According to uncertified results from the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Republicans on Tuesday swept Democrats by comfortable margins in all of the contested local races, including for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, three seats on the local Board of Commissioners, and three seats on the Board of Education.
Interim Sheriff Brian Estes won handily over Democratic challenger Carlton Lyles 66.38 percent to 33.62, winning his first full term after being appointed to replace Republican Tracy Carter, who stepped down in late 2021.
Republicans swept the contested races for the Lee County Board of Commissioners, with Republican chairman Kirk Smith topping Democrat John Kirkman 60.58 percent to 39.42 in District 2, Republican incumbent Andre Knecht turning back Democratic challenger Kate Woods 66.79 percent to 33.21, and Republican Taylor Vorbeck defeating Democrat Larry “Doc” Oldham 52.73 percent to 47.27 in District 4. Democrat Robert Reives Sr. was unchallenged in District 1, and carried 100 percent of the vote. The results mean the GOP will retain control of the board by a 4-3 margin.
On the school board, where voters could choose up to three candidates, Republicans also swept, with Eric Davidson leading the pack with 19.5 percent of the vote, Alan Rummel coming in with 18.55 percent, and Chris Gaster garnering 18.5 percent. Incumbent Democrats Pat McCracken and Christine Hilliard came in fourth and fifth, with 15.15 percent and 14.63 percent, respectively, and Democratic challenger Walter Ferguson finished sixth with 13.67 percent. The board’s majority will shift from a 4-3 Democratic majority to a 5-2 Republican majority.
Additionally, Lee County’s delegation to the state legislature stayed in Republican hands, with Republican state Senator Jim Burgin topping challenger Richard Chapman 63.6 percent to 36.4, and Republican House Representative John Sauls defeating Democrat Malcolm Hall 65.17 percent to 34.83.
Susie Thomas, Lee County’s Democratic incumbent Clerk of Court, was uncontested and won with 100 percent of the vote.
The Rant has reached out to candidates for comment on their races and will update this post as updates come in.
UPDATE: Kirk Smith sent the following statement to The Rant:
“First and foremost allow me to thank GOD for providing this opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Lee County, the blessings of my family, the volunteers who put forth the efforts on my behalf, and the citizens of the Second District of Lee County.“
“Second, we have an immense opportunity to move Lee County in a direction that will truly make our county a great place to live, learn, work, and play. “
“Again I thank all of you for your support. GOD Bless our County, the great state of North Carolina, and these United States of America.”
People don’t forget what you did to them
Great job to all the Republican winners, especially the Board of Education, can’t mess with our children, 💥🇺🇲💥
For a minute there, it looked like Sanford was improving. I guess that’s over now.
You always have the option of moving someplace else that aligns with your thought process and morals!! RED SWEEP!!!! HELL YEAH!
You can always leave! Im sure there are many liberal shitholes that would welcome you with open arms!
Glad to see Lee County come together to make this happen! Pleasantly surprised
OK Republicans, we voted you in. Now it is time to deliver. On a side note. It must have been painful for the Rant to write this. Then again they will now have a few more years to trash Republicans.
They will deliver, don’t worry about that, and yes, I’m sure it was painful for them to write this, but it does prove they will report the news even if they don’t like it, so that’s a big plus in my book!
And Republicans are used to being trashed because other groups are significantly inefficient at delivering what they say.
So glad to see the GOPigs haven’t lost their touch. Same old tired bullshit rhetoric..
Wow. how very eloquent of you. You can like the change, or you can hate the change, but either way you have to accept the change. The citizens of Lee County have spoken and it seems apparent that Democratic leaders could not deliver on what they promised, and the public wanted to see a change, so they voted in the people THEY felt were best for the job. Before you trash an entire party before seeing what they do, why don’t you give them a chance, just like we had to give the previous people a chance. Oh wait, that won’t happen because you already refer to them as GOPigs and are closed-minded. Clever, just clever….never heard that one before.
How very stupid you are to assume I root opposite. Also how very stupid you are to think I didn’t see your previous comments. You more than likely bitched and moaned an entire term like the rest of your ilk. Nice try, lesser troll. Gtfo off my lawn.
Sad that the School Board has been politicized. It will be interesting to see if the new members can take it when the public calls them out. I suspect we will see lawsuits in short order if they aren’t careful. For the sake of our kids that attend public schools I truly hope they are successful.
So very sad. Hopefully the Womack’s ef off.
Praying God’s Wisdom will be sought and obeyed. Pray Thank you Lee county voters.
There are no REAL Republicans in Sanford, or Lee County, NC. RINOS
We still have the good ole boy network out there. I will wait for the Police Department and the Sherriff’s Department to actually start handing out tickets for speeding, Illegal tinting of windows, running a STOP sign, running a STOP light. Not driving with your lights on when using your windshield wipers. Using your phone while driving. And, harassing Senior Citizens.