2018 Buncombe County primary election results wrap up race for some, boost others into general

Buncombe County Commission district map. The same district lines are represented in the State House of Representatives map with District 2 matching District 115.

ASHEVILLE N.C. –With the hard-fought primary now behind them, some Buncombe County candidates can breathe a sigh of relief, while for others the hard work is only beginning.

The overall number of votes cast, 30,119, was higher by about 2,500 in the county than in the last non-presidential primary in 2014. Percentage-wise though, that only amounts to an increase from 15.01 percent to 15.75 percent turnout compared to 2014 because there are 7,173 more registered voters now. That’s according to unofficial primary results from the State Board of Elections.

In what is potentially the most decisive race of the Buncombe Democratic primary, incumbent Todd Williams managed to fend off a full-court press offensive from well-supported challenger Ben Scales. While Williams received nearly 60 percent of the early votes cast in the county, as precincts reported his lead shrank to just five and a half percentage points. In the 2014 election, after Williams unseated incumbent Ron Moore, Scales ran as an independent. Such a challenge could take place again, but with no Republican running, for now at least, it appears Williams will get a second term.

The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department will see new leadership this December. Change candidate Quentin Miller, an Asheville Police Department sergeant, has come out with a majority result in a five-way race for the Democratic nomination, claiming nearly 54 percent of the vote. In his campaign, Miller has stated a desire to change the mindset of deputies “from that of warriors to that of guardians; from that of being intimidators to that of being protectors.”

Randy Smart, Sheriff Van Duncan’s endorsed choice for successor, raised the most money, but came up short on votes, getting the second-most at 24 percent. Smart was trailed by R. Daryl Fisher, who got 14 percent of the vote. Chris Winslow claimed 5 percent and Rondell Lance brought up the rear with just over 3 percent.

Miller will go on to face Republican Shad Higgins and Libertarian Tracey “Phoenix” Debruhl in the fall.

Meanwhile in the Republican primary for N.C. House District 115, Amy Evans only narrowly defeated Nathan West 1066 votes to 986. West had previously told Mountain Xpress he had ceased campaigning and was throwing his support behind his opponent. Evans will take on incumbent John Ager this November for the seat.

Back on the Democratic side of the primary results in the Buncombe County Commission race, the candidates will be Amanda Edwards in District 2 (eastern Buncombe) and Donna Ensley in District 3 (western Buncombe). In the general, Edwards will square off in the closely-divided district with Republican Glenda P. Weinert. At the same time Ensley will face incumbent Robert Pressley.

In District 2 Edwards beat out the 2016 Democratic nominee Nancy Nehls Nelson 40 percent to 31 percent, while Weaverville Town Councilperson Patrick Fitzsimmons got 19 percent and Dereck Lindsey got almost 10 percent.

Ensley handily beat her opponents in District 3. She claimed over 61 percent of the vote while actor and small-business owner Catori Swann and activist Taylon Breeden split the remainder: 23 and 16 percent respectively.

For more information on all the candidates, see Mountain Xpress’ 2018 primary voter guide.

For complete local results see the North Carolina State Board of Elections results page. See statewide results here. All results are unofficial until they can be certified by the state agency later this month. 


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About Able Allen
Able studied political science and history at Warren Wilson College. He enjoys travel, dance, games, theater, blacksmithing and the great outdoors. Follow me @AbleLAllen

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23 thoughts on “2018 Buncombe County primary election results wrap up race for some, boost others into general

  1. Lulz

    LOL at Miller. Thinks he can confiscate guns and allow illegals. Just reflects the lunacy of Asheville proper. Is he aware of southern California districts now suing California over sanctuary state status? That they’re tired of selling out to people that don’t belong here? And as far as guns go, he should go knocking on doors himself to confiscate.

  2. bernard b carman

    So basically, the people of the AVL area have spoken through their election of Williams over Scales, and this Miller saying, “We are fine with peaceful citizens being thrown into jail for smoking marijuana (even though we protest it), and we are willing to have militant thugs murder at least 3 MILLION Americans who will refuse to surrender ANY firearms.

    Hypocrisy & ignorance exemplified.

      • NFB

        “It’s a reflection of the ignorant voter base they take advantage of.”

        And to think, some people say irony is dead.

        • bernard b carman

          — and to think, many people who profess “tolerance” say hypocrisy & deceit are attributes of those who do not agree with them.

          — and of course, those of us who champion the natural right of free will to use marijuana and exercise self-defense didn’t vote for Williams or Miller (i believe it is the majority of the local voters Lulz was referring to).

          • luther blissett

            “the natural right of free will to use marijuana and exercise self-defense”

            Hint: saying something’s a natural right doesn’t make it so, because “natural rights” are guff.

          • Lulz

            The bigger leftist goons in DC ally themselves with the terrorist mastermind of 9/11 in order to deny a nomination. They have zero principles or scruples. Merely the hunger for power no matter who they use or destroy. These people are dangerous. Anyone that supports leftists is either blind, ignorant, or just plain evil.

            Asheville is a city with a huge financial divide and years of these buffoons touting that they “care” about the poor. And yet what did they accomplish? Have they managed to control growth that benefits corporations? Have they made the cost of living lower than the previous year? Have they saved more trees than the developers destroyed the previous year? Has their ACCREDITED police force not violated the civil rights of the citizens? Why these people continue to be voted in is indicative of a population that is either stupid or a part of it.

