contested race on the county ballot, incumbent Currituck Board of Education members Bill Dobney and Janet Rose were re-elected and elected, respectively.

Dobney was re-elected to a third term as an at-large school board member, defeating challenger Megan Bottelli. He collected 4,093 votes or 50.3 percent to Bottelli’s 3,970 votes or 48.78 percent. Dobney won in six of Currituck’s 11 precincts, losing only in Gibbs Woods, Moyock, Powells Point and Whalehead, and tying Bottelli in Carova Beach. Dobney also won the early vote.

Rose, who was appointed to the school board’s Crawford Township seat in 2016, defeated her challenger, Josh Bass. She collected 5,130 votes or 60.53 percent to Bass’ 3,317 votes or 39 percent. Rose won in every Currituck precinct. She also won the early vote.

Incumbent Sheriff Matt Beickert, who won the GOP primary, was elected to a four-year term after running unopposed in the general election. Also re-elected on Tuesday were incumbent District 3 Commissioner Mike Payment, Clerk of Superior Court Ray Matusko, and Board of Education member Karen Etheridge, all of whom ran unopposed.

Also winning election on Tuesday was Owen Etheridge, a former commissioner who ran unopposed for the District 5 seat on the Board of Commissioners. 

Turnout for Tuesday’s election was 49.29 percent.  

McCord’s victory ensures Republicans will continue to hold all seven seats on Currituck’s Board of Commissioners. First elected to the commission board in 2012, McCord resigned two years later to take a job as a Currituck magistrate. Under state law, he was not allowed to serve as both a commissioner and magistrate at the same time. McCord stepped down as a magistrate in 2015, however, and returned to the Currituck Sheriff’s Office where he worked prior to taking the job as a magistrate.   

Voters interviewed outside Currituck polling sites on Tuesday said they cast ballots for McCord because they either knew him personally or liked what they had read or heard about him. 

At Moyock Elementary School, Elizabeth Prentice said she had researched the Currituck candidates on the internet before voting. She said she voted for McCord because of his resume.

At J.P. Knapp Early College, Court Caldwell said he voted for McCord because he believes the former magistrate seems genuine.

"He does want to help people out," Caldwell said.

He said he’s met McCord several times and the candidate lives in the same neighborhood as Caldwell's parents. 

Another voter said she supported McCord because he’s a “good, down to earth guy” and a former neighbor of hers. Still another voter said he cast his ballot for McCord because he knows him in his various roles as former commissioner, businessman and sheriff’s deputy.

Prentice said she voted for Rose in the school board race because the candidate is a friend and because Rose is community oriented. She also voted for Bottelli instead of Dobney, she said, “Because it's time for a woman to get in there."

Another voter said she also cast her ballot for both women in the school board races because she wanted to see more diversity on the board.

Another voter, who said she has three children in the Currituck County Schools, said she voted to keep Rose on the school board.

"Why not?" she replied when asked about voting for Rose. "I think she's doing a pretty good job." 

Caldwell, however, said he voted for Bass after seeing the candidate’s postings on Facebook. He said he believes Bass would find ways to help the Currituck schools spend funds more efficiently.

"I mean, if you look at businesses, businesses do it every day," he said. "You don't have the option just to spend, spend, spend anymore, especially in government."

Another voter supported Bass because he said he heard many positives about him from neighbors.

"They seem to tend to follow him," he said.

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