Winners, losers, and some surprises in primary election

The primary elections brought out small but steady stream of voters

Winners, losers, and some surprises  in primary election
May 18
16:34 2022

After months of campaigning and candidates making their pitches to voters, the 2022 primary election season is officially over. Thousands of voters cast ballots in Forsyth County and here are the results in some of the most talked about races. 

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education

With all nine seats up for grabs and a number of incumbents not seeking re-election, going into the primary election changes were inevitable.

In District 1, which represents voters within the city limits, retired educator Trevonia (BG) Brown-Gaither (D) came out on top in the race that included five candidates vying for two seats. Brown-Gaither, who retired from Parkland High School in 2021, finished with 26% of the total vote. 

During the candidates’ forum held last month, Brown-Gaither said the most important issues facing our schools are the achievement gaps among sub-groups and inequity throughout the district. 

“That’s one of the reasons I wanted to run, the inequities within our system between schools and between classrooms,” Brown-Gaither continued. “Fixing inequities in the classroom will also help the sub-groups in the achievement gap.” 

The second seat in District 1 will go to incumbent Alex B. Bohannon (D). Bohannon, who finished with 25% of the total vote, was chosen to fill a vacant seat on the board last year. He currently works as a diversity compliance specialist for the City of Winston-Salem. 

In District 2, which represents voters outside the city limits, there were four seats and 10 candidates. In the end, the seats went to former school board member Robert Barr (R), retired administrator Stan Elrod (R), incumbent Leah Crowley (R), and newcomer Steve Wood (R). 

Barr’s first stint on the board was from 2014-2018. Some of his priorities coming into this election were to create a strategic plan for student growth and achievement and create parental engagement programs to support parents and students.  

Wood finished with 11.60%  of the vote, which was enough to edge out incumbent Lida Calvert Hayes, who finished with 10.51% of the vote.

At-large seats on the board of education are chosen by voters in District 1 and District 2. The three top vote getters for each party in the primary move on to the General Election in November. 

The Democratic Party will be represented by incumbent Deanna Kaplan, Richard Watts, and Sabrina Coone-Godfrey in the General Election. Sarah Absher, Michael Hardman, and Allen Daniel will represent the Republican Party. 

Forsyth County Board of Commissioners (District A) 

There will be at least one new representative in District A, which represents voters who live in Winston-Salem. Incumbent Tanya McDaniel (D) finished with the highest percentage of votes (27.38%), and Shai Woodbury finished with the second most votes, giving her the second seat on the board, leaving incumbent Fleming El-Amin on the outside looking in. 

McDaniel’s top priorities are public health, safety, and business. Woodbury, who is the first Black woman to lead the WS/FCS Board of Education, lists her top three priorities as increasing teacher pay, providing pre-k to all eligible students, and restoring juvenile justice to maintain safe communities. 

El-Amin has served on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners since 2017. He was appointed following the death of Walter Marshall. 

Forsyth County Board of Commissioners (At-Large)

The surprise of the night may have been Dan Besse’s win over incumbent Ted Kaplan in the race for the at-large seat on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. While many people expected a close race, Besse won with more than 60% of the total vote. 

Besse, who served on the Winston-Salem City Council for nearly 20 years, has said his main priority will be improving local schools and increasing teacher pay. 

Kaplan held the at-large seat for 16 years. He was first elected in 2006. 

N.C. House of Representatives District 71

In the race for District 71 in the N.C. General Assembly, a new representative was inevitable with incumbent Evelyn Terry not seeking re-election. 

Voters decided among Terry’s husband, Frederick Terry (D), a former member of the Winston-Salem City Council, or well-known community leaders David Moore (D), and Kanika Brown (D). 

In the end it was Brown who came away with the win, with nearly 50% of the total vote. Terry finished with 38.31%  and David Moore with 13.88%. 

Throughout her campaign, Brown said she will fight to expand Medicaid, bring equity to local schools, and make North Carolina a leader in renewable energy. There is no Republican challenger in this race, so Brown will take office after the General Election. 

Forsyth County Clerk of Superior Court 

Incumbent Denise Hines (D) defeated both her challengers, Tina Flowers (D) and John Snow (D). Hines, who was  first elected in 2020,  finished with 57% of the total vote. 

There is no Republican challenger in this race, so Hines will take office after the General Election. 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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