County board seats turn red; governor keeps post

Hallsboro saw lines stretching to the other end of the fire station at times Tuesday morning. (Jefferson Weaver photo)
Hallsboro saw lines stretching to the other end of the fire station at times Tuesday morning. (Jefferson Weaver photo)

Columbus County had a red tide Tuesday night, as three of four county commissioners seats on the ballot saw Republicans take handy victories.
The results will not be official until Canvass Day, but some major changes appear to be taking place in Columbus County.
Every Republican candidate for a state cabinet position won in Columbus County, although Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper apparently won reelection. 
Republicans Lavern Coleman, Brent Watts and Chris Smith will be sworn into office in December, along with incumbent Democrat Giles “Buddy” Byrd. Commissioners Rickey Bullard, Charles McDowell and Jerome McMillan were Not on the ballot this year.
In District 4, Coleman defeated longtime Commissioner Edwin Russ for the Republican nomination in the primary, after Russ changed parties. Democrat Rickie G. Rouse received an endorsement from Russ, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Coleman, who gathered 2,777 votes to Rouse’s 1,303.
For the District 5 seat, Brent Watts trounced incumbent Democrat Trent Burroughs, 2,066 tp 1,257.
Chris Smith defeated incumbent Democrat James Prevatte 2,371 too 1,441 for the District 2 seat Prevatte has held for three terms.
Incumbent Giles “Buddy” Byrd, a Democrat powerhouse for 20 years, handily won the District 3 commissioner’s seat over Republican challenger Ray Battle. Byrd gathered 2,325 votes to Battle’s 1,244. Felony larceny charges against Byrd were dismissed last week. 
The red wave extended to the state house and senate seats as well, with Brenden Jones, Carson Smith and Danny Britt winning reelection. Jones represents District 46 in the State House; Smith has District 16, which includes much of Columbus; and Britt represents Robeson and Columbus counties in the Senate.
Britt defeated Tim Heath 7,607 to 3,528. Smith earned 7,388 over Debbi Fintak’s 5,116, and Britt overcame Barbara Yates Lockamy 15,129 to 8,707.
Randy Coleman won reelection to the county school board over Pamela Jaccobs Young and Karl Bracey. Coleman took 5,651 votes to Jacobs’ 5,347 and Bracey’s 4,574.
Kandle Rogers maintained her seat on the city school board with 1,360 votes tp C.L. McMillian’s 513.
Steve Long was unopposed for the district 5 county school board seat, receiving 12,809 votes.
Kandance Bullock was unchallenged for the Register of Deeds post, and earned 18,619 votes.
A proposal to add a new property tax to help rescue service in the county was resoundingly defeated, 16,094 to 8,424.
Lake Waccamaw’s three alcohol referenda passed, with more than 500 votes each going to approve on-premises sale of beer, wine and mixed drinks.
The single soil and Water District supervisor seat on the ballot went to Gary Simmons, who defeated Pat Lovett 11,747 to 7,840.
Details on additional races will be available later today on

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About Jefferson Weaver 1390 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at