      • boatrocker

        (evil demon voice/ TV commercial voice):
        “I’m Hillary Clinton the woman
        and I’m Barrack Hussein Obama the guy of color
        and I’m George Soros the guy who does not eat pork
        (spoken in unison)

        Right wing snowflake nightmare!

  3. Enlightened Enigma

    Not surprising Miller won, but we want to see him assist ICE with 287, and command the city to require 24/7 POLICE to be provided BY and PAID FOR BY the housing authority in their local communities. Asheville taxpayers should be relieved of the burdens of hosting WAY too much public housing for a city this size. Public housing is Asheville’s BIGGEST PROBLEM, so we will see how Mr. Miller will handle it. The taxpayers DESERVE better from these government plantations of slavery and the NO account people who run it.

    • luther blissett

      Who is this “we”? If a constituency existed for your hobby-horses, there would either be people running for office who advocated them or you’d be motivated to run yourself. Neither is true, and ALL CAPS won’t make it so.

      Asheville needs more public housing and fewer property-speculator landlords.

      • bernard b carman

        “luther”, if you knew your history about AVL’s “housing problem”, you would understand that the City Council is to blame for the problem.

        i used to be one of those “property-speculator landlords” in Montford for 26 years (1988-2014). i ran a green low cost house share in an 8 bedroom historic home. the City of AVL destroyed that, while it simultaneously clamored for more “affordable housing”. again, collectivism exemplified.

        How Socialism Destroyed My Livelihood

        • bernard b carman

          correction — i should have said, “the City of AVL is *largely* to blame for the problem.” i didn’t mean to imply it was *entirely* to blame for the problem.

          after all, the “Neo-Amerikan” wealth gap is mostly resultant from the largest banking scam in human history — the Federal Reserve baking cartel and the fractional banking system itself which allows the 1% ruling class to create wealth out of thin air for themselves while piling up the debt upon the backs of the working class.

  4. bernard b carman

    “Luther Blisset” has made a claim that Natural Rights do not exist. This is to be expected, because collectivists refuse to allow individuals to exercise their free will. Such is the nature of Collectivism.

    This is why Prohibition existed in the 1920’s and why there is a continued War on Drugs. Collectivists in public servant offices use the power of the STATE to force their personal will upon the otherwise free will of the people.

    Democrats claim the Republicans are solely responsible for the drug war, yet while the Dems were in control of the NC legislature for ~70 years, they failed to re-legalize marijuana. This exemplifies deceit and hypocrisy.

    The collectivists posting here such as “Mr. Blisset” exemplify that they really don’t even understand what a natural right is. It’s really not entirely their fault, as they have been indoctrinated by mainstream media and the government school system that their so called “rights” only come from the STATE. As a result of such collectivist indoctrination, the fact that our entire legal system of Civil Law was rooted in Natural Law is an unfamiliar concept for them.

    These folks exemplify the mindset that would claim slavery was OK so long as the STATE approves it as a point of Civil Law. Sound insane? It should, because so does the advocation of passing a Civil Law which allows for the confiscation of firearms, or the prohibition of marijuana. BOTH examples are violations of Natural Rights.

    After all, they exemplify their political positions through meaningless posts which do not even address the matters being discussed. They apparently believe they can just ignore facts and make jokes, as do so many political comedians they certainly admire.

    For example, when faced with the actual proof that tyrants are currently in the process of passing bad laws in attempts to confiscate semi-automatic firearms deceptively calling them “assault rifles”, they refuse to acknowledge the facts and just engage in ad hominem attacks.

    They apparently do not fully understand that by doing so, they exemplify themselves as liars and hypocrites.

    For those who recognize this deceit and hypocrisy and are confused by all the nonsensical rhetoric being spewed by MSM indoctrination, there is a remedy — education.

    If you are reading this thread and have at some point been told by some ignorant individual that natural rights don’t exist, consider educating yourself accordingly. 8-)

    Natural Rights Coalition — Principles

    • Able Allen

      Okay, that’s enough sniping at each other over the huge philosophical question of what exactly a “right” is. Let’s stay on topic and discuss the candidates and primary results please.

      • bernard b carman

        Able, IMHO we have been on topic, discussing the primary results.

        one of the winning candidates in particular has stated on his campaign paper that it is his desire to confiscate “assault rifles”, which everyone should know by now is a deceptive term being used by MSM (i’m not certain any Xpress writers have likewise jumped on that deceptive bandwagon — i hope not).

        this is a matter of great concern for myself and other law abiding residents here in Buncombe County. if Deerfield, IL can pass an UN-Constiotutional “law” which violates our basic Natural Right of Self-Defense, then certainly our locality could as well. if you read my story of how the AVL government destroyed by livelihood, you will perhaps better understand my perspective of how the masses do not really understand tyranny until it comes knocking at their door… it did in my case, literally.

        i understand that Xpress encourages locals to engage in healthy dialog, and even respectful discussion. largely, this means folks are not to engage in ad hominem attacks. it also suggests those involved in such discussion use some degree of honesty.

        please look over the comments and consider which posters here are engaging in both ad hominem attacks without really engaging in any real discussion regarding the comments being made.

        if we cannot engage in such educational discussions here about these paramount matters which ALL Americans face, where shall we do so?

        • Able Allen

          If you want to talk about how perceptions of gun rights may have effected the election, fine, but you are on a soap box dragging in barely related pet issues of yours. That’s enough of that. You are among the people testing limits and drifting over the line on ad hominem attacks and I’m telling you and everyone else, “that’s enough.” If you want to preach, write a letter to the editor. letters@mountainx.com

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