The Wadesboro Town Council race was one of the most highly anticipated, with three seats up for election. Former Police Chief Bobby Usrey brought in the most votes, with 414, followed by incumbent Councilman Lawrence Gatewood with 377 votes and former county commissioner James David Lee, who garnered 387 votes.
All three were on hand as the official results were announced at the Board of Elections Tuesday night.
Usrey, who retired as Wadesboro police chief in 2007, said that he learned a little bit about politics through a 16-year law enforcement career with Sheriff Tommy Allen. Born and raised in Wadesboro, and having lived here except for four years in the Marine Corps, Usrey said he felt it was time to give back to the community. "I felt that I have things that I could offer the citizens of Wadesboro," he said, adding that he feels the most pressing issues for the town involve maintaining and attracting local business.
"I think we should sell Wadesboro— project a positive image," Usrey said. "Like any other small community, it's important to retain the businesses we have and look at bringing in new businesses, too."
"First of all, I'd like to thank the citizens of Wadesboro for turning out to vote," Lee said.
Lee, who served as a county commissioner for four years, said he felt the need to get back into local government. "I retired from human resources four years ago, and decided I wanted to get involved in the community in a stronger way," Lee said. "I looked at several different things and finally decided I wanted to get involved in city government."
Lee said he looks forward to getting to work with the other council members and believes one of the biggest issues facing Wadesboro is its water quality. He also wants to concentrate on stimulating the economy. "We'll be concentrating on certainly the economic end of things," he said, "trying to get the economy stirred up in this city."
Gatewood thanked the community of Wadesboro for electing him to another term. Gatewood was appointed about two years ago so this will be his first elected term.
"It has been a very positive experience," he said, "and I look forward to this term."
Incumbent Lilesville Mayor Richard Harrington retained his seat with a total of 72 votes. He was running unopposed.
The Lilesville Town Council will remain the same with all incumbent members being re-elected. Bernice Bennett garnered the most votes, 81, followed by Juanita Williams with 76, Steve Whitlock with 73, Frank McAllister with 60 and Hampton Downer with 52. Challenger Maggie Staton earned 41 votes.
Three seats on the Morven Town Council will change hands as former Mayor Theodore Carr Jr. brought in the most votes with 79, followed by Ben Atkinson and Beth Eddins, with 58 and 57 votes, respectively. Former Councilwoman Marjorie Cole was right behind, with 56 votes. Incumbent Councilwoman Annie Townsend received the fewest number of votes with 46. Janet Pratt was also in the running, but fell short with 51 votes.
In Peachland, incumbent Councilmen Bennie Garrett McLendon and James Hamilton were re-elected to their seats, with 60 and 57 votes, respectively, while Jason Mullis will be a new face on the board with his 42 votes.
Incumbent Councilman Kenny Rowell received 23 votes.
There will likely be a recount in the Polkton mayoral race, as Mayor Minnie Staton brought in 51 votes and challenger Henry Furr edged ahead with 52 votes.
Newcomers Jimmy Hildreth and Sissy Stegall earned the most votes for the Polkton Board of Commissioners with 67 and 68, respectively. Incumbent Councilmen Johnny Faulk Jr. and John Allen were re-elected, along with Councilwoman Linda Tucker. Faullk earned 64 votes, Allen, 59, and Tucker, 58.
Incumbent Councilwoman Myra T. Dagleish was just outside the count with 51 votes.
Despite clear skies and nice weather, voter turnout was relatively low, at 16.63 percent before the Morven votes were tabulated. A total of 891 of Anson County's 5,537 registered voters cast their ballots on Election Day.