With national media outlets such as CNN declaring a “bloodbath” as Republicans gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Buncombe County mostly stayed blue. Statewide, though, a different story unfolded, as Republicans made historic gains.
Here’s a summary of the results and vote tallies for the races that appeared on Buncombe County ballots, as reported by the State Board of Elections and Buncombe County Election Services as we went to press:
• U.S. Senate
Republican incumbent Richard Burr defeated challenger Elaine Marshall, 1,451,392 votes to 1,134,607.
• 11th Congressional District
Rep. Heath Shuler defeated Republican Jeff Miller, 130,516 to 109,808.
• State Senate District 48
Sen. Tom Apodaca trounced Democratic challenger Chris Dixon, 43,340 to 22,374.
• State Senate District 49
Democratic incumbent Martin Nesbitt beat RL Clark, 32,990 to 22,604. (With Republicans gaining control of the Senate, Nesbitt will forfeit his position as majority leader.)
• State House District 114
Rep. Susan Fisher defeated Republican challenger John Carroll, 14,435 to 10,274.
• State House District 115
Rep. Patsy Keever (recently appointed to complete Bruce Goforth’s term) bested Republican Mark Crawford, 15,658 to 12,203.
• State House District 116
Republican Tim Moffitt ousted Rep. Jane Whilden 14,568 to 11,530. Whilden narrowly defeated Moffitt two years ago.
• Buncombe County sheriff
Sheriff Van Duncan defeated Republican challenger Dickie Green, 55,096 to 23,649.
• Buncombe County district attorney
Democrat Ron Moore survived a strong challenge by newcomer Bridgette Odom, 42,159 to 35,956.
• Clerk of Superior Court
Democratic incumbent Steve Cogburn trumped John Sutton, 44,578 to 32,700.
Meanwhile, in the judicial races:
• Barbara Jackson edged Bob Hunter for state Supreme Court (Hunter prevailed in Buncombe County but lost statewide).
• Cressie Thigpen won the 13-way instant-runoff race for a Court of Appeals seat.
In the remaining statewide Court of Appeals spots:
• Rick Elmore beat Steven Walker.
• Ann Marie Calabria defeated Jane Gray (Gray came out ahead in Buncombe County).
• Martha Geer beat Dean Poirier.
• Sanford Steelman was unopposed.
For 28th District Superior Court:
• Alan Thornburg (who’d previously been appointed to the seat) defeated Kate Dreher, 32,492 to 29,719.
• Marvin Pope defeated Heather Whitaker Goldstein and Diane McDonald in the instant-runoff race.
In the other 28th District judicial races:
• incumbent Shirley Brown beat challenger John Jay Watson, 34,536 to 21,854.
• Patricia Kaufmann Young won against Rhonda Moorefield, 31,172 to 19,536.
• Sharon Barrett, Julie Kepple and Rebecca Knight all won re-election unopposed.
• Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor
Incumbent Elise Israel won re-election, but challenger Chase Hubbard squeaked by incumbent Jeff Turner, 21,540 to 21,397.
In the Buncombe County school board races:
• In the Enka District, Bob Rhinehart defeated Nathan Taylor, 19,794 to 16,384.
• In the Erwin District, Pat Bryant was unopposed.
• In the Reynolds District, Lisa Baldwin beat Chuck Radford and Henry Mitchell.
And finally, 85 percent of Buncombe residents endorsed an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting felons from serving as sheriff.