Few election night surprises

Few election night surprises
November 06
00:00 2014
(pictured above:  State Rep. Ed Hanes Jr., School Board member Elisabeth Motsinger and Tripp Jeffers (right) check election results at Foothills Brewery.)

A win was not in the cards for Valene Franco Tuesday. The highly-respected attorney lost her bid for the county’s newly-created District Court judgeship to Ted Kazakos.

Franco had mounted a sweeping countywide campaign that was powered by many volunteers. She joined her supporters Tuesday night at the Delta Arts Center to watch election returns.

“I am so appreciative for all of my supporters,” Franco said. “I had some of the hardest working volunteers and supporters that any candidate could ever have.”
So will she run again?

Valene Franco is gracious in defeat Tuesday night at Delta Arts.

Valene Franco is gracious in defeat Tuesday night at Delta Arts.

“I’m looking forward to having a moment to rest. It’s a very challenging process and very time consuming. When I have a moment to rest, then I will re-evaluate whether I would run again. Right now, I’m basking in running the best race I possibly could.”

The unofficial results available Tuesday night pointed to a surprise win for Republican Robert Barr in the At-Large School Board race. He finished second behind incumbent Democrat Elisabeth Motsinger and well ahead of Republican incumbent John Davenport.

Barr is a teacher, who are prohibited from both serving on the School Board and working in public schools within the county.

“I know being in the classroom and being on the board is a little different, but I have good feel of schools … what works versus what doesn’t work,” he said. “I want to be sensitive to the teachers that may sometimes get directions from the top that don’t translate to the classroom.”



There was one big upset. Democrat Ted Kaplan beat Republican Bill Whiteheart in the At-Large County Commissioner race. Democrat Susan Frye easily won a second term as clerk of court.

Motsinger joined State Rep. Evelyn Terry and other Democrats at Foothills Brewery Tuesday night.
Terry – unlike her colleagues Sen. Earline Parmon and State Rep. Hanes – faced a Republican challenger. She won easily, though.

“It feels good when you work hard to win,” Terry said. “I was a little bit worried. You never take an election for granted. I don’t take the people’s trust lightly.”

The huge push to register voters and get-out-the-vote seems to have paid off. Voter turnout set a Midterm election record in North Carolina. According to the state Board of Elections, overall participation in early voting increased by 20 percent, with African-Americans’ participation increasing almost 45 percent compared to 2010.

The large number of voters came with some headaches. Parmon said he was disturbed by the scene at the Forsyth County Board of Elections on Saturday, the last day of early voting. On this rainy, chilly day, the line was so long, it stretched outside.

“At one point it was raining pretty heavy and there was nowhere for people to go to get out of the rain,” Parmon said. “While people braved the cold wind and rain, there should have been some provision made for that.”

Another issue that concerned Parmon was the lack of space available for curbside voting.

Parmon said she voiced her concerns to Forsyth County Elections Director Steve Hines, whom she said apologized and advised her to take her issues to the three-member Forsyth County Board of Elections. Hines could not be reached for comment before press time.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